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Dopamine vs Serotonin: What Are The Differences?

Dopamine vs Serotonin

Have you ever thought, about how are we able to sense walk, run, react to an incident, or many other functions?

Yes, these activities are possible when the brain gets signals from the nerves. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for many functions that we perform in daily life.

The same goes with serotonin, it is also a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in different tasks of the body.

This blog provides a Dopamine vs Serotonin comparison, similarities, and more. So, let’s start it!

What is Dopamine?

Dopamine is a chemical messenger that is manufactured in the brain, its work is to carry messages to the brain with help of nerve cells and then to the whole body.

Dopamine is required in many functions of the body like movement, memory, motivation, mood, and many more things.

What is Serotonin?

The chemical name of serotonin is 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), it is a monoamine neurotransmitter and also acts as a hormone.

The Roles of serotonin are also as crucial as dopamine, it is responsible for body functions such as maintaining the temperature of the body, enhancing sexual mood of a person, etc.

The imbalance of this chemical can cause physical or psychological problems in an individual.

Neurotransmitter: What is It?

Neurotransmitters are referred to as chemical messengers used by the nervous system that is responsible for regulating many functions of the body and dopamine and serotonin are two such neurotransmitters.

Both neurotransmitters might function on the same thing, but their way of working may differ.

Comparison: Dopamine vs Serotonin

Both Neurotransmitters may have some differences in some cases. Let’s discuss them one by one-

Does Dopamine and Serotonin cause depression?

Dopamine and Depression

Dopamine plays an important role in rewarding and motivating. You feel the dopamine rush, when you achieve something you have really been trying hard for, the satisfactory feeling i.e. what dopamine does.

Whereas a person suffering from depression or anxiety may possess like:

  1. Low level of motivation
  2. Losing interest in things in which you were interested earlier
  3. Feeling undefended

Serotonin and Depression

Many expert researchers associate serotonin and depression for more than 5 decades. But now it has been cleared that increasing serotonin levels with the help of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, is found to be the most productive way for treating depression.

Research states that depression is mainly caused due to inflammation in the body.

Other Effects: Dopamine vs serotonin


Dopamine is possibly responsible for all kinds of pleasure whether related to eating a good meal or the feeling after sex, which is stated as ‘pleasure’ in general terms.

We have often observed people get addicted to things like drinking, smoking, or gambling this all happens due to a rush of dopamine in the body.

The Brain reacts to certain substances when one is intoxicated to them and dopamine rushes. On further consumption of the substance, a person will be tolerant toward it and the individual will require a higher amount to feel the same.

An imbalance in dopamine levels can lead to:

a. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

b. Bipolar disorder

c. Schizophrenia


Many researchers in the field of medical science consider that disorders like anxiety, autumn spectrum, or bipolar disorder are caused due to a decrease in the level of serotonin in the brain.

More likely, disorders like the autumn spectrum occur due to low levels of serotonin in the brain.

How does the digestion process get affected by dopamine and serotonin?

Dopamine: Most of the experts state that dopamine helps to manage insulin levels that are released by the pancreas. It is also found helpful in moving the food in the small intestine.

It is best for the mucosal lining present in the gastrointestinal tract which helps prevent ulcers.

Serotonin: Our gut consists of 95% of serotonin, it occurs when food gets delivered to the small intestine, where its role begins when it reveals the contractions that push the food through the intestine.

Serotonin is helpful in getting rid of harmful food by increasing the rate of contractions in the stomach. Low levels of serotonin can lead to constipation.

How do Dopamine and Serotonin affect the sleep of an individual?

Serotonin and Dopamine being neurotransmitters have different ways of working. Dopamine is more associated with alertness. Drugs that elevate dopamine levels such as amphetamines, and cocaine increase alertness in an individual. Serotonin is responsible for keeping awake and not letting fall asleep in individual. However, the accumulation of such chemical messengers in a specific area can make you fall asleep.


In conclusion, we understand that Both are neurotransmitters, which play important roles in our brain and gut. Dopamine vs Serotonin comparison helps to find out the differences and similarities between them.

An imbalance of these transmitters affects your mental health, digestion, and sleep routine. Consult a medical healthcare expert who will examine and tell you every aspect regarding maintaining these levels.

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