Difference Between Serotonin and Dopamine
By Claire Miles - June 30, 2022

Chemicals control the body’s activities that and even though all are important, some are famous. Two names are sure to come up when it comes to the discussions surrounding mental health and wellness in contemporary society. It is unknown to most people precisely what Serotonin and Dopamine do, but it is common knowledge that a reduction in the production of one or both does not mean well.

Table Summary

Made from the essential amino acid tryptophan, which is sourced from the dietMade from the nonessential amino acid tyrosine, which is sourced from phenylalanine
Effects are subtle and last longEffects are pronounced but do not last long.
You can link lower serotonin levels to mood disorders such as anxiety and depressionYou can link lower dopamine levels to attention, memory, and motivation disorders such as ADHD, depression, drug abuse, and burnout
You can link increased serotonin levels to reduced sex drive and increased reflexesYou can link increased dopamine levels to an increased sex drive, insomnia, anxiety, aggression, and mania
dopaminergic neuron

Getty Images / Science Photo Library / KATERYNA KON


Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for mood regulation. Asides from the mood, it also stabilizes internal processes such as digestion, sleeping and waking, blood clotting, and even sex drive.

Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter that interacts with the brain’s pleasure centers, affecting behaviors such as learning, motivation, and attention. Dopamine also plays a role in physical processes like kidney and blood vessel function, lactation, and pain processing.

Serotonin VS Dopamine

Both serotonin and dopamine activities overlap in several situations; blood vessel functions, sleep, and even inducing nausea and vomiting. However, their significant role is in how they regulate behavior and mental wellness. Serotonin at normal levels spurs individuals to gain pleasure from activities such as social interaction, while Dopamine control task-solving behaviors as a reward system. As a result, it is more long-acting than dopamine.