The Case for Self Regulation

This is a follow-up to my post this weekend about the nature of psychiatry

If psychiatry can make people happier, what’s the issue?

The future. If your brain is dependent on time-sensitive drugs to be happy, how can you possibly raise children without the same flaws.

If these mindsets are inherited, which I think they are, your kid will likely pick up this mindset, whether or not you’ve masked it with pharmaceutical drugs.

From an evolutionary standpoint, we were trending positive for thousands of years, naturally. It’s not all that complicated, crazy people aren’t suited to be heads of the household, so society would trend toward less crazy. It’s much more pleasant to be around people who aren’t depressed, bipolar, or whatever you call what plagues you.

Now you may have no idea what list of drugs it takes to keep your partner sane. And chances are, you don’t care. Because psychiatry has successfully pitched the chemical imbalance theory to the world. But if you dig a little deeper, you realize they have no idea what is going on. If your symptoms are improving, their job is done. But if the brain is reversible without medicine, then what does that say about the status of these subjects. Are they cured? Or have we found a way for them to continue without addressing their underlying issues?

The scariest thing of all: the nature of time in the human brain is not constant. So they don’t know how long it’s going to take to get in your system or how long it’s going to last. Chances are great that it’s going to vary, as your mind works in different capacities over the course of the day and the week. You notice the pill bottles will say take once daily, or something like that. But if the mind does not perceive time at all, much less at a constant rate, how will we stabilize anyone? Especially if the amount of the drug in your system declines over time. 

So when time doesn’t matter, how do you tell people when to take their pills? They must self regulate. They must be taught to identify unhealthy thought patterns and make appropriate adjustments in real time. Unless they plan on living the same day with the same amount of stress, internally and externally every day, they must self diagnose. It’s not complicated. You eat when you get hungry. You sleep when you get tired. You [insert regulating behavior here] when you get [insert mental health abnormality].

Void Avoidance

How do you fill the emptiness in your life? How do you mend the hurt?

Turning to alcohol is not an uncommon solution to many problems. In my brief stay at a local mental health facility (anxiety), I saw many patients who had turned to drugs or alcohol in their down times in their lives, being prescribed drugs.

Essentially, the thought is, how can we make this person function most like a normal human being, except without doing that thing that got them in here. The science says that there is a chemical in-balance in your brain. Once we find the right combination of chemicals, we can hotwire you into a normal life. Whatever that is.

Except, we know that the model is broken. People have holes in their hearts for a reason, and giving them another pill is just another way of masking that hurt. I’m not saying they are not chemically unbalanced. What I’m saying is that if you teach them to live with whatever prescription you give them, you’re keeping them from overcoming what plagues them. You trap them in their hurt without feeling hurt. It could be the most despicable curse of all.

And remember: Don’t Trust Your Psychiatrist.

Deciphering Depression

Disclaimer: This is not a how-to article. Talk to a therapist or psychiatrist before making any decisions that could impact your life.  

What is depression? Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.

What do antidepressants do? We say they balance the chemicals in peoples brains, that help regulate moods and emotions. Most people end up sleeping better, eating better, and start doing the things they enjoy again. I think it’s safe to say that the antidepressant market is working, at some capacity. The model used to explain the drugs is probably right, but I think it’s important to keep things simple: that most people who take these drugs get happier. 

So if the problems were entirely chemical, why do antidepressants only work 80-90% of the time? Why is there drug resistant depression? And if there is drug resistant depression, what does that say about the nature of the disease itself?

But why would some people be resistant to the cure? Severity of the episode, and duration of the episode both seem to factor in here. Also old age and anxiety disorders have significant correlations.  Truth is, we really don’t know. 

What procedures are there to treat drug-resistant depression? 

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). While you are asleep, a carefully measured dose of electricity is passed through your brain, intentionally triggering a small, brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can relatively quickly reverse symptoms of major depression. 
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS).Generally only used when ECT isn’t effective, rTMS uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve symptoms of depression. 
  • Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). Generally, VNS is only tried after other brain stimulation therapies such as ECT and rTMS have not been successful in improving symptoms of depression. 

There are all sorts of natural remedies and foods that help combat depression. Here are the highlights:

  1. Some people have used red meat to treat depression. 
  2. Sunlight and phototherapy have been used to treat seasonal depression. 
  3. Coffee has been shown to have positive effects on depression. 
  4. Exercise helps combat depression. 
  5. Induced fevers have been used to treat depression. 
  6. Psychostimulants have been used to effectively treat depression 

So let’s pool all the non anti-depressant solutions together. What on earth do they have in common? Red meat, coffee, sunlight, fevers, exercise, and electric and magnetic stimulation. They stress the body or the brain. They stimulate. They stimulate you into action, give you energy to pursue what you’re passionate about. And with that boost, you burn energy, work up an appetite, sleep better, and wake better the next day to do it all over again. 

Why does stimulation help? I think its because stimulating these already overactive brains makes the person physiologically adapt to increasing stress. Remember, brainwaves are in higher frequencies when people are depressed. Basically, if you have to, you’ll find more energy. You’ll adapt to the stimulation, then the stimulation goes away. So the adaptation lowers your resting brain energy. 

So how does our time perception theory tie in? Read my Conservation of Dopamine post. Basically, time perception seems to factor in to every portion of this. What’s counter-intuitive is the fact that to solve the problem, you actually may need to increase stress. 

How does our logic make [and keep] us depressed? If the brain was designed to be happy, what are we doing or not doing to prevent us from being happy? What changed in you? You have been happy before. Your behavior is ruled by your fears. Your fears are based on your logic. When your logic changed, your behavior changed. So just like a computer, you’re responsible for rewriting your code. If you’re anything like me, you may have had faulty logic that was still producing desirable results. I was happy and productive, but for the wrong reasons. Because it was not properly debugged, when stress got to be too much, I broke. Without going into too much detail, my mind was not simple enough. There were filters and lenses that I used to produce desired outputs based on the context of the situation. The problem was that this did not give me a simple code to execute. Everything depended on the situation. The location, the people around, the day of the week, etc. So my mood was dependent on the amount of stress at any given time, and my whole day was spent working on trying to exit the stress. The stress wasn’t the problem though, it was me. My personality depended on the the situation I was in. So I preferred simple situations. One-on-one conversations. Alone time. Because it put my mind at ease. But complex situations were stressful for me because my mood and personality depended on the context of situation.  

So the more complex the code, the more time it takes to execute. Except, you don’t get any more time in real life. So you’re forced to press. You strain and sort through these thoughts, and slow down time so you can function in real time with your filters and lenses. 

How does vision tie in? Based on Bates method, vision issues are evidence of mental strain. So while refraction errors do not necessarily mean anyone is depressed, it could be a risk factor. Mental strain essentially slows down time and produces refractive errors. But glasses do not produce mental strain. They let you see with it.  

Why are more people depressed now than ever before? Our lifestyles, obligations, and phones demand more out of our primitive brains than has ever been demanded of them. We are forced to make more decisions per day than any civilization in human history. So what happens when you have 10,000 decisions to make every day instead of 100? You have to think more. But you have the same amount of precious time. So you cope by stressing your brain. The more you stress it, the more decisions you can make in a day. The slower you perceive time. The further you are from who your were designed to be. 

Sources:

  1. http://ijer.skums.ac.ir/article_23155.html
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/treatment-resistant-depression/art-20044324

Becoming Bipolar

Mood instability is a serious mental illness, characterized by manic highs and deep depression.

What I think is really interesting is the time periods between highs and lows? Because let’s face it: even those with seasonal depression cycle out of it at some point. Then you have those like me who fluctuate between feeling like Einstein and Emily Dickinson, almost daily.

More importantly, our entire model of the brain ignores time. That’s the beauty of it. So there’s really no one that’s any more bipolar than anyone else. Some people just recover much faster from their down times. And some people tumble much deeper and climb much higher than others. If mood instability is literally just oscillations in mental stress, which is a variable we control, we control how fast we come out of it, how bad it gets, and how long we stay in it.

If think about your entire life as rating on a scale from manic to depressed, or, if you think you’re normal, from happy to sad. It’s important not to be defined by your current state, and to know that everyone’s mood fluctuates to some capacity.

Try to be mindful of where you are on the scale at any one moment, so you can start to identify your triggers, and begin to self-regulate.

So yes, I probably am bipolar. But so is everyone else.

Conservation of Dopamine

It’s the neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure [among other things]. Consider for a moment the possibility that we all produce it at the same rate. 

So what would that imply about depressed people?

We’ve shown over and over again how the human brain perceives time. How it controls your sleep, your sunburn, and your height. If we can assume just for a minute that everyone’s brains produce the same amount of dopamine, how would that fit into our theory?

That would mean the most stressed people would constantly be low on dopamine. So those people that are aging the fastest are also the most unhappy.

I think we can agree that stress is the opposite of happiness. So people that are the most stressed are the least happy.  What if we all had the same amount? Could that even be possible? If dopamine is the opposite of stress, the most stressed people would run out of dopamine first.

It’s about time perception. The more stressed you are, the slower time moves for you. And the longer your days, the less dopamine you have at the end.

So if I told you that you had the same amount of dopamine as the person next to you, what would you do differently? If time is relative, and this chemical is produced relative to that perception of time, reduce your stress to increase your happy.

I am Seau

I finally got around to watching the 30-for-30 on Junior Seau last night. As a natural follow up to my posts about concussions and CTE, this was a must. Not to mention the documentary was incredible, and provided great insight to an unbelievable career that met an unfortunate end. 

Junior Seau was the most talented athlete of his family, a hard worker, and freak of nature on the field. He made his presence known in college and moved on to the NFL where he continued to dominate. He imposed his will on NFL offenses for two decades. 

The problem comes off the field. When they get home. This state of mind is a gift for coaches and for teams, but it can be a curse for the individuals, if they don’t know how to properly wield it. It’s paramount that this beast is left on the field. If you bring this home to meet your family, you’ll bring home a void that you will never fill. 

Imagine, if you had the ability to freeze time, but didn’t know it. Once you remove the outlet [football], things really start to go haywire. These guys consume massive amounts of calories and have no problem burning them off in the warrior mindset. But when they retire and make their entrance into the real world, they will have some big adjustments to make. Not only will they need to make some diet changes, but the outlet for this mindset is even more important. Without that, the frame spills into your life. The insatiable, unbreakable beast has no place in your home. Your wife will never be enough. You will never be enough. 

How can I compare myself to such a legend?

Because I know what this feels like. The expectations. The relentless work. The speed. The instincts. I just always assumed that as long as I worked harder than everyone else, I would be successful. So I just constantly pushed myself, for fifteen years. I doubt anyone has logged more time working out in the past two decades than this guy. I know how to push. 

The problem is, though, that I’ve always struggled with relaxation and recovery. I can’t be the best, because I can’t relax. There is always something that I’m working to improve, to learn, to do, so why would I ever just chill? It turns out, that is as important as anything you do. The time that you do nothing. Or for me, just the ability to do nothing. 

I developed an entire personality around my lizard brain. I lived that way for years. The problem is, it makes relationships hard. It makes every thing that makes life worth living, impossible. Life is a slow game, and people that do whatever it is that I did, die early. So I’m trying to learn to settle in. To hang out. To chill. To be content. It’s not easy, because I can pretty easily go down a train of thoughts to convince myself I could be doing something better with my time. Something more productive. But it turns out that life isn’t a race. Or at very least, it isn’t a sprint. 

What you need to know if you’re trying to transition from warrior to settled? 

Know that it’s going to be the hardest thing you ever do. You’re going to be sad and helpless, but it will pass. You were happy before your fame, and you’ll be happy after. Find some way to burn off steam, to tap into that frame of mind that made you special. Do not sit in front of a desk for the next decade. 

Use your gifts. You were made a warrior, so no amount of sitting in front of a screen will change any part of that. Find something you’re passionate about, and pursue it with reckless abandon, the same way you pursued football. 

Your condition is reversible. Your brain is fully capable of the level of happy that you had when you were younger. 

Suicide is not an option.  What’s next may be worse than what you’re going through now. And it may last a whole lot longer. 

Talk to someone. A friend. A counselor. Someone you can completely open up to. Be completely honest, and question your own logic. Doubt your fears. 

Don’t be like me. Don’t be like Seau. Check your abilities at the door. Control your inner beast. Your sanity and longevity depend on it. 

Curing Alzheimer’s

I’m sure you haven’t read it, but a while back we did a logical proof comparing schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. In that post, we logically theorize that schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s are the same disease. And because some people have had remission from Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s should be curable as well.  

Blind people don’t get schizophrenia. Not one recorded case. The question is why?

Why would people who can’t see be immune to this type of crazy? Because they are immune to vision issues. As we’ve mentioned in multiple other posts, mental strain causes refractive errors and is a symptom of brain entropy. Because the blind never see, they never have the able to see incorrectly, in a way that produces mental strain. Left untreated, this strain can lead to sleep problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and all sorts of other things including schizophrenia.

So if blind people don’t get schizophrenia, and schizophrenia is Alzheimer’s, could we cure Alzheimer’s with blindfolds? I don’t think it will be that simple, but essentially…yes. 

And why do I think that it will work?

Comas were used decades ago to cure schizophrenia. There were huge risks, but there was some success. Some people died. The rest got really fat.

Many Alzheimer’s patients go into comas before they die. 

People with Alzheimer’s have more mental strain than any other group of people. They are far enough from their equilibrium, that sleep does not help them any more. Stress has been building on them throughout their lives, and they likely have a wide variety of health issues that start in the mind. We’ve shown how high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, and many others all start with the same sort of mental strain.

The biggest issue I see with inducing blindness [in some manner] as a cure, is that all the medication taken by the individual will skew results. The goal here is to essentially zero out the brain, and that is impossible with drugs in your system. So the less meds the better. 

Twenty-four hours without sight should be enough to gauge results. If you start seeing improvement, continue as needed. If you decide to try this with yourself or a family member, please remember that nothing we’re doing here can do any permanent damage to your eyes or brain. You still have a fully functional brain. You always have.

Check out this study. The shotgun approach actually worked for UCLA. You can read their notes on it. They have no idea why. They had their subjects diet and exercise, go to counseling, and worked on stress management. Here’s why it worked:

Because they finally started addressing some of the major issues at the root of the disease. As they lowered their stress levels and improved their diets, they began to finally move the needle on the patients brains. The major difference not mentioned in this study, keeping these patients from true equilibrium is their eyesight. It’s really just a symptom of brain distortion, but it makes it much harder to stay healthy if you try to operate without your barometer.

There’s never going to be a pill or vaccination to cure Alzheimer’s. The answer lies within you. 

Here’s your Alzheimer’s Protocol:

  1. Go outside
  2. Move
  3. Relax
  4. See better
  5. No meds
  6. Doubt your fears
  7. Do something new
  8. Talk to a counselor
  9. Blindfold yourself

Sources:

  1. https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/from-fever-cure-to-coma-therapy-psychiatric-treatments-through-time/
  2. https://www.brightfocus.org/alzheimers/symptoms-and-stages
  3. https://www.webmd.com/brain/coma-types-causes-treatments-prognosis#3
  4. https://qz.com/977133/a-ucla-study-shows-there-could-be-a-cure-for-alzheimers-disease/

Why Do We Yawn?

People yawn when they are getting tired typically, but why?

The restorative process of sleep lowers the brain entropy by lowering the biological processes and increasing airflow. As the day pushes on, you literally build pressure. For the same reason you get shorter over the course of the day.  You create more disorder in your brain as the day wears on. The yawn is essentially a deep breath that maximizes the airflow and decreases the brains temperature and pressure.

This is why breathing pure oxygen doesn’t eliminate yawning. It doesn’t address the problem.

People also yawn when they are bored. Can we explain this?

If we go back to William Bates’ book on eyesight, boredom actually creates mental strain. And we know that mental strain changes your vision. And we know that vision changes are just a symptom of brain entropy. And your yawn is just a way to counteract all that.

If that’s true, why are yawns contagious? Or are they?

It’s safe to say that they are contagious. But the jury is still out as to why. I was first going to say that it’s a reflex after seeing someone else yawn, but blind people do it too-when they hear someone yawn.

So just like when you see someone drinking, you consciously or subconsciously do a self check to see if you’re thirsty. When you see [or hear] someone yawn, you do a self check regarding the entropy or temperature of your brain. If it’s too hot or chaotic, you yawn.

People with Autism are less likely to yawn contagiously. 

Because that’s what makes them Autistic in the first place. They operate with higher levels of brain entropy. It’s the same reason they they die so much sooner. They are so far from their equilibrium point, that they experience time in a completely different manner. Well not completely,  just shorter. It’s also why they are so much more likely to drown. 

So no, they are probably not going to yawn contagiously. Because they have built an identity around the pressure that the yawn equalizes.

Sources: 

  1. https://kids.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frym.2017.00052
  2. https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/yawn.html
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-we-yawn#see-a-doctor
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3120687
  5. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201403/why-is-yawning-so-contagious
  6. https://www.factretriever.com/autism-facts

 

Concussions Resolve Themselves

Because they are mini-strokes. 

So how in the world are we going to try to relate these two events? It’s simple, if you accept some of my other proofs. But if you don’t, I would just stop reading right here. Here are the prerequisites to understanding this correlation:

What are the symptoms of a mini-stroke?

  • Weakness or numbness in your arms and/or legs, usually on one side of the body
  • Dysphasia (difficulty speaking)
  • Dizziness
  • Vision changes
  • Tingling (paresthesias)
  • Abnormal taste and/or smells
  • Confusion
  • Loss of balance
  • Altered consciousness and/or passing out

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Appearing dazed
  • Fatigue

What are the causes of a mini-stroke?

  • Blood pressure readings higher than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg)
  • Cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart defects, heart infection or abnormal heart rhythm
  • Personal or family history of stroke, heart attack or transient ischemic attack.

Other factors associated with a higher risk of stroke include:

  • Age —People age 55 or older have a higher risk of stroke than do younger people.
  • Race — African-Americans have a higher risk of stroke than do people of other races.
  • Sex — Men have a higher risk of stroke than women. Women are usually older when they have strokes, and they’re more likely to die of strokes than are men.
  • Hormones — use of birth control pills or hormone therapies that include estrogen, as well as increased estrogen levels from pregnancy and childbirth.

We’ve studied almost all of these different causes and can tie them all back to the brain. [The hormones and sleep apnea posts are coming soon.]

Concussion Causes: Impacts to the head

The only symptom that really needs explanation is nausea, and that is a factor of strokes that just seems to not be included in most lists. But then I found this:

A stroke that takes place in the cerebellum can cause coordination and balance problems, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. 

So if you can wrap your head around the prerequisites, I can neatly tie these together. A stroke literally happens when the pressure of your brain gets too high. What happens to the pressure inside a closed sphere if you impact it with something at high speed? Pressure goes up dramatically. The greater the force of the impact, the higher the pressure gets.

So what’s the major take away here? Mini-strokes resolve themselves and do not require any further medical attention. They do not cause any long-term damage. Meaning that concussive blows should resolve themselves within twenty-four hours, and if there are no symptoms, the brain is fine. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.utdallas.edu/research/FAS/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20350113
  3. https://www.utdallas.edu/research/FAS/
  4. https://www.webmd.com/stroke/news/20100415/can-you-recognize-symptoms-of-minor-stroke

Forgetting Amnesia

According to Wikipedia, there are two types anterograde and retrograde amnesia, and many different sub types. Basically you either can’t make new memories, or you can’t remember a particular event or series of events.

Based on our theoretical brain model, every human is capable of making new memories at any time, so what is stopping some people?

For starters, what are the main causes of memory loss?

  1. Sleep Apnea
  2. Stroke
  3. Medications
  4. Nutritional Deficiency
  5. Stress, Anxiety, Depression

Less Common Causes

  1. Head Trauma
  2. Infection
  3. Tumors
  4. Substance abuse

Can we neatly tie all of these together? Yes. Each of these is either a cause or a symptom of brain entropy. Mental strain.  If that sounds ridiculous to you, you have a lot of reading to do. I haven’t even written my posts about strokes and sleep apnea, but I’ll link them back when I finish them. 

So if you are out of your ground state, your memory is worse. Not only your recall of past events but also your process of making new memories.

Think about it, in retrograde amnesia, the subject was in a very stressful situation for a period of time, but now their brain works fine. In anterograde amnesia, the same mental stress is currently acting on the subject preventing them from accumulating new memories. So the only question is: is the stress gone yet? 

To those suffering memory loss, what did you have for breakfast yesterday? What did you do in the past five minutes? Hone in on the gaps in your memory and see if you can identify the stresses that are causing them at any given point. 

  1. https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/5-surprising-causes-memory-loss/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amnesia