Project Homeostasis: Find And Maintain

 

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One thing I’ve always struggled with accepting was labeling Substance abuse as a disease. I live with a user and although I’ve never seen it as a choice, I’ve never fully understood its classification.

My professor tonight related the neurological process of addiction to the evolutionary and neurological process of eating.

Yes, eating. 

brainIn the simplest terms, the act of eating is pleasurable for means of survival. When you eat, your brain rewards you with dopamine, that feel-good neurotransmitter, in the Mesocorticalimbic pathway (MCLP), particularly the Nucleus Accumbens. Because you’re rewarded, you keep going back. That’s what keeps you alive. Your brain and body knows it needs nourishment and it’s not going to count on you to do it right, that’s for sure. So it trains you. Like a dog. 

You think you make your body do what you want? Ha. It makes you do what it wants. It’s pavlovs-dogbeen conditioning you since birth. That’s why it’s better to work with it than against it.

When you’re dehydrated, you feel better after re-hydrating because of the same process. Your body isn’t going to count on you to drink water, it needs to remind you: “hey dipshit, I’m thirsty over here, come on man, give me some water already!”

Assuming you look at the world through a biological lens, this is what goes on. This is not my opinion, I’m just telling you what researchers have found out thus far.  Nothing is ever written in stone.

When a drug has the potential to effect the MCLP, it’s considered to have abuse potential. You know, Benzos, Opiods, Amphetamines, Alcohol.

These facts shifted my mind a bit. If you needed to stop eating because it was harming your body, but you got the feeling of being rewarded each time you did it, would you be able to just stop eating?

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We’ve seen that in many examples on shows like My 600 Lb life. The ones who keep off the weight often don’t struggle with as severe of a food addiction as their counterparts. Some have Gastric Bypass and keep eating and eating and eating.

Here’s a scale for you.

Say there’s a baseline dopamine release: than,

Eating increases dopamine by 150%

Sex increases dopamine by 200%

Cocaine increases dopamine by 300% 

Meth increases dopamine by 1500%

Stew on that.

Addiction is essentially like a compulsion. That’s how my professor explained it. The user continues regardless of risks of consequences. If you live with OCD, you know what I’m talking about. You know about standing in front of that light switch and having to flip it twenty three and a half times before you can step outside of your room. And as much as you want to stop, you can’t.

If you struggle with substance use and I say something horribly out of line, feel free to tell your story in the comments. I’m just jotting what they’re teaching nurses and community counselors these days, for all of your benefits. Maybe it’ll help someone understand the mindset in the people they work with.

He made it clear that the user may at first choose to try the drug, but because the drug then stimulates a high, the reward pathway is also stimulated and suddenly they can’t stop.

But it’s not as if your body doesn’t try and compensate.

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GABA As A Chemical Structure

Tolerance is one way. If you’re an alcoholic for example, the main reason why you are sedated and squirming around in a daze on the floor is because alcohol triggers a serious release of GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid), a neurotransmitter that is rather inhibitory. If you lack this neurotransmitter, you’re probably anxious and wired and an insomniac like me. I don’t know if I lack GABA, but whatever, you get my point.

Well your brain really, really values two things: consciousness and Homeostasis. We’ll focus on the homeostasis part.

Homeostasis means balance. Stability. So if you’re overwhelming it with an inhibitory transmitter, it’s going to start spewing an excitory one at you, like Glutamate. It essentially tries to even itself out. That’s why you have to drink more and more the further you dive into alcoholism, just to get a buzz in your brain; there’s so much Glutamate combating the GABA that you need more and more GABA.

What happens when you stop?

I’m sure every alcoholic has had the shakes and mood swings. But when you’re a severe alcoholic (there’s a spectrum), you’re at risk of experiencing Delrium Tremons (DT) which consists of confusion, hallucinations, or the fatal “sympathetic overdrive” which can advance to cardiovascular collapse. You’ve probably had a seizure or two as well.

Withdrawal for severe alcoholics can result in fatality because of DT’s. Other withdrawals cannot.

imbalance-300x198But Withdrawal from any substance is also your brain’s attempt at homeostasis. When you stop drinking, all that GABA you were once supplying your body with basically crumbles into non-existence. But by now your brain was used to pouring buckets upon buckets of Glutamate on those sedated neurons. Remember, Glutamate is excitory. This imbalance of chemicals is a cause of withdrawal seizures.

You ever hear a doctor explain withdrawal seizures as overactive neurons? Well, that’s what they’re talking about.

I’m not a fan of statistics, they’re about as reliable as my left foot having the ability to spread wings.

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Depending on the research, of course, and the researchers.

However, I tend to agree that those of us with a parent who is an alcoholic and those of us that choose to get shit-face drunk raises our risks of developing the disease.

I call it a disease only because I see the biological and genetic development of it much clearer. No one asks for an addiction just as no one asks for heart disease.

suicide-burger-burger-king-secret-menuEating Burger king fifty times a month (A CONSCIOUS DECISION) may raise someone’s cholesterol and they may develop heart disease (NOT A CONSCIOUS DECISION).

Having a history of alcoholics in your family and going out to the bars five times a week with your friends (A CONSCIOUS DECISION) and passing out behind the dumpster might switch on that little genetic component and get that reward center flowing and they may develop an addiction (NOT A CONSCIOUS DECISION).

Not everyone gets heart disease from Burger King. Not everyone gets addicted to drugs.

He put on the board HEART DISEASE and asked us what the first words were that came to mind. We said a lot of things like smoking and cholesterol and genetics. He asked us what the people around those with heart disease were usually like. We said supportive, understanding.

He put addiction on the board and asked us what the first words were that came to mind. Someone blurted ANGER. We also copied the physical health we listed under heart disease. Someone else said struggle. Someone said environment. He asked us what the people around those with addictions were usually like. We said angry. Disturbed. Misunderstanding. Unsupportive. And a slew of other negative connotations.

Because we’ve got this crazy notion that people choose to be addicts. No one chooses to be an addict. I didn’t have to take this class to know that. I did have to take this class to see why it’s classified as a disease. But even I’m not stupid enough to think someone chooses to stick a fucking needle in their arm on a street corner. 

It’s true, some people refuse help. And if I feel any anger towards that, it’s towards the disease and not the person. A few bad choices damn near doomed their future.

Many suffer comorbid with mental health disorders.

There are reasons for turning to food for comfort and turning to drugs for comfort.

Substance Use might not technically be a “disorder” as much as it is a “disease”, but we’re all in the same boat here.

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Little Jimmy didn’t wake up one day and decide to develop schizophrenia and then the next day rolled out of bed and said “eh, I don’t feel like dealing with schizophrenia today, I’ll just stop”.

Little Suzie didn’t wake up one day and say “I want to spend the rest of my time having manic highs and suicidal depressive lows! Yay!”

Middle-sized Kyle didn’t wake up one day and say “I think I want to be a heroin addict on fifth avenue now, mom”.

One bad decision doesn’t mean they chose to be an addict. Everyone makes bad decisions and most of them we don’t have the consequences of developing a disease because of it. For example, I backed into a wall today because I made a lazy decision to not wipe off my back window so I could see. Now there’s a hairline scratch on my car.

But that’s not going to kill me.

Let The Arguments Begin

biasincident

There are two things I’m going to cover in this post very blatantly and very truthfully:

  1. Culture Biases in the two schools I plan on spending the next five years of my life. 
  2. Addiction.

So Beware.

I’ll start with the first topic because I can be witty and lighthearted but very, very sardonic about it and that’s what I enjoy.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to register for Spring semester and so far the only class I’ve got is math. If you all want to know, I’m planning on transferring to Santa Clara University. I’ve been there a few times and the first time I absolutely hated it. It was small and weird and since I wasn’t yet sold on the idea of going into psychology I completely disregarded it and set my eyes on Stanford. However, Santa Clara has a pretty well off Psychobiology program (for people who are going into Psychiatry in medical school)  and I really liked what they had to offer the more research I did.

So while a community college can save you money, it can sometimes be a pain in the ass trying to satisfy both the community college class standards and the university standards. Right now I’m one class away from my degree at my current college (that fucking psychology research class) and I have five more to complete for Santa Clara.

Two of the categories I need classes in are “Cultures and Ideas” 2 & 3, and “Diversity”.

So I figure, hey, cool, I love taking diverse classes and learning about new classes.

Well, my options?

“Chicano History” and other Chicano related things.

Or:

“American History” and other American related things.

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Where is the cultural diversity in that? Do I look Mexican American?

And here’s where people start calling me racist. I’ll wait for all of you to get it out of your system.

You done?

Good, now shut up and listen to reason for one second. If you have the audacity to claim the only thing diverse between the two schools is Chicano things and American things, then . . . you blind? Someone throw acid in your eyes? Take a crowbar to your face? There are all sorts of Asian histories at my college and not to mentioned my NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE CLASS, WHICH COUNTS FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT SANTA CLARA, and yet the two major categories are Chicano and American? I get it. You’re catering towards the majority population without even knowing the numbers in the census.

You’re so smart.

Damn idiots.

I’m surprised the Middle eastern culture class counts. I’m really, really surprised.

Let me say something crystal clear. I fully understand how difficult it is for children in a home with parents who never had the chance to go to college, who had to risk their lives hauling ass into this dumb country over the Mexican-American border. BUT, here’s the thing: if you’re going to have separate graduations for those students in your fucking high schools, and you’re going to make programs in the college directed only at those students, you’re being a blind racist. You are.

I’ll just say there were an alright amount of black students in my high school. Not many, but enough. Were they ever encouraged to join the college prep class I was? No. In fact, they weren’t even encouraged to go to college or take AP classes. Why was I encouraged? No one knew what the hell I was! I was the only person out of twenty something students in that college prep class who was not of some kind of Latin descent. We watched Latin videos, we discussed Latin/Mexican programs and not once did I feel welcomed. We watched films in Spanish with horrible English subtitles. The Brown Berets came to speak with us to encourage their people. All our guest speakers? Latino/Latina/Mexican talking about hardships growing up as Latino/Latina/Mexican and the lack of education with their parents.

It’s not as if I haven’t felt disregarded as mixed race my entire life at all. No, no, it’s fine, really, ignore me. It’s cool.

I was so rare my English teacher for an honors class had to pull me into the BACK ROOM to make sure I WAS OKAY with READING BOOKS WITH BLACK PEOPLE IN IT.

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At least she cared whether or not I was offended. But the rest of all my advanced class? White as fuck. White and wealthy, college graduate families.

I fucking get it. I do. I really do. But let me tell you something; my dad didn’t even graduate middle school. He was in poverty with seven other children and one mother. My mother didn’t grow up with a lot of money either (but is white and lived in a cheap city in the woods in Michigan) with five other children. My dad’s been drinking since he was 15. My mom dropped out of college and has been working all her life. Other races have issues to, and if you’re going to focus on only one, you’re being racist.

You want to have an ethnic graduation? Cool. Do it for every race in your high school. Want programs geared towards race? Cool, do it for every race in your school.  Or do the smart thing and have one graduation and respect everyone in front of everyone, and have a program that is geared towards everyone. It’s not rocket science. Didn’t these idiots go to college? Must not have been enough classes in DIVERSITY.

Now is the part where people really call me racist. Argue with me in the comment section below.

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The point is, I’m sick of being disrespected. I’m sick of it at home and I’m sick of it in the public eye. Someone from the south wrote into PsychCentral and said her family thinks interracial relationships are a MENTAL DISORDER and asked IF THERE WAS ANY VALIDITY TO THAT STATEMENT.

How far in the pits is the south? Are you guys in the depths of hell? What the fuck?

It’s blatant disrespect. Fuck racism. It’s disrespect.

My dad’s been angry all day and drinking all day. He’s been playing his music and getting in my mom’s face and it pisses me off and I get in the middle of it, I don’t give a shit. That’s DISRESPECT. He was sitting there screaming at us like we’re “making him out to be the bad guy” when we didn’t say shit about him drinking; he’s the one bringing it up, it’s burning in his conscience not ours.

Thinking of commenting  “there’s no use arguing with a drunk”?

Save your comments for my racism, I’m not an idiot, I’ve lived with this since I was born. He comes to us. And we ignore him and he keeps looking for a fight.

I also have a short temper. And I was getting pissed off because my mother just takes it and she works two jobs and gets up early every morning and doesn’t need this. So I told him we weren’t saying anything about him, and he started yelling and so I yelled over him and screamed “You know how many times we’ve saved your life and this is what you do to us?” And it felt good as fuck. It felt so good. And he got really angry then and ran after me and chased me into the bathroom and kept shoving me and I shoved him and he tried to punch me but slipped and fell because he’s drunk as fuck. My mom held him back and I shoved him backwards but submitted. I said okay, I’m not going to touch you, just get out of my face.

And I hate myself for it. I hate submitting. I hate submitting in the job environment, I hate submitting to Comcast and paying $19.95 for decent WiFi for a week, I hate submitting to anxiety, I hate submitting to depression which has oddly eluded me the last month or so. It must be up to something.

There were no marks on me so calling the police was useless. He’s on the lease of the apartment and you know what they’d do? They’d make us leave for the night. Fuck that. That’s just going to fuel his fucking ego.

Anyway:

I.

HATE.

SUBMISSION.

Submission

We’ve been looking at interventionists and we’re giving him two options: get residential treatment or leave. That’s it, that’s all.

It’s worth noting I’ve never hated or disliked my father. I hate his addiction, I hate his drinking. I’ll never forget all the horrible instances we’ve had but I’ll never forget the good ones either. We were always close.

I’ll always be saddened by the fact that his temper has been worse since those Grand Mal seizures forced him to wake up with short term memory loss and I’ll always be saddened by the fact that he did that to himself (he’s not epileptic) and I’ll always be saddened that he’s so stubborn and under the impression he can “do this on his own”. But I think it’s good to be sad and grieve healthily over those things because that means there was at least a few instances of happiness with him. I’m not numb. I just act like it.

Tonight has been another instance in hell. Damn, I just passed by the south, I should have said Hi.

Oh wait, I’m an interracial child and in an interracial relationship, they’ll probably try to lynch me or put me on a cotton plantation.

 

 

 

Rock Bottom

I didn’t go to class this morning.

I have another class in an hour and a half and I don’t think I’ll be making it to that one either.

Last night I felt pretty wired. I couldn’t focus, my thoughts scurried from one thing to another. I didn’t sleep until one thirty and woke up at four am to find my mother standing in the middle of my room wondering whether or not she should wake me up. My father had to go to the hospital after experiencing another suspected TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack; a mini stroke.) He’s had several of these in the past because of his high blood pressure and drinking. Although the TIA subsided by the time the ambulance arrived (as opposed to him trying to open the front door thinking it was the bathroom and then crawling around in circles on the floor) but they took him because I’m sure his blood pressure was in the 200’s, yet another common occurrence. He doesn’t take his medication regularly when he gets into drinking again, that’s one of the main issues.

Anyway, that’s a monthly occurrence in this house hold, I’m just glad I didn’t have to deal with it this time. Usually I’m the one nursing him back after a seizure or calling the ambulance while keeping him from running out into the streets during a TIA or confusion from high blood pressure.

For any addicts out there, he is a prime example of what your body will be like when you’re 56. He’s skinny as hell, rarely eats, has lost the majority of his teeth, has had multiple seizures, enough to destroy his attention span, his mood regulation system, and his short term memory. If you’re having a conversation with him, he’ll forget it’s purpose in thirty seconds. He has high blood pressure, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure. He had a small heart attack about nine years ago, at 47. His eyes are yellow. At one point he was on 13 different medications and fainting every other day. Sometimes he can function, other times he sleeps for days on end. And if a friend offers him a drink (it’s the only way he can get alcohol now) he’ll still take it.

He’s done other drugs in his past, which contributes obviously.

At any rate, my mother left at 4:30 am to go to the hospital. I watched some YouTube videos before I decided I should probably try and get some sleep. So I turned over, faced the wall, and shut my eyes.

I have sleep issues. Not because I wasn’t tired (which is an issue in itself) but because I’ll get stuck in sleep limbo, seeing things that aren’t there, hearing things that aren’t there, and then eventually having some weird ass dream you could probably spend hours interpreting. While I was watching YouTube I kept hearing whispers, incomprehensible ones, of which I am used to and simply brushed off. But when I turned on my side and was balancing between falling asleep and still being awake, I saw these weird flat bugs, like a termite but ten times larger, and some other ants squeezing themselves through the walls in the corner across from my face. They were literally seeping through the wall. I freaked out, turned on my other side, and started watching YouTube again. Then I got paranoid thinking someone was hiding in my closet, a shadow, a demon or some shit (dude I don’t know, my brain is weird) and I freaked out a little more before finally falling asleep.

I had a dream about spiders and ants seeping through all the walls.

I awoke an hour later, pissed off at the world, not tired, and not ready to get back the F I probably got on my Calc test. Okay it was probably a C, maybe a B, but those are both F’s to me.

I wanted to punch the walls and kick down the doors and break the windows and scream and let whatever monster loves to claw so mercilessly at my skull take charge.

Instead, I tried getting ready, I really did. I was telling myself “it’s just class, you can make it through like you always do”.

But I’ve lost a lot of motivation these last two semesters. I’ve considered dropping out. At least until I get myself together. I can’t focus, I can’t guarantee that I can finish any of my work, and I can’t predict my moods. Class is an added stressor I’m not sure my body can take anymore.

I’m sick of faking that I’m alright. That thought kept circulating through my head this morning and I fell into another depression. I still took a shower, I still got myself ready, but I was sitting in my car until 9:18 and my class started at 9:30. It takes at least a half an hour to get to my campus. I just wanted to drive my car off a cliff or speed into another passing car. So I didn’t put the keys in the ignition.

I also couldn’t think straight. My thoughts were all over the place, self-destructive, and uncontrollable. So instead I sat in the car and contacted lifeline.

My boyfriend and my mother found me as a crying mess in my car and my mother asked me if I was okay. I finally, for the first time in my life, told her no.

I hate making people worry about me. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. But I can’t keep this bottled up any longer. I didn’t tell her how suicidal I was, nor did I tell my boyfriend, because I feel like that would scare them more than it scares me. I want them to know that I’m not okay, but I don’t want them to know why.

That’s fucking stupid. Even reading it over, it sounds like a straight up dumbass wrote it.

So I just cried and sat in my car. Went to Rite-Aid with my boyfriend. Chatted with Lifeline. Came home. Laid on my bed for the next four hours and now I’m here, writing about how fucked up I am.

I know I blog about suicide awareness. I talk all these positive things because I don’t want people to experience what I do. I’d rather them get the help, they’re worth it. I’m not and I know that. I’d rather save 100 lives than my own.

That being said, I hope whoever reads this has a wonderful day. You deserve it.

Power To The People

Neurons reaching out to learn
Neurons Reaching Out To Learn. Credit: Dr. Victor Anggono at Queensland Brain Institute

Do you believe in free will?

Or are you more of a deterministic personality?

Do you think you are your neurons or that your neurons are you? Do you think you have a say or would you prefer to be helpless to the scientific process that is “thought”?

Deep questions man, deep questions. Better slip yourself an adderall for this post. Or at least your thinking cap. Maybe adderall is your thinking cap.

Arguably the biggest debate in biological sciences is nature versus nurture and most people meet somewhere in the middle–nature plays a part but you can manipulate it depending on how you live your life. I’d say that’s a fair argument. Exercise, for example, has been known for years to help your body through biological processes. The Lipoprotiens that carry good cholesterol through your blood to your liver where it is needed is increased the more you exercise and the better your diet, which reduces the amount of bad cholesterol that builds up in your arteries. You can never get rid of the bad stuff, so you might as well increase the good stuff, it’s your only hope. Shouldn’t have ate all those Burger King triple cheese bacon Whoppers in your younger years.

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Since When Do Their Burgers Look Half As Good As This?

And now they think they’ve found proof of Alcoholism neurons and anxiety neurons. We’ll go after the addiction first, I think it’s more interesting.

Your neurons change with you, it’s evident. When you’re born there’s millions of millions of them all struggling to see who will live and who will die. It’s like the Hunger Games up there except everyone participates. So I guess it’s not like the Hunger Games. I don’t know, I’ve never read the book. Or seen the movie. Whatever.

Anyway, there’s millions and millions and millions and millions of them (shit, I’m starting to sound like Carl Sagen) and by the time you’re three, half of them are gone. So yes, those younger years are vital. That’s why if you’re tortured when you’re an infant and a toddler, you’re more likely to display Antisocial Personality tendencies. You’ll start killing the dogs and learning how to manipulate and not feeling an ounce of guilt for it because, shit, no one displayed what that’s supposed to be, there is no distinguishable difference between right and wrong, and you didn’t get hugged. Yes, hugging is just as important as teaching your children right from wrong.

I don’t think anyone will argue that drugs change the structure of your brain, even the ones you are prescribed. Anti-psychotics most often change the amount of dopamine in your brain and if you’re taking an anti-psychotic (especially if it’s actually to suppress active psychosis) you already have a sensitivity to dopamine. Anti-psychotics increase that sensitivity by no fault of anyone and when you forget your medication for a day or two or three, what happens? Most often a psychotic episode. It’s not your fault, it’s not the drugs fault, it’s just the way nature responds to our attempt at thwarting it.

Alcohol does kind of the same thing. It even effects the D1 and D2 receptors the same as some anti-psychotics. Have they done extensive research on what damage or benefit anti-psychotics have on these neurons as they’ve done for alcohol? Most likely not (proof of irreversible damage isn’t exactly a good selling point), at least not to the extent they’ve researched these “addiction neurons”.

We all know what a neuron looks like:

Now picture that but mushroom shaped. That’s what alcohol does to your neurons, most likely if you have addiction and alcoholism already in your family. They get excited, start action-potential-ling all over the place, and they want to keep that level of excitement going, so you drink more. They grow more dendrites and have more access to communicate with other neurons. That’s why you now need five drinks instead of two drinks to even get a buzz. Guess what? It even increases your Long-Term memory.

Sound odd? It shouldn’t, not in this context. Because that’s all your memory gains–context based information. You’ll remember the bar’s specific location better than your buddy who has only been there a few times versus your escapade every other night.

Even more interesting is when they introduced an agonist to thwart the neuron’s excitability level directly to the D1 receptor, the poor drunken animals that were so used to getting drunk in this lab with all these strange men and women in white coats standing around, reduced their amount of consumption.

There are still a lot of questions to be answered here: why do some people become addicted and others do not? What kind of genetic sequences are there where some D1 receptors in people’s brains get mushroomed and others do not? But for now, just take the information as it is and know if you have alcoholism in your family, it could be your future.

But it also could not. That’s the catch.

As for my fellow anxiety suffers, including those with PTSD, I see GABA re-uptake-inhibitors in our future. Or at least something with GABA. If you don’t know already, the GABA neurotransmitter has a very tranquilizing effect. These anxiety neurons they found in the central amygdala have receptors for GABA and as soon as the amount of GABA receptors is decreased, the tranquilizing effect is reduced and suddenly you’re both fearful and anxious. Traumatic experiences can cause reduced GABA receptors.

So, are you powerless over your anxiety? Over your addiction? In a sense, yes. But think about it for a moment–you’re not born with these differences, they’re eventually created. You ever see a baby on the curb downing a 40oz?

And if you can create them, or if they can be created (in terms of PTSD), then you can decommission them. If you have alcoholism in your family, don’t go out and get hammered every night; it’s best to stay away from alcohol and benzo’s and painkillers entirely. If you have anxiety, know that you weren’t born with GABA deficient neurons, as much as you feel like you were. Maybe a predisposition to it, genetically, but even genes have on and off switches.

As out of control as you feel, you can manipulate your brain in any way that you please. I think that’s what’s so fascinating about it. Drugs may change the chemicals temporarily, but chemicals don’t always change the shape like we see in alcoholism. Learning, however, does. Changing mindset, does. That’s been proven many times over.

It’s even harder to gain control over your brain when everyone keeps telling you that you have no control.

The second biggest argument in biological sciences, particularly for psychology, is in the relationship between correlation and causation. The decreased brain masses we see in people suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder–are they a result of the onset of the disorder or the result of genetic differences from the moment of birth? A combination? Or are we wrong about everything entirely?

I’d summarize an article on that, but there aren’t many. We haven’t tracked anyone from birth into their adult hood because we can’t predict who will develop schizophrenia or bipolar and who won’t, regardless of their parents mental status.

Making things even more difficult is that fact that no two people with schizophrenia share the exact same symptoms. Similar perhaps, but it’s not as concrete as, say, two people with social anxiety disorder. Schizophrenia is arguably one of the most elusive disorders in the field. In other words, we don’t know jack shit. I think I’ve said that before.

You are simultaneously your brain and not your brain. It’s always going to be a power struggle between the two of you. That’s what makes life, life. You just have to believe it.