Response to Howard Bloom
Re: Complexity and Psychopathology
I appreciated your comments. Sorry for the delay getting back to you...
INCREASE THE IRRITABILITY OF INDIVIDUALS AND DRIVE THEM APART. THIS QUALIFIES AS A TRUE BREAKDOWN OF THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE DECISION UNITS. OTHER RESEARCH DEMONSTRATES THAT THESE CONDITIONS DECREASE THE ABILITY OF INDIVIDUALS TO COMMUNICATE AND INCREASE DISCOMMUNICATIVE EMOTIONAL TENSIONS .... absolutely! And a good comparison!
YOU'RE IMPLYING THAT THE INSTABILITY AND CYCLING IS A PRODUCT OF A BREAKDOWN IN COMMUNICATION BETWEEN NEURAL MECHANISMS AND AN INCREASE IN THEIR DISCOMMUNICATION. ... absolutely! My gut and soul resonate with the notion that our most difficult clinical challenges relate to "impulsive" or poorly modulated response sequences .... affect is too labile, cognitions are too extreme, the variability of the system is large even though the mean response may not be all that different from normal.
JOHN SKOYLES' OBSERVATION THAT THE HYPOTHALAMUS INITIALLY EVOLVED AS PART OF THE SMELL MECHANISM OF EARLY MAMMALS FORCED TO LIVE A NIGHT LIFE, AND HENCE TO SNIFF THEIR WAY THROUGH THEIR TERRITORY, USING SCENT TO BUILD A MENTAL MAP OF ITS GEOGRAPHY. LATER THIS GEOGRAPHIC MAPPING WAS BORROWED FOR ANOTHER PURPOSE -- CATEGORIZING INPUT TO BE PLACED IN MEMORY, POSITIONING EMOTIONAL AND SENSE DATA INTO A COHERENT MENTAL MAP. WHEN WE LOSE THE COHERENCE OF OUR MENTAL MAP, THE ONE WHICH GIVES US A CLEAR PICTURE OF WHERE OUR FUTURE, OUR PRESENT, OUR DESIRES, AND OUR NEXT MOVES FIT INTO THE LANDSCAPE OF OUR LIVES, WE LOSE A SENSE OF CONTROL AND ENTER A VIOLENTLY UNCOMFORTABLE CHAOTIC STATE. Anxiety and fear have been shown to cut blood flow to the frontal lobes in humans, a reversible disruption of communication between brain systems. All the inhibitory stuff gets shut off. Behavior becomes more erratic.
THE HIPPOCAMPUS IS CAPABLE OF GENERATING NEW CELLS AND DOES SO AS A MATTER OF COURSE, I WONDER IF GIVING A PATIENT A CAREFULLY GRADUATED SERIES OF TASKS WHOSE CONSTRUCTION NEARLY GUARANTEES THAT HE OR SHE WILL TRIUMPH OVER ALL OF THEM, THUS REGAINING THE SENSE OF CONTROL, WOULD REVERSE THE HIPPOCAMPAL DEGENERATION.
Don't know about hippocampal degeneration. Graded practice ought to establish new links between the erratic nuclei and surrounding, less labile neural clusters whether in the hippocampus or not.
EXERCISE IS A GREAT WAY TO GIVE AN INDIVIDUAL AN EASY SENSE OF CONTROL.
Yes! Meditation, sitting with a friend, thinking of favorite times ... all might work through increasing the connection between a labile cluster and areas of some greater stability.
A PERSON'S POSITION WITHIN A SOCIAL WEB HAS A HUGE IMPACT ON THE NEUROENDOCRINOLOGICAL STATES WHICH EMERGE AS EMOTIONS AND AS PHYSICAL HEALTH I saw a posting on the Applied Ethology list about changes in dominance position changes the need for an SSRI. I need to look at it again. I'm fairly sure that several of my clients respond differently to an SSRI as a function of season and other factors in their lives such as a promotion or finding a new relationship.