Depression is a major symptom of an unhappy mind or brain. It can be made of of several symptoms like slowed down but very sad, hopeless thoughts, oversleeping, and lack of motivation. Depression can also consist of an agitated, negative, self-deprecating anger, with insomnia. This means there are actually two kinds of depression. The hopeless sad kind of depression and the agitated burnout kind of depression.
Depression is a valid issue whether it is the cause or effect of messed up neurotransmitters. It tends to shut one down. It is an extreme freeze response in action, as opposed to fight or flight. Deep sad depression can become a bit catatonic in one extreme. Burnout depression can also enter states of delirium when extreme enough. These states are often called ‘psychosis’ and the person may become subject to the schizophrenic label and to belabor the point, it is believed that one will always be psychotic if diagnosed with psychosis, once.
Tranx don’t solve problems that cause fear and or anxiety, only resolving the causes can do that. But that requires a stable lower stress environment so it takes too long, and costs so much, tranx are the best way to go in our culture. Unresolved issues can feed the trank industry, resolved ones won’t. People who can afford a counselor or therapist or psychoanalyst one on one are usually the only ones who can systematically get to the issues underlying the fears, and relieve them just by sharing them out loud- it puts them in perspective. Without stable one-on-one support, tranx are about the only alternative for most people. Perhaps, but I think they should only be given minimally – they are powerful chemicals that affect the brain at least as much as LSD, for instance, yet the proponents of tranx play that down while looking at psychedelic drugs and their use askance without being able to see they are all using powerful agents acting on the brain in ways of which we understand little, yet we rush ahead into it as though it is safe for all..
Depression and the chemical stew that creates it and defaults back to it, is stress-based. Stress is another word for too much adrenalin released over too long a time before a return to baseline. Cortisol rises in stressed people. Stimulation is great, but too much is stress. In turn, stress maintained for too long a time or in too intense a state necessitates a depression state during recovery as it may be described as a state of depletion. (If so, a depletion of what, specifically?)There is a chemical aspect to this. Adrenalin, serotonin, dopamine, corticosteroids are supposedly out of balance in depression. There is a school of thought that depression features an unhappy low in serotonin, but that is too simplistic; this same school of thought thinks too much dopamine causes a schizophrenic episode or a psychotic state, while too little creates symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Since extreme anxiety or fear is palpable in a psychotic person while psychotic, even if there is an overload of dopamine, it is probably all triggered by another chemical, obviously adrenalin. I am sure that depression is usually triggered by some kind of chronic adrenalin overload which causes compensations in a lot more physiology than we currently recognize. A large part of an understanding of how fear affects the various receptors will only confirm that neuroleptics merely chemically force some kind of lower lever of tension, anxiety and fear; they do nothing to help the cause. The chemistry of fear and stress is far more complicated than this. Nevertheless, there is no chemical test to determine depression, one must go by symptoms, yet is appears there are two very chemically different kinds of depression, one of which gets worse on anti-depressants.
Mania and hypomania.
Mania is often first characterized at first by creativity, but when elation gets stuck into racing thoughts, insomnia and the various results of coping with these two symptoms such as substance use and doing things you wouldn’t do if you were not so tired and/or stoned, your creative burn becomes a psychiatric disorder called Bipolar Disorder. Even if most creative people are burning lithium at a greater rate than normal thought, it is OK, if there is sufficient lithium in the diet. So-called hypomania feels good to most people if they are using it to do something; it is never hypomania that brings people to disaster, it is the crash after the creative burn.
It is notable that lithium has been considered good for mania for a couple of millennium and lithium is not a neuroleptic, an antihistamine, or a drug of any kind. It is a trace mineral like zinc or copper. The form in which it is administered by medicine- as lithium carbonate- is some kind of drug company coup. The strange thing is that most people do not consider most mania, a symptom, and it may not be one in itself; it may have to be combined with something else, like delusions to be a problem.
The latest, and best, theory about bipolar disorder is that it is caused by a burnout of lithium esp. When one is thinking hard or creative, one uses lithium up at an accelerated rate if it is not replenished for some reason and the brain runs out, then one is subject to a special kind of agitated depression characterized by racing thoughts and insomnia, the typical depression of manic depression.
It is entirely relieved by lithium, but not by the lithium carbonate psychiatrists use, which is hard to manufacture, and toxic, requiring lifelong monitoring, it it the lithium orotate of the nutritionists. Enough lithium and you do not have the crash- and the creative burn can continue indefinitely or end naturally with the project. This lithium is also good for wiping out the burn-out type of depression. So, Psychiatry’s major problem is really solvable with nutrition. Anyone can compare these two points of view, and it should be obvious that nutrition is the answer for at least one majot brain/mind disorder and actually cures it, so I wonder if psychiatry is actually a legitimate POV from which to experiment on humans with invented chemical compounds.
Though I am not sure this is its final name, this is another valid area of mental health inquiry, though it lacks a long history in the DSM. But this diagnosis has the possibility of becoming the major disorder of our culture and a metaphor for the physical cause of a lot of depression and somatic and/or metaphorical symptoms.
At this point, I think I have reached a workable philosophical basis of so called mental illnesses, as being fear and stress based- which may well send various levels of hormones out of balance in various parts of the brain, but science is still far from getting it 100% right. For instance, nutrition, or lack of it, is not under mainstream investigation as contributory, let alone, causative to healthy mental states.
So my hypothesis is that in sub-psychotic states there is always an excess of fear and stress building up or settling down. Getting to the causes of the stress and fears is the only true way to get past them- if they are just personal fears. Short of that, blowing off steam, or exploding, are the only ways we discharge unmanageable fear.
I may need to correct this understanding in its details, but in general, this is a highly simplified way to look at what we call mental illness and the DSM then names various symptoms in clusters, while overlooking others, and often, due to culture-bound ideas, they call natural reactions to over-optimal stress, “symptoms” and develop a pantheon of symptoms while never actually looking at causes. Well, maybe sometimes causes are seen in “traumatic events” in the life, but never at the chemistry that not only trauma, but prolonged stress, can cause.
Next, I will turn to a discussion and demystification of psychosis as understood in our culture.