Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My theory

Since I wasn't allowed to give voice to my question last night, I figured I'd write about it here so I can get all these "what if" questions out of my head. Hopefully by doing so it will help me to stop ruminating about something that I don't have the answer to.

The bitch was talking about "riding the wave" of emotions that constantly come up every single day. She was explaining how an event happens (can be positive or negative) and our bodies immediately produce adrenaline. We take in information and then take some sort of action. As we relax, our bodies produce beta endorphins. This is something that is taking place constantly throughout the day, but most of the time we're unaware of it happening because it can happen in a nanosecond. If it's a threatening situation, obviously our bodies will produce more adrenaline to get us through it and more beta endorphins to help us relax.

As I was listening to her speak, I thought to myself, she's talking about emotions being controlled by a biological system, so I wanted to ask...

Is it possible, since our body's biological systems are not fool proof, that our body can fail to produce adrenaline or more likely, the beta endorphins?

A prime example of a biological system failure is the diabetic that can't produce insulin properly. For a type I diabetic, they will never be able to produce enough insulin, not even with proper diet and exercise. In fact, eventually they won't be able to produce it at all, if they ever did, and will be insulin dependent their entire lives.

What happens if on a biological level a person doesn't produce enough, or any, of the relaxing beta endorphins? It wouldn't matter how many skills they learned to help regulate their moods, including relaxation techniques, their body would always be in a heightened state of fight or flight. Seems to me it would lead to emotional dysregulation, an inability to tolerate any stress because the body is already constantly on high alert, a continual crashing into suicidal depression once the body can no longer handle the constant tsunami of adrenaline and the need to use any means necessary to get the body to produce other endorphins to make it feel better. In other words, the end result I see in all that is clearly Borderline Personality Disorder.

What if there really is no nature versus nurture in the development of BPD? What if it is simply the diabetes of mental illness? Are people researching this idea? Does any pharma company manufacture synthetic beta endorphins? Obviously I'm not a neuroscientist or neurobiologist so I wouldn't know if my theory is true, but it sure seems to hold some possible merit at the very least.

My daughter was able to follow my thought process on the whole thing and understood where I was going with it. She said that is actually the area of study her boyfriend wants to pursue in college, neurobiology. I would hope someone somewhere in the world is studying this theory, I can't be the only person to have thought of it. If not, I'll have to get the kiddie's boyfriend to begin studying it, possibly as his thesis in college.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The belief that there's some chemical deficiency of some sort that causes Mental illness has been around for a while, and while there is some evidence that a serotonin deficiency is linked with depression, there's no evidence that a under production of beta endorphin's would cause mental illness. Maybe your life would be agnoising, and pleasure would be muted, but not mental illness.

Looking up Beta Endorphin's, I think what the women was saying was bullshit thought. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-endorphin

1:42 AM, July 23, 2009  
Anonymous lili said...

When I say ride the wave I mean it exactly as a surfer does. Going into uncertain waters or handling a smooth entry into the water or braving choppy gray,cold waters. I mean facing walls of high, hard surf and going under and maybe not coming up. I mean fighting for air, gasping, and hopefully being dumped safely back on the sand while vomiting sea water. That woman needs to take a real surfing trip before she attempts to speak again.

10:46 AM, August 08, 2009  

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