Thursday, February 21, 2013

bipolar disorder chemical imbalance & trauma causation

A left-right brained war for our sense of self?

Is Trauma a hidden casual factor in bipolar disorder symptoms which are expressed through the brain-nervous systems, chemical reactions?

Can a trauma defense of the body be conditioned, perhaps from birth or by habitual postures of avoidance in the skeletal musculature, caused by a long experience of physical & emotional abuse, for example?

Is systems theory now beginning to explain the brain/body/mind better than our older clockwork universe model of simple cause and effect explanations of a chemical imbalance?
What lies beneath our linear thinking of "one thing causes another" as if the body/brain is assembled like a machine? The cutting edge of modern psychotherapy is now returning to Freud's term "unconscious," with better understanding of left & right brain, chemical function. The notion of trauma and subsequent PTSD symptoms, is easily accepted when visualized in terms of one-off terrorizing events like war, rape, sexual and physical abuse, less easily accepted are the similar symptoms caused by emotional abuse, although it is clearly recognized by psychotherapists worldwide. 

Developmental deficits occurring during pre & postnatal experience, are being reexamined to more fully understand what we really mean by the word trauma, at the level of brain-nervous system chemistry. More particularly the impact of non-optimal experience during the crucial early years of life and brain-nervous system maturation. All the new advances in technology has aided neuroscience to more fully appreciate, that the well-balanced human personality literally means a well-balanced internal chemistry. Hence psychiatry's use of the metaphor, a "chemical imbalance" to simplify our general understanding of the experience of mental illness.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bipolar Dis-Ease - Its Trauma Reenactment Urges?

Read the hand - body language & traumatic reenactment urges.
An overwhelming urge is seizing control of my limbs as I walk along the pavement. A large bus is rushing towards me, securing its passage through time just a few centimetres to my left side. I can't believe how strong the physical urge is to step off the pavement and into its path.

In a by now well practiced mindful observation of inner sensations, I let the urge and the moment pass, yet can't really comprehend the reason. For the life of me I can't rationalize this apparent desire for death, this involuntary urge, with an everyday psychological explanation. I'm shocked anew, at the very nature of my own subconscious motivations, and just how powerful they can be.

All the learning, all my recently acquired knowledge about the subconscious stimulation involved in what’s happening to me right now, afford me no conscious control, in terms of prevention that is, with this reenactment of an original trauma. As I continue to drag myself along, feeling all the old familiar sensations of a depressive reaction, I can only take the opportunity to mindfully observe these overwhelmingly negative sensations. The weakness in my legs as I try to walk, a living example of the "freeze" reaction and a urgent desire for collapse.

"Did I set myself up for this," I wonder as I continue along, rehashing the phone conversation and its "shock" affect. Only thirty minutes previously I'd received news that a job application I'd been 95% certain of succeeding in, had gone to another. I'd gone numb with shock as the affable human resources person went through all the appropriate responses, while delivering his bad news. For a good twenty minutes my reaction continued in shock mode as I stayed within my thinking mind, disbelieving of reality as I tried to fend of awareness of its implications. “I’m trapped in poverty now, my stupid desire to understand stuff nobody wants to know about anyway, will be the ruin of me,” I tell myself as the noise of the passing bus recedes.

I try to catch the double-bind though, aware that the thoughts are an avoidance of a felt-sense of what’s actually happening to me. I steal myself to really feel these sensations, as bad as they are, and not think. There’s an instant of sensation awareness that shocks me to the core, a violent collapse, a fall, falling straight down through the pavement in darkened despair, “or is it disappear?” I feel it in the pit of my stomach and my legs have gone to jelly as I struggle to stay with sensation awareness and not think. It happens in flash now, a confusing, crushing, drowning sensation that is instantly gone. Displaced by the automatic urge of my mind, in nature’s kind dissociation trick of “what was that?”

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Family Attachment Affects & Mental Illness. Pt 1

Daniel Bates & Audrey June Lee, my Mom, Dad & my Children
In the language of "affect," facial expressions, speak volumes.
February 2013: February 2013: Exactly 33 years on from my very first episode of euphoric psychosis, and my headline here looks like I'm about to blame & shame my Mom & Dad? Your own "at first glance" impulse, will quiet possibly be to ignore, to skip this post. Stimulated by the power of "affect." Or you may be intrigued, a cognizance, stimulated by an “affect” called "interest-excitement," and a learned word. subconscious “innate” motivations we are barely aware of, and socially encouraged to deny.

After 33 years and a decade of desire, to write about my experience of mental illness from the inside-out. I really should begin at the beginning, my birth experience and the three day labor, both I and my poor old mom endured. A traumatic experience of birth, not a mysterious brain disease, lies at the very heart of my, diagnosed as a bipolar type 1 mental illness, experience. An experience which began in 1980 with a spontaneous attempt to overcome the subconscious motivations of my, negatively "affective" experience of being born. Harshly treated by a less than empathic nursing sister, my mother struggled to give me life, an experience which deeply affected both of us. Physical pain and the psychic injury of continuous distress, were further compounded by a rather brutal forceps delivery, and no touch or sight between mother and child for a week. An experience of pain and stress which created a void between us, which persists to this very day. A void fueled by the subconsciously stimulated nature of "affect," and what all the latest neuroscience research understands as our “affective” experience of life.

“Affect,” as a subconscious experience of our heart-brain-nervous systems, sensory stimulation, (See Affect theory: The word affect, as used in Tomkins theory, specifically refers to the "biological portion of emotion," that is, to "hard-wired, preprogrammed, genetically transmitted mechanisms that exist in each of us" which, when triggered, precipitates a "known pattern of biological events," although it is also acknowledged that, in adults, the affective experience is a result of both the innate mechanism and a "complex matrix of nested and interacting ideo-affective formations.) conditioned my seemingly bipolar motivations, later in life. My diagnosed, bipolar type 1 disorder also known as an "affective disorder", or a disorder of "affect."

Traumatic experience during my birth and isolation and separation form the very source of mother nature's natural healing powers, resulted in an “affective,“ negative, conditioning of my nervous systems. An subconscious injury of overwhelming negative affect, laid the neural foundations for my classic, early adult onset of mental illness. A three day experience of distress/anguish charging a high tolerance, and "subconscious" expectation of negative experience, within my heart-brain-nervous systems. Hence, people like myself experience a self-defeating pattern of negative life-expectation/experience, motivated by the subconscious power of affect, the real "economy" of human motivation. Yet what exactly is an affect, and can it be understood by an average person like me, using the unfamiliar language of neuroscience? And what does this unfamiliar word “affect,” have to do with my diagnosed mental illness and our human sense-of-self? Well, please consider;

Secure Attachment, Affect Regulation & Origins of The Self?