Footnote


…I forgot: once I wrote that OCD can be seen as a neurological problem.

I must admit that this observation needs clarifying. Neurological diseases exist without any obvious external cause. And should treatment (surgery, medication) alleviate or remove the problem, then one could say: this successful ‘repair’ has taken away the ’cause’ of the illness (but the cause here means: a certain state of things that can be the end result of previous neurobiological processes, that then would be the causes prior to the ’cause’ just above.

In my earlier post of today, I hinted at environmental events that may be the true causative factors for anxiety and depression.

The chain then would look like: external factors >> getting anxious and stressed (feelings) >> elevated stress hormone in the body (a short-term protective, but long-term harmful response >> depression (associated with altered functioning in various brain regions, e.g. the hippocampus >> alterations in behaviour.

Somewhere in all of this we see lower extrasynaptic serotonin in the brain. In a number of patients these levels can be increased by administering antidepressants; but physical exercise, a well-balanced diet, good human company can also seriously improve one’s mood.

So I think it’s fair to say that low serotonin is not the ultimate cause here, there are earlier factors in the whole chain that can be well identified (and remedied). Whereas in the neurological diseases I mentioned first, the ’cause’ I meant seems to have its own, earlier causes still in the patient’s own biochemistry.

Oh, this is subtle and difficult. Writing things like this, you have to be on guard all of the time, and you can only talk provisionally, conditionally.

I would be ever so glad if anyone out there would respond, and criticism is most welcome.

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