By Nurse Mark
I remember some of the classes that we took in Nursing School vividly – and no wonder; they were lectures on subjects that were so dense and incomprehensible that we looked forward to them the way one might look forward to having dental work done without freezing. Neuroanatomy and the endocrine system were a couple of my most dreaded subjects – at that time my only hope of surviving and graduating as a Nurse was to memorize enough to pass the exams…
Well, fast-forward thirty years, and I have come to make peace with these and other complicated subjects. That is not to say that I am any kind of expert, but rather that I understand that everyone struggles to understand these subjects about as much as I do.
I actually kind of enjoy the endocrine system – it is the chemical computer of hormones that controls and regulates almost every function of our being.
And neuroanatomy? Well, let’s just say that we have reached a peace since I know how to look stuff up when I need it…
The point here is that even after 30 years of Nursing and being exposed to these two subjects frequently (even daily) they are still complicated – there is nothing simple about either of them even after all these years. How very, terribly complicated and confusing must they be for laypeople?
It is no wonder that modern conventional medicine has done such a good job of making folks demand simple, one-pill solutions to medical problems.
We get questions every day from people who are looking for simple answers to complicated subjects: “Which hormone is making me fat?” “What herb will cure my (insert complaint here)?” “Which neurochemical is responsible for depression?”
Dave recently wrote us. I am guessing that he found some information of interest on our Neurotransmitter information pages.
I tried to write Dave back, but his email was returned to me as “undeliverable” – so here is Dave’s question:
Subject: neurotransmitter imbalance
Message: If a person already has clinical depression does the loss of a loved one affect the same neurochemicals ? I was told it creates a deficit however in which neurochemicals ?
And my answer to Dave:
First, please do not confuse depression with sadness. The loss of a loved one is tragic and can be a terrible sadness, but it not necessarily lead to or exacerbate a depression. One can be depressed and not sad, or sad and not depressed, or both sad and depressed depending on the person and the circumstances.
Secondly, there is no one or two neurotransmitters that we can point to and say "those are the chemicals responsible for depression" – we look for balance in relative amounts of neurotransmitters. Deficits may indeed be a problem, but so also can be relative excesses.
Neurotransmitter testing offers a great deal of valuable information, but must be interpreted very carefully by someone skilled in that assessment.
You may want to consider a Brief Consultation with Dr. Myatt who can help your understanding of this complex subject.
Hope this helps,
Neurotransmitters are just another way of saying “Brain Hormones,” and they are another part of that miraculous, amazing bio-computer that we call the endocrine system. When it comes to questions about neurotransmitters, the very best way to get answers is through a Brief Consultation with Dr. Myatt.
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