Last night in Abnormal Psychology we learned that in Bipolar, both manic and depressive phases are characterized by low seratonin, but manic has high norepinephrine and depressive has low norepinephrine. I thought that was very interesting, but I suspect there is more too it than that. I thought about the navigation of a plane, how you need lift, thrust, and then attitude and direction controls.
And I thought about how in Physiology we learned about the variety of systems depend on a variety of signals. Our light receptors fire most under conditions of darkness, and what we see is comprised of red, blue, and green reception as well as black and white. Muscles are a blend of slow, fast, and in between fibers. Neurons fire depending on flows of Na+, K+, Ca++ and Cl-. And then we have all these neurotransmitters. Something as basic as the retention or release of water involves an elegant feedback system with several hormones across the cardiovascular and respiratory systems as well the kidneys and digestion. And that’s without getting into the menstrual cycle hormones.
My Ab Psy professor listed all the chromosomes on which markers for Bipolar have been found, but I guess it’s not that surprising. Something I haven’t quite appreciated before is the protective nature of depressed mood. This week I got a rejection from a program I had put a lot of work into applying for, and it’s interesting to observe my lethargy and hunger and wonder what’s adaptive about that. The hunger has a certain logic to it, so I can cope with that. I suppose in life, if something goes wrong and causes pain, it could be adaptive to hunker down and figure out what to do, and to heal. Fortunately/ unfortunately I have to empty a storage space just now, so sitting still hasn’t been an option.
The odds were really long on the PA program anyway. It’s like 1:20 are accepted. Now to try for 1:4 at the nursing program, and if that doesn’t work we’ll try this all again next year.