I hope that you are not too bad today and that the following might be interesting to you.
Since we last exchanged messages I have been doing some digging on the neurophysical effects of prolonged severe stress and have found a reputable article which states that:
"The neurophysiological activation seen during acute stress is usually rapid and reversible. When the stressful event is of a sufficient duration, intensity, or frequency, however, these changes are not reversible. Stress induced 'sensitization' occurs-- the neurochemical systems mediating the stress response (e.g., locus coeruleus noradrenergic systems) change, becoming more 'sensitive' to future stressful events. The molecular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are not well understood but likely are related to changes in receptor sensitivity following transiently increased neurotransmitter activity, similar to what is seen in cocaine sensitization"
The full article can be found at:http://www.childtrauma.org/CTAMATERIALS/PTSD_opin6.asp
While the article from a psychiatric source this looks like a physical consequence to me, which has resulted from a prolonged overstimulation of the nervous system. The reference to cocaine is also interesting since it is another way of overstimulating the nervous system and ties in with the other stuff I sent.
So I think this might possibly explain my oversensitivity to stress and what I think is periods of excess adrenaline.
The next questions are the "crashing", head throbbing and post "crash" hangover. From some stuff I have found on pheochromocytoma, high adrenal levels are followed by exhaustion and fatigue so that might be relevant. Which leaves the question of post "crash" hangover. Could this be due to the toxic effects of excess adrenaline?
If this is right I'm not sure where it gets us but it would be good, at least, to have an explanation.
Of course the other explanation would be pheochromocytoma (I have the high blood pressure)but I have been tested for this which was negative. Being my usual difficult self, however, I have not completely ruled it out since only one test was done and I have read that false negatives can be a problem.
All of this neurochemical stuff is really complicated but I think it is key to a lot of psychiatric/neurological illnesses which appear to have many symptoms in common.
Hi, good to talk again. I read the article, plus some more. It wass very interesting. At this point in my life I cannot hope to understand the complexities of all the neurotransmitter stuff. One, because of my illnesses, I can't retain it and second, well the first is good enough.
I can certainly "buy" the state of hypersensitization by the state of extended unrelenting stress. That really is a goood theory behind PTSD. My comments of skepticism to your earlier were in reference to the concept of adrenal exhaustion, but I was picturing that label in it's literal meaning....exhasuted=unable to produce. If, instead, it is a badly named reference to heightened, and inappropriate stress response, then it makes total sense. Certainly there are parallel theories of neurologic conditions in which the cascade of neurotransmitters is inappropriately triggered and causes severe dysfunction. A good example is panic attacks.
I don't remember all of our discussions and, in general am trying to limit the amount of extra reading I do. Do you have the classic flushing (looks and feels like a hot flash) with your episodes?
I suspect you have laready read heavily on the topic, but here is an excellent overview from eMedicine:
I know this does not directly relate to the problems that you are experiencing; however, your interest in the relationship between stress and neurochemical/neuroendocrinological effects also interests me.
I am a psychology student, and I recently had a class called, "The Biological Bases of Behavior." Essentially, we each had to do a research review on a particular psychiatric disorder; my assigned topic was Conduct Disorder.
I found research that suggests that the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis is underactive; specifically, that children with aggressive conduct disorder do not initiate a normal cortisol response to stress (e.g., frustration, provocation), even though they objectively act more frustrated/angry than controls and report more frustration/anger than controls, who do initiate a normal cortisol response. Interactions between the HPA axis and neurochemical systems also seem to be involved.
And here's one link to traumatic experiences. Researchers have come to understand that environmental factors such as maternal harsh parenting and physical abuse can reduce the responsiveness of an infant
OOPS, before "harsh parenting," remove maternal. That was actually supposed to read maternal depression, harsh parenting, etc. And the maternal depression they refer to is related to serious neglect, etc. of the child.
Thanks for the input. That's really interesting and and suggests to me that there is a huge area for research here.
After I made my last post I discovered that my local university hospital had a research department in psychonueroendocrinology so I have e-mailed them to see if I can have a chat.
I don't know much about psychology but this sounds like an interesting time to be a student. My background is in finance and I was lucky enough to be involved in the transformation of the financial markets in the 1980's where new thought was emerging every week.In the UK we called this "big bang".
Following my last post I have had an interesting dialogue with the psychoneuroendocrinology depatment at my local university. They think that "the brain stem and the trauma fit with the symptoms you describe". However the current body of opinion is that the symptoms shouldn't last for more than two months, but they agree there are dissenting opinions. The recomendation is that I should see a neuropsychiatrist which is worth a try.
It seem that an awful lot is still unknown in this relatively new discipline but I am happy with that since the human body is so complex. It was also good to have "real "conversation with a doctor other than Quix.
Have also read the description of the related psychoneuroimmunology on Wikipedia which suggests that stress can also lead to an inflamatory response.
Hope I am on the right lines as I am aware that may be a more orthodox explanation for my symptoms. The problem with medicine each specialist sees things from the perspective of their own speciality so opinions can differ radically.
I'm glad that your conversation with the psychoneuroendocrinology department went well.
I have a couple of quick thoughts. Quite a while back, my son was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri, and we were told that the problem would resolve itself within a few months. But in some cases it doesn't, and in his, it didn't. 1 1/2 years later he got a V-P shunt to lower his ICP. There are always exceptions to the rule. So, just because "the symptoms shouldn't last for more than two months" doesn't rule out the possibility you are considering.
The other thought is that it is not uncommon for there to be an interplay of causal factors that account for a particular disease/disorder. It can be frustrating to try to tease it all apart, and yet, the hope is that understanding the various causal factors ultimately leads to better treatment options. I'm speaking in general, but also thinking about my psychology background in particular (we call it the biopsychosocial model).
Good luck when you see the neuropsychiatrist. And most of all, I hope you are able to find relief from your symptoms!
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