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Monkeys and Prarie Dogs

Posted Aug 23 2008 10:45pm

ScienceDaily is one of my favorite medical news sources on the internet. Yes, believe it or not, I do read important news items. Yesterday they reported on a study conducted by the HealthEmotions Institute and The University of Wisconsin that I found important.

If you are like me, I'm deeply sorry in many ways. Among the many horrible things it means to be like me, it likely also means you suffer from the "Prairie Dog Condition" which is linked to the "Chihuahua Syndrome." The Prairie Dog Condition is that feeling that you are constantly alert. Like waiting for something to happen but not knowing what. Alert, anxious and nervous. BTW, have I ever mentioned "The Mountain Dew Effect?" I'll save that one for another day.

My understanding of the study is the part of the brain called amygdala that regulates emotion and triggers reactions to anxiety such as the "fight or flight" response. Apparently the poor monkeys who were regularly anxious showed that the metabolic activity in their brain registered higher. In addition, their metabolic activity was higher in both secure and threatening situations.

As the article says, "the brain machinery underlying the stress response seems to be always on in these individuals."

I could go on and explain more of what the article says, but I've provided the link above. I highly recommend reading it. I felt it was necessary to bring up to show further my adamant belief that acute depression and anxiety are physical and biological traits that are no different than any other illness a person is born with or may acquire. Depression is not the blues! To me we've reached the point that we no longer need more studies. It's time to take action and figure out what to do. Let's focus now on treatment. Stick wires in my brain for all I care.

What do you think?

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