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This starts very early in life. If a baby is startled by a loud noise, his arms and legs will flail. His heart pumps adrenaline, and he cries. This "startle" maps a fight-or-flight response in his cortex, which is mapped through serotonin and cortisol.


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The baby is restored by his mother's holding. Her responsive repair once again re-establishes and maintains his well-being, which is mapped through oxytocin. These ongoing formative experiences of life are mapped into memory in precisely these two basic ways.


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  • These two basic modes underlie the mapping of the entire play into memory. A play written through positive attachment and emotions will promote authenticity and love. One written from trauma can generate a darker narrative and psychiatric symptoms.

    Metaphors of Consciousness | SpringerLink

    A problematic play affects the very sense of self of the child, his self-worth and value. It also warps the quality of relatedness with other people to one of distrust, emotional removal, and anger. It is our individual genetic temperament that determines the form of psychiatric symptoms, whether depression, anxiety, phobias, hyperactivity, obsessions, compulsions, or psychosis. Deprivation and abuse in one individual may generate depression, while a similar trauma in another may generate a phobic state.

    One's temperament is the genetic component in the formation of psychiatric conditions. Repairing the Brain The process of psychotherapy specifically and biologically repairs damage done to the play of consciousness. To introduce how we map our experience and how to effect brain change, I'll use a simple example of neuromuscular learning. This example is about learning to play the guitar. Neuromuscular learning is similar with other musical instruments, sports, dance, or any learned physical activity. What happens in the brain as you learn to play the guitar chord B7?

    It requires total attention to separate your fingers in a precise way in order to hold down the strings within certain frets. When you first attempt it, you can't do it. You have to slowly place each finger on the right fret.

    The muscles don't feel like they could get there, hold the position, or get sound out of the strings. And it hurts. It initially requires seconds to finalize the correct hand position. Each finger needs to be placed individually. As you continue to practice playing B7, it gets a little easier. After a night's sleep, you try it again, and it is still very clumsy. You still need full conscious attention to get your fingers correctly onto the frets. The sound begins to come out better.

    But getting there is still very slow. The chord is not, as yet, usable. After 3 days of working at it, you can finally play the chord. Your fingers don't hurt anymore, and there is better coordination for the hand position. Your hand now operates as a whole unit, without much conscious effort. You no longer have to think about it.

    You have now mastered the chord. You have established a neuromuscular B7 map in your cortex. Let's say you learned the chord using a scrunched-up hand position, and now you want to correct it. In order to do so, you first have to force yourself to stop to using the old hand position. Once again, you have to give full conscious attention to holding your fingers and hand differently.

    On what is the diagnosis based? What are the survival rates? What are the treatment options?

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    Altered state of consciousness

    What are the protocols, and what are the side effects of the drugs? In that sense, one stands outside of the scenario.

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    In the context of abuse, a participant tends toward over emotionalism, impulsivity, loss of control, and boundary- blurring with others. This can lead to borderline personality symptoms. An extreme participant might do well to be more like an observer and pull back and have some perspective. In contrast, an observer, in the context of abuse, tends toward distancing himself, removal, emotional withdrawal, and obsessing.

    This leads to schizoid-like symptoms. In fact, in the extreme, when he separates himself from feeling his anger, he is literally beside himself with anger. We are all participants and observers in our plays. Our primary orientation is just a matter of where on the axis we fall. I have mentioned some of the major symptoms that are generated by our specific genetically determined temperaments.

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    Different combinations of temperament and trauma create the entire fabric of psychiatric nosology: obsessive, compulsive, anxiety, depression, paranoia, panics, phobias, and delusions. People have character behaviors that get them into trouble—drinking, drugs, gambling, eating anorexia, bulimia, overeating, bingeing , sexual perversions, impulsivity, rages, emotional isolation, narcissism, echoism, sadism, masochism, low self-esteem, and psychotic and manic states.

    They may have crises in their lives—divorce, death, loss, illness, rejections, failures, disappointments, traumas of all kinds, and posttraumas. Human suffering does not exist in a vacuum. It flows from our damaged plays of consciousness. Because there are built-in fault lines to every problematic play, the way we break down follows along those fault lines.

    The way a person breaks down reflects the way he is constructed. All psychiatric suffering is the manifestation of something having gone wrong in one's internal play. I will close with an essential word about synaptic neurotransmitters. The very important function of neurotransmitters is to connect the axons and dendrites of neurons in the brain. Neurotransmitters are but a part of the chain of the millions of neurons that map of the brain.

    When a sufficient number of neurons are connected together, it produces symbolic form. It is how human experience is present in our imagination on every level, and connects our inner and outer realities. We are constantly mapping our experience. The issue for psychiatry is about the brain mappings that write our top- down cortical play of consciousness. Neurotransmitters are not just some stand-alone thing. Problematic plays come from sadomasochism mapped by serotonin and other transmitters in the limbic system.

    The synaptic mappings reflect the darkness of the play. It is the prions that keep the story intact. The explanation as to how psychiatric symptoms appear or disappear is not about neurotransmitters themselves. It is about the overall mappings of sadomasochistic plays. Psychotherapy works by deactivating these problematic limbic mappings in the chain of memory. When a problematic mapping is deactivated, these neurotransmitters are no longer operative.