virus: Serotonin

Reed Konsler (
Fri, 7 May 1999 12:24:25 -0400

>Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 20:29:53 -0400 (EDT)
>From: (James Veverka)
>Subject: Re: virus: Feet of Clay - A Study
of Gurus

>Aren't alot of emotional disorders a combination of several things? For
>one example, say a deficiency of serotonin re-uptake capabilities, we
>have a person that "feels crummy" all the time. Would not this person
>be fertile ground for destructive ideas/memes? If this same person does
>medication to re-establish normal re-uptake levels and develops a
>positive view and "feels great" his mind is fertile for optimism laden
>memes. So we are faced with evidence that emotional difficulties AND
>stability have certain "PH" for growing ideas. And that biologic
>condition and its genetic backdrop have relevance to ideation. HUH?

I don't think it's been established that people with what you are describing as "emotional disorders" harbor any more or less negative or destructive ideas than "normal" people. Artists, renegades and heretics are all to some extent alienated and eccentric. Identifying someone with low levels of serotonin with destructive ideas is just a scientific veneer covering over an ancient prejudice against the creative thinkers and radicals of society.

As a side note on the science: Depression is associated with low levels of serotonin. Someone with "a deficiency of serotonin re-uptake capabilities" would have a lot of serotonin floating in their synapses (becuase it's being released but not reabsorbed, therefore the concentration goes up)...leading to a continious state of euphoria, not depression. Anti-depression medications you are thinking of are refered to as "serotonin re-uptake inhibitors" which create an artifical "deficiency of serotonin re-uptake capabilities" and thus (it is hoped) balance the low levels of serotonin released by reducing the rate of re-uptake. It's kind of the scientific equivalent of a double negative.


  Reed Konsler