Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Passion Project Update #2

For these past 2 weeks, I made some insightful progress.  Being the roots of obsession, I did a little research into fear.  Through research in the form of a video and an informal survey, fear can condition others into obsession and/or phobia.  Conditioning can occur through constant repetition of something.  To make someone avoid a "thing", that "thing" will have to be associated with something threatening to a person, and the exposure must take place at a very young age (including infancy).  To me, this makes sense.  As humans, we evolved through the "fight or flight" response causing us to react to threats regardless of age.  However at a very young age, we subconsciously learn that the threat is something we want to avoid for the rest of our existence.  If its something we want to avoid, something we were conditioned to through childhood, we develop an obsession to do something in order to avoid the threat (whether that threat really exists).  Having a nightmare as a child can leave a phobia to haunt someone for the rest of his/her life, and that nightmare could have arisen from anything.  For example, one may have a crippling fear of dogs because this person was exposed to vicious dogs as a child.  And this person may not even realize it.  I think this analysis is fairly accurate; so, I think this was good progress.  For next week, I am anticipating on either looking into obsession not rooted in fear or exploring my own fears.
Also, I dipped into the neuro-chemical aspect of this a little bit.  I came at the concept of proper serotonin balances from how medicine regulates the balances.  I came across SSRI's which slow down the passing of serotonin through synapses.  This treats panic attacks and obsessive behavior through limiting the serotonin that can pass through.  To me, I think this means that obsession occurs in a short burst of serotonin.  To be obsessive calls for the transaction of the neurotransmitter.  This analysis and research seems very accurate, especially based on how it feels for me when I freak out.  For next time, I would like to go deeper into the chemical processes of how SSRI's work and how the neurotransmitter serotonin works in its balances.