Is it all about the chemicals of the brain?

Hello everyone.

It’s been a while since i’ve wrote a topic here, for i was very grateful for the help i had back then and tried to help others as well with some of my replies.

Anyway, i’ve felt ill for my whole life (with ruminating thoughts of anguish and purposelessness) and got better with a bit of supplements (you might or might not remember me), which seemed to be the case that i had the absence of some, it’s the only explanation, because it really made me feel better, with the drive to do and try to reach things, etc. That means, clearly, that my brain was working fine, there was no need for medication (i never took any), the substances were fine, cortisol, adrenaline, etc, the whole shebang - no anxiety either.

With that ‘new great feeling’ i had after this ‘work’, i was ecstatic, enjoying things i had never done with a clean mind and things that i had done before became a brand new experience! I could even pay more attention to the books i was reading, seeing things between the lines that i didn’t before, re-read a lot of old classics, anyway, it was great.

How is it when the whole thing calm down? Well, you start thinking again - it does seem like we are ethernally usatisfied, that’s why we think too much… Or maybe we think too much and that’s why we’re ethernally unsatisfied -, but regardless, things get pessimistic again. I can still feel i’m healthy in my mind, i have been taking care of myself a lot, but the hollow of existing, those thoughts that appear out of nowhere and seem to get fixed, they are back. Of course they are not constant as they were before, when it was 24/7, but it started as a few times a week, then more and more, every day, and now it’s coming and going multiple times a day. There is a big effort from me to make them go away, but i suppose you know how it is when thoughts come and claim your whole conscience, it’s not something you can just make disappear.

Now i’m getting worried again. With the substances in my brain supposedly working fine, then maybe the great agony of thinking of our own lives is not chemical at all, but something that some are supposed to do, and to insist on these thoughts until it brings you to hell again. Maybe then, those people who have a distressing existence and fought miserably - and failing for too many decades - were not missing some kind of medication, but that’s who they are, that’s what they are supposed to do: think distressedly. What if that is the truth? How is it one can fight it? Not only fight the thoughts, i mean, but fight the fact of thats who they are!?

I remember back then, at another topic i’ve made, we discussed some buddhism and meditation - which is something i have tried as well, and have done really. But then again, maybe these people who can accept that we are supposed to live a tragedy in our lives (a tragedy in thoughts) are the ones who simply will accept that in a stoic way, with serenity and welcoming it, and other simply won’t, like us, or some of us, who will be trashed by the constant pondering. Maybe it’s not something you can teach, something you can adapt your brain, and we are expected to accept that bad thoughts of meaning and a constant dread will keep unnerving you regardless of your actions or trials.

Isn’t that a terrifying realisation?


Hi there,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Sorry to hear that you just came to such a scary realization; this sounds so overwhelming and frightening.

With that said, I’d like to push back a tad on your thinking (I’m not sure what you’re looking for, so feel free to disregard this if it doesn’t interest you):

  1. You mention not needing any sort of medication or having a chemistry issue because you haven’t needed it in the past. With that said, the brain changes over time and the past doesn’t necessarily dictate the present. In other words, the chemicals still do matter. This isn’t saying that you need any sort of medication – far from that – this is just saying that it’s more complicated than that. (P.S. The brain isn’t just chemicals – electrical impulses also play a large role in its function, and these come from neurons that grow and change over time).
  2. Speaking of neural plasticity (neurons growing and changing with time), the brain changes and grows over time so people aren’t destined for failure/success or happiness/unhappiness. The brain can also find new ways to cope with negative emotions, and therapy can help to build these skills.

This isn’t to say that I don’t understand where your thoughts are coming from; I and countless others have thought about similar things at various points. This is all to say that humans are complicated – really really complicated (with nearly 100 billion neurons). Yes, some people may be happier than others at any given time, but people can still adapt and grow with time and effort (and sometimes a professional helping hand).

Sending much support your way as you work through these difficult thoughts,
<3 Tuna


From: Manni XP

Hi, Going. Thanks for sharing again here.
You seem to have put a lot of thought into this post.
Because I’ve read your other posts talking about European Existentialism, Asian Philosophy, and other cerebral topics, I would like to approach this a bit differently than I do other requests.
First, props on diving into the clarity that you’ve found since starting on the supplements! It’s wonderful to hear that you’ve continued to pursue your interests!
You seem to equate the balance of your neurochemicals with the balance of your mental state. This is a reasonable position regarding the mind/body problem, especially given your success with amino acids. I encourage you to take this further and consider how your diet affects your mood from day to day. I know that if I eat the wrong thing, it can send me spiraling (even with supplements).
Many great thinkers have differing positions on the nature of thought itself. You refer to it as an agony, a necessary suffering for those for whom it brings pain. I would like to acknowledge that. In some cosmologies, such (excessive) suffering is not the necessary Duhkha, but a result of trickery (of indeterminate origin).
Part of the purpose of meditation is to pause (or fully cease) such thoughts entirely, but then there remains the question of what to do with them when they return.
I think that those thoughts ironically sneak up the most during moments of stillness. I also think people are aware of this and have developed a number of means of staving them off. Some exercise. Some engage in creative hobbies. Some attend SWAT meetings!
I would like to suggest keeping a journal as you proceed - it may help you to notice patterns (which may lead to a solution).
I shall continue rooting for you as you navigate the maze of thought.


Thank you for the reply/

On the medication, it’s not that i never needed it, i was prescribed some antidepressants in a very young age by a psychiatrist, i just decided back then that if it’s in my mind, then i should try and work it naturally. It did, partially, the void didn’t leave, but the anxiety decreased substantially.

Now on the brain coping with it: would you agree that coping with very deep negative thoughts is not a satisfying way to live life? It may be a bearable one, one which will keep you from commiting self harm, but enough for fulfillment? I do not believe so, honestly.

I believe to be very introspective, so i do wonder about a lot of what you said, since my teenage years. With those wonderings, one would think adaptation were to be with me already, and with all those people who are not so young and still keep trying to find answers to simply cope. It’s tough to think that we desperately must fight with the universe for an answer to just cope with a void, isn’t it? A great alternative would be for this fight to be on genuine satisfaction, which is the issue i’m trying to describe here.

Well, anyway, thank you very much for the kind words.

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Thank you very much!

This was very insightful, no doubt about that. Specially the part where “the nature of thoughts” could be seen in a different perspective. I’ve thought of it [thoughts] being different, the patterns of inner images and words being different, but the nature of it being different could bring a whole new paradigm, since it’s a very new and fresh idea (for me).

The big wall, though, is to make this rewiring. Say you are eighteen and are feeling your mind to be going on a wrong path, a wrong pattern of ruminations, well, you’re 18, what do you know? This awareness at the young age is very useful, your suffering is something that is not persistent, it’s not something you had to get used to. After your thirties though? Even the thoughts of perspectives changing put the pain as part of it, because it already became part of you, the restlessness will have an effect even on your most optimistic conclusions.
Now, if go into a hypnose period of reading everything i can on the nature of thoughts, i can only hope this will be enough [or not too late] for it to actually change the paradigm, the how to [think].

Again, thank you for the insight!

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Thank you for your response and additional thought! I sincerely appreciate the thought that you are putting into this and your kind reply.

These are some great questions with no easy answers. I do agree that trying to cope day-after-day with prominent negative thoughts wouldn’t be the most satisfying way to live. That would be a bit like getting an abrasion on an arm each day and patching it up with some gauze. Sure, it may work, but it would be a lot nicer if those injuries weren’t there in the first place.

The trick is to find long sleeves (to prevent injury), elbow pads, and even better first aid supplies. Unfortunately, I can’t quite tell you how to do this, but there are ways to mitigate negative emotions, or even experience them less frequently. With that said, they’ll always exist as it’s only natural to feel bad at some points.

If these emotions don’t feel acceptable to you – if it seems like getting scratched on the arm is too painful – then it may be time to go to a doctor who can help to build those skills mentioned in the above paragraph.

Hopefully, one day, it will feel more like life is leading up to fulfillment for you, rather than the lacking existence that you’ve described. I know it’s on and off for me – sometimes I’m fulfilled, and other times I’m miserable. It’s natural for that to come and go, but we can still certainly hope that the fulfillment stays most of the time.

You’re such an insightful, bright individual and I appreciate you for being here and for sharing. Please don’t hesitate to continue reaching out if anything is on your mind.