Saturday, June 25, 2011

Emptiness inside (1) "Reward deficiency"

People have struggled  for a long time to discover what lies behind addictions of all kinds.  Learned journals and countless articles have attempted to clarify what lies behind  these extraordinary behaviors. One such, that captured my attention right at the start of my research in 2002, was written in 1996 and  is about a "Reward deficiency syndrome". 

That resonated with me, because its clear that addictions are an attempt to fill up the emptiness inside.  Womb twin survivors often mention emptiness, or feeling unsatisfied,  and many of these also say that are addicted to substances or behaviors that damage their health, wealth or well-being.  But these scientific research writers know nothing of the inner feelings of womb twin survivors, so the idea that emerges is some kind of "deficiency in the reward system of the brain". Like so many writers on the subject of addiction, they get so very close, but not close enough......

The REWARD DEFICIENCY article was written by Kenneth Blum, John G.Cull, Eric R. Braverman and David E. Comings

And very complex indeed this idea is. It's all about our genes, it seems..... ( Oh no, not again.....they cry!!!)

In 1990 one of us published with his colleagues a paper suggesting that a specific genetic anomaly was linked to alcoholism (Blum et al. 1990). Unfortunately it was often erroneously reported that they had found the " alcoholism gene," implying that there is a one-to-one relation between a gene and a specific behavior. Such misinterpretations are common-readers may recall accounts of an " obesity gene," or a " personality gene." Needless to say, there is no such thing as a specific gene for alcoholism, obesity or a particular type of personality. However, it would be naive to assert the opposite, that these aspects of human behavior are not associated with any particular genes. Rather the issue at hand is to understand how certain genes and behavioral traits are connected.

In the past five years we have pursued the association between certain genes and various behavioral disorders. In molecular genetics, an association refers to a statistically significant incidence of a genetic variant (an allele) among genetically unrelated individuals with a particular disease or condition, compared to a control population. In the course of our work we discovered that the genetic anomaly previously found to be associated with alcoholism is also found with increased frequency among people with other addictive, compulsive or impulsive disorders. The list is long and remarkable-it comprises alcoholism, substance abuse, smoking, compulsive overeating and obesity, attention-deficit disorder, Tourette's syndrome and pathological gambling.

But how is that related to "reward deficiency?" It's all to do with the "happiness" molecule, dopamine, we are told.  ( Rather long but great pictures..)

But emptiness inside is a spiritual malaise, its a sense of loss and being incomplete and absolutelty familiar to most womb twin survivors.

The trouble with the womb twin survivors hypothesis is that it seems to be a Theory of Everything. It explains so much, and especially addiction!   Its everywhere so it seems to be invisible, hiding in the light.

But we know, don't we? We are womb twin survivors and we know why we feel a sense of emptiness inside.

Do you? It is your genes, or your brain? Or the loss of your twin?

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