Mental Health, Brain Health, Automatic Negative Thoughts, Addiction to Negativity, Basal Ganglia, Hippocampus, and Pathways to Healing and Restoration
By: Gabriel Nathaniel Davis MSW, MA
Abstract: The following article highlights understanding of Automatic Negative Thoughts, Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress, Veterans, and the Opioid epidemic. Further, providing hope with pathways to healing and restoration. Additionally, highlighting the need for advocacy for Veteran access to mental health resources, cannabis, psychoactive, and non-psychoactive.
Serve With Purpose
Hi, my name is Gabriel Davis I am a Social Worker and a native San Diegan. I was recruited to fight the War on Terrorism in 2004 at the age of 19 with the Department of Homeland Security. I recognize the U.S Departments of Veteran Affairs as the authority for Veterans in the United States. I also sincerely believe lasting and permanent change for Veterans and Mental Health will need institutionalization with the VA across the United States. My mission is to lead San Diego and America into a new frontier of brain wellness understanding.
Why Most Scientists Limit Their Intelligence on Trauma
Scientists need to upgrade their thinking to include more than stress-related disorders. Most scientists mistaken, misinterpret, or have little understanding of mammalian species and their bodies in general. Often, scientists are inherently wrong on the human bodies’ responses to threats and threatening situations. I know, I have been in the threats. This is how knowledge and science work. We become better and realize our old information is not necessarily wrong, through experience we refine, polish, and put on display the beauty.
Many soldiers are labeled with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is false and incorrect. Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) is a more logical term. In reality, your brain has a Stress Injury (SI). Simple, the brain develops new pathways for stress and stress habit responses. An injury where someone feels overwhelming terror, loss, overloads the hippocampus in such a way you cannot make sense of what’s going on, the brain will store the stress like a Highway Patrol writing you a speeding ticket. You now store the stress memory in your Hippocampus and replay the video and audio with your Basal Ganglia, the thought lop and time control region of the brain. The ticket goes on your record. However, you can to sweet talk the Highway Patrol, tell the truth and take responsibility, dispute the ticket in court, take classes, use an intervention to get the ticket off your record. Importantly, you do not want to incur long term fees to your insurance and other costs. Or, be rich and not care. The same is for trauma. You want to drive fast on the freeway and mitigate any threats to your fun.
If you break a bone you go to the Doctor, the Doctor takes an x-ray and puts a cast on you. Then, about 5-6 weeks later you heal and are often stronger because the osteoblasts become stronger. You are such a great Doctor my arm was broken and is now completely mended. The Doctor gave you support to your body’s capacity to heal. The Doctor assists the healing but does not do the healing. This is a powerful reality most scientists do not understand about the human capacity to heal physical and brain trauma without drugs. The ability to heal correct thinking, share reality with others well, and create a restorative environment free from emotionally toxic stress.
What is trauma? How do you do go through the states of terror, helplessness, and come to peace with loss with complex emotions in trauma? United States leaders have no idea how Stress Injuries impact America, importantly how I care for our San Diegan and world community.
Terror, of seeing killing, killing, blowing up of bombs, how do we reengage our soldiers nervous systems back into normal life with community, family, friends, and children? Working with trauma is seeing the injury and support the innate healing all humans have. Recognize innate resiliency, innate power, innate love, and innate peace. Empower the serenity in your body. Restore serenity and restore peace.
I have healed multiple Stress Injuries. I have actually lost count of how many times I have had to heal my brain and heal my body. During my traumatic brain injury after crashing my bicycle, I damaged myself the greatest I damaged my being in my life. I healed once more my Stress Injury, and a traumatic brain injury. Survivors of terror, survivors of overwhelming emotion, you can heal, and you will heal, if you choose to. I know how to show you the tools that you will use to build your house, create additions, restore your house, renovate your house, and make upgrades.
How to serve our Veterans
In order to steer our Veteran community in a positive direction the Departments of Veteran Affairs needs to endorse scientific controllable studies of cannabis and Stress Injuries. Importantly, harm reduction in relation to Opioid use and Cannabis use, health effects, mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. There is a clear and present danger to our veteran’s mental and physical well-being.
The U.S Departments of Veteran Affairs is aware, “controlled studies have not been conducted to evaluate the safety or effectiveness of medical marijuana for PTSD,” in our U.S. Veteran population.[i] Further, the U.S Departments of Veteran Affairs reports “there has been no study of marijuana use in the overall Veteran population. What we do know comes from looking at data of Veterans using VA health care, who may not be representative of Veterans overall.”[ii] The evidence is clear, we have no evidence. What we do know is Opioids are harmful, and that Cannabis is less harmful, fact.
Further, the U.S Departments of Veteran Affairs reports in 2014 with 40,000 of our Veteran Warriors documented with Stress Injury who prefer cannabis over other medications.[iii] I have seen my Brother Jeromiah suffer from substance use and abuse with meth. He took his own life. Do you really think I, as his little Brother would want to purposefully endanger our community of veterans? As an expert with children and trauma I do believe psychotropic pharmaceuticals are important for regulating schizophrenia and specific bi-polar challenges. Otherwise, we do not have enough scientific evidence to show the benefits of pharmaceuticals over cannabis. I endorse cannabis as superior for harm reduction.
As a scientist I advocate for “common sense”, incorporate, and educate the harm reduction model. Harm reduction uses the scientific method incorporating the stages of change with awareness to one’s emotional and thought production well-being. The stages of change are pre contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, relapse, and start the fuck over. Harm reduction assists in mitigating adverse challenges, consequences, substance use, alcohol, risky behaviors, and risky thinking. The stages of change harm reduction model in my experience of suffering is the most advanced model I experience for reducing my personal pain and suffering. Accordingly, harm reduction encourages emotional safety, healthy perspective on choice making, reduction in thought perseveration, and stress hormones cortisol, management, maintenance, relapse, and socializing techniques.[iv]
Threats the Brain Perceives
The Polyvagal Theory educates humanity on how our nervous system is responsible for multiple defense strategies and the selection strategies the brain uses for threats. Whereby, the brains threat response system responds with mobility flight/flight (verbal or physical), in addition to, immobilization shutdown defense strategy.[v] All of which are non-voluntary response systems. Your nervous system evaluates risk constantly in the waking state, risk assessment to each environment, judgments, discernment, tasks, thought management for synapses to regulate behavior priorities, adaptive, and non-cognitive.
The majority of your visceral organs have neural connections delineating from the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system. [vi] As well, the majority of parasympathetic neural fibers originate from the vagus.[vii] Many scientists have the perception of the vagus as scary, negative, or out of balance. Yes, the vagus can kill, because the vagus is able to create and promote life threatening apnea, and bradycardia, characterized with extreme slowing in heart rate, and breathing cessation.[viii] In my experience within deep states of meditation and prayer I activate vagus channel one without appropriate focus, practice, training, and management of my thoughts. You must surrender the thinking mind to exit out of vagus channel one and into vagus channel two. This is extremely important why you should have a teacher in cognition and emotional intelligence. Someone who has practice in effortful control for relaxation, a process of habit for slowing down the breathing, observing the breath, and using the breath to observe the body. Inappropriate thoughts within states of prayer and meditation will program the brain for these negative pathways. Thought distortions of spiritual concepots arise within the thinking mind state during periods of prayer and meditation. Appropriate pathway development is critical for healthy cortisol stress hormone regulation. Release of thoughts, release of the thinking mind, maintenance of a smooth breath, and awareness of the moment with the presence of now.
Simply, there exist two vagal systems. Vagal system one mediates apnea and bradycardia.[ix] Whereas, vagal system two mediates respiratory sinus arrhythmia.[x] Conclusively, vagal system one is lethal and vagal system two is protective.
The human brain has a command structure like a general with soldiers, a built-in hierarchy of autonomic responses. These autonomic responses evolves from 300 million years of human history and the evolution of the brain. The evolution of the human brain to modernity is Polyvagal Theory.
Conclusively, mammals have two vagal circuits. One of your vagal circuits have no myelination, the same as reptiles, and is 250-300 million years old in our brain development. The common reference for this is the “reptile brain” or “reptilian brain.” These are silly terms yet hold truth in brain evolution and similarities with other creatures on Earth. In addition to, a unique mammalian vagal circuit which contains myelinate.[xi] Importantly, vagal system one and vagal system two originate from different regions on the brainstem.[xii] Pathways of myelinate provide responsive neuron capabilities and promotes efficiency with interwoven response mechanisms.[xiii] Pay attention, autonomic nervous system evolution in vertebrates starts with no myelinate in the vagus. Myelinate is critical for maintaining mental health and well-being because myelinate pathways support mobilizing behaviors.[xiv] Simply, your myelination makes you not a zombie. Zombies activate only vagus channel one.
Let’s break it down. Vagal system one is important when you are at work and need to focus on key tasks and maintain high levels of cognitive energy without human interaction. Prolonging periods of vagal system one causes disease, infirmity, and death. Whereas, vagal system two is our social engagement system. Simply, vagal system two heals the body, heals your cells, heals your brain, your mind, your spirit. Vagal system two is responsive to mirror neurons and empathy. This is why it’s easy to know what your friends or family are thinking, feelings, have a suspicion, hunch, or strong intuition, and you feel psychic. Scientifically, you adapt and advance your brain pathways with this person. Levels of sharing cognition in vagal system two need further research.
So, if your stress response system, vagal system one, or the social surveilleant system activates, you have “5” seconds to choose to activate vagal system two. Vagal system two is your brain pathway to all of your character strengths.
The Future for a Healthy You is Social Bonding
Neuroception is a Polyvagal Theory term.[xv] This is a foundational term every child and person needs to know on the planet. Your brains autonomic nervous system responds to each changing environment in conjunction with physiological shifts which are beyond the ability of conscious awareness or choice.[xvi] The operation of Neuroception is the process of our neuro transmitters adapting constantly through our mirror neurons and stimulus. Our brains are constantly updating our environments for threats, emotional, and physical. You need to learn your bodies’ responses to people and places. You need to learn your bodies’ emotional responses to work, play, exercise, comedy, music, art, and self-reflection. The more you learn how to read your bodies responses the easier you can adapt to reduce stress hormones cortisol or increase your stress hormones. Importantly, you need to observe your body and when you feel uncomfortable, there’s a reason your body feels uncomfortable, and through observation you adapt, you adjust, and you form healthier pathways, healthier habits, and healthier choices.
Neuroception contains three aspects of the nervous system comprising the autonomic state. Important take away is understanding human beings are really special because you have a mammalian social engagement system, the face, and heart. Whereby, through the face and the heart your body regulates defensive emotional and physical mechanisms, through myelinate in vagal system two.
Stage One: A primitive passive feeding and reproduction system creating a metabolic baseline of operation to manage oxygen and nutrient-rich blood.
Stage Two: A more sophisticated set of responses enabling mobility for feeding, defense, and reproduction via limbs & muscles.
Stage Three: A sophisticated set of responses supporting massive cortical development (i.e., enabling maternal bonding (extend protection of vulnerable immature cortex processors) and social cooperation (language and social structures) via facial functions).
Therefore, your brain is looking to maintain a metabolic baseline. The baseline includes regulating your cortisol stress hormones. In stage one if your cortisol hormones are out of balance you cannot move onto stage two. If your stage two cortisol hormones are out of balance you cannot move onto stage three. When you achieve stage three Neuroception you are then capable of processing positive feelings, emotions, and positive associations to your physical experience in the environment. Your perception of reality is consequently more positive due to an active Social Engagement System.
Let’s break down reality a little. What you think you see and what you think you feel are completely your choice. You can activate and move through your neural networks to adjust your emotions to alter your physiological response. In life threatening situations or in situations which are extremely precious, you can activate your appropriate neural network.
Your social engagement system is working when able to regulate emotional and physical defenses.[xvii] In addition, your social engagement system will induce emotional affects, you feel calm, you hug people, you look at friends, family, and strangers, and feel good. The vagal system two, the social engagement system, you will observe assists in regulating your joy, feelings of gratitude, humility, grace, humor, and empathy. Whereas, human defense systems in the brain are priority when threats increase.[xviii] Vagal system one, the sympathetic nervous system responds to emotional and physical danger, taking the driver’s seat in the human brain and putting you in the passenger seat of your mind. Consequently, metabolic motor activity for fight/flight.[xix] Further, if you do not feel emotionally safe your brain will enter into stage one of the emotional response. Thus, your brain will bypass your myelinate vagal circuit, and freeze your perception of reality shutting your conscious mind down.[xx] This is why you may not recall a significant experience of trauma because your brain shuts down your conscious mind to save your life.
Importantly, this is how I am aware of my Stress Injury and other psychological affects and mental health challenges. I have experienced freeze, flight, and flight thousands of times. I have mastery of awareness of my vagal systems, I am extremely aware of them because of killing myself, attempting to kill myself, and perseverating on death and destruction. I have learned to develop new skills and abilities in order to not kill myself, harm myself, or harm others. I have healed my brain, I have healed my body, and I have healed my spirit. I am whole. You have the ability, you have the neuroplasticity in your brain, and you will have the tools.
I have experienced that when my Post-Traumatic Stress is triggered and I do not use appropriate coping skills or interventions for my mental health and wellness I will enter into other “disorders,” or uncommon viewpoints, or shared reality. In addition, to other personality disorders, those disorders compound into another disorder. I have experienced multiple forms of psychosis and multiple personality challenges without any substances in my life. I have purposefully allowed myself to believe I was a “disorder” and that I was defined by the disorder in order to empathize with those who are stigmatized like my brother. In the dark reality, in the prism of the house of mirrors, the house of portals, the house of the thinking mind I experienced my brother’s death.
I ate vegan, no caffeine, and no cannabis products. I dove deep into my psyche to explore the depths of psychosis and to experience my brother’s pain and suffering. I dove deep into oneness, non-attachment to my ego, non-attachment to my identity, and surrender my being into new modalities of existing. I needed to go to his dark place so I could return from the darkness into the light, and hopefully show others the way.
Science through the Polyvagal Theory reveals neuroception triggers activate the social engagement system. Through the social engagement system your social interactions calm your body, support your health, wellness, personal growth, and restoration.
Yes, you can be restored, you can be healed, and you can learn how to do it for yourself. With the support of others you will heal and feel restoration quicker.
Triggering Stress Injury
The Polyvagal Theory reveals how the sound of a person’s voice can trigger Stress Injury. Simply, the intonation of a voice can trigger your Stress Injury. A voice carries a specific frequency and modulation appropriate enough to trigger Stress Injury. Whereby, “One of the most potent triggers of neuroception is through the use of acoustic features.”[xxi] Simply, your nervous system is responsible for your feelings and physical responses to a particular frequency and modulation. The modulation of acoustic frequencies within this band are responsible for your Stress Injury triggers.[xxii] What’s outrageous is you may have felt your Stress Injury trigger and you have no fucking reason as to why because no one said anything negative. Your trigger was due to intonation of voice, someone’s cell phone in their pocket, or a sound system left on with nothing playing.
Foundational emotional processes integrate the social engagement system. Individuals with Stress Injury pay an “adaptive” price in order to perform social behavior. The pivot point in social engagement and understanding the Polyvagal Theory to Stress Injury. You pay a price in down-regulating your ability to hear low-frequency sounds, which detect predator. For individuals with Stress Injury the social engagement system is compromised.[xxiii]
On the positive side, your Stress Injury increases the brains ability to detect predators.[xxiv] This is an interesting feature for soldiers in active duty with Stress Injury who can perform in combat well. In actuality, the Stress Injury enhances their combat effectiveness, and can be trained and enhanced. Accordingly, you are better capable in observing if someone is walking behind you.[xxv] In addition to hearing low-frequency sounds without capability in understanding.[xxvi]
Combat effectiveness increases in our soldiers with appropriate Stress Injury behaviors whereby, “In potentially dangerous environments, we shift from a safe social engagement system to a surveillant vigilance system.”[xxvii] Further, a shift in neural tone in your middle ear structure enables your ability to hear low-frequency predator sounds.[xxviii] The cost of combat effectiveness in our soldiers creates lifelong challenges and consequences for loved ones. At times you will experience difficulty in hearing and understanding the person you are talking to even though there is no physical threat. The key is to learn to accept this experience when it happens, observe the moment, accept the moment, accept the emotional experience, and surrender the emotional experience like water. When you experience an inability to emotional connect with other people, your friends, your family, your loved ones because of your Stress Injury, it is ok. I have sabotaged many loving relationships because of my inability to be mentally, emotionally, and physically present. I have had physically and mentally beautiful amazing women love me. I had no idea how to receive love. I had no idea how to be love. You always need to focus on moving forward when not experiencing the ability to be emotionally present with others. Start over, and go again, and move forward. Integrate, counting down for presence of mind, countdown to start your brain over, and countdown to move forward. Five, four, three, two, one, start over, go again, and move forward.
Play with the Brain
The landmark ability for friends, family, and community is understanding in safety. Safety, is more than a powerful metaphor because safety represents a physiological state. When you feel safe, your facial tissues neurons are in full regulation, with neural capabilities focusing on the myelinate vagal circuit responsible for play.[xxiv] Dr. Porges describes how, “play requires an ability to mobilize with the sympathetic nervous system and then to downregulate the sympathetic excitation with face-to face social interaction…”[xxv] With your STRESS INJURY you may experience an inability to play. It is completely normal to not experience the ability to play if you have Stress Injury. Importantly, play requires social interaction with other human beings and yes play with animals requires social interaction. In order for play to activate in the brain the social engagement system mobilizes the sympathetic nervous system calming the sympathetic arousal with face-to-face interaction.[xxvi]
Further, play creates homeostasis with the fight/flight defensive behavioral choices. Therefore, play requires constant activation in the brains social engagement system. In order for your play to not move into aggressiveness play requires face-to-face interactions.[xxvii] During exchanges of play you create behavioral reciprocity, the same as the serve and return processes you experience as an infant. Mirroring social behavior involves similar fight/flight behaviors in conjunction with face-to-face interactions.[xxviii] Nearly all mammals on earth experience the social engagement system with mirror neurons. Mirror neurons support the ability you have to see and do as others and empathize with others.
Therefore, play is an important and vital coping mechanism for your Stress Injury. Play is the most pivotal, central, key stone, in order for you to heal and heal others. Regulate your social engagement system with neural exercises activating your mirror neurons in the pre-frontal cortex. Whereby, you regulate your fight/flight behaviors. The quickest path for neural activation in the pre-frontal cortex is for your mind to be present, in the moment, and play. Play is the quickest path to healing and restoring your being. When you are not present you are unable to look someone in the eyes or connect with another human being on an emotional level. If you are unable to play you will not be able to harmonize your emotions, harmonize your feelings, and harmonize your love.
You can treat your Stress Injury and emotional death as a requirement for safety. Your transformative neural state requires neural exercises in a safe state where you can activate your social engagement system for practice. Foundational neural exercises reduce sympathetic activity.[xxviv] Therefore, play is literally a functional, realistic, scientific, and measureable therapeutic model. You can exercise your neural regulation with song, listening, music, and positive talk between two people or more. Thus, talk therapy is a neural exercise. Importantly, positive talk, goal talk, solutions talk, gratefulness talk, serenity talk, humility talk, sarcasm, and wit in conjunction with emotional reciprocity.
In addition, mitigating and removing low-frequency sounds, use of prose and great intonation within music, and non-directive speech. Directive speech is commanding speech. Directive speech can trigger your Stress Injury. Importantly, do not allow people to treat you and your Stress Injury as comprisable. In reality your Stress Injury is an experience, an expression of a neural state your brain is in. Directive speech is effective, directive speech is efficient, and directive speech is useful in an emergency. However, directive speech should never to be used in a play environment or environment of emotional safety.
In order to assist in mitigating emotional harm to your friends and family due to your Stress Injury, you must work at removing the frequency of your symptoms to make life better for your family. You need to understand your biological state provides multiple platforms for behavior. Thus, if you are in your fight/flight, you are going to be a really boring person to be around, quiet, morose, little to no eye contact, and disengagement from the group. Or you are combative, yelling, shouting, and verbally abusive. For myself, I either enter into a state of suicidal ideation and will kill myself, or dive into addictive work and exercise habits if I reach that vagal system one. I have to activate my personality disorders or my psychosis to save my life and reset my psyche in order to enter into vagal system two. As well, you can become argumentative, combative, oppositional defiant, verbally violent, emotionally violent, and destructive. This why you see barbarians in the world, racism, prejudice, greed, envy, lust, and ignorance. When you experience a biological shutdown you are immune to love, immune to empathy, immune to joy, immune to social interaction, and make a choice to not be a part of the social interaction. Your heart and mind are in darkness and need the light. Vagus channel one is the darkness and vagus channel two is the light.
Yes, you want physiological mindfulness and enable your social engagement in your feelings of darkness. Your physiological mindfulness is in reserve, due to your neuroceptive processes, you need an emotionally safe environment. Feel safe in your body and you will feel safe in your mind. Feel safe in your mind and feel safe in your body. When you feel safe you can feel love, empathy, connection, friendship, and relationships with others. Importantly, when you feel safe you can be present in your breath, when you are present in your breath you are present in reality. When you are present in your breath and present with reality you learn to share reality well with others.
Mindfulness requires emotional safety in order for fight/flight mechanisms to evaluative your environment and determine if engagement is appropriate. Therefore, mindfully treat your Stress Injury as there is no such bad experience, only adaptive responses.
You can only live with your Stress Injury healthily with adaptive responses. Your nervous system is trying to do the right thing and you need to respect what your body is doing. When you respect your body’s responses, you will move from an evaluative state of safety, or an observation state. From an observation state of your emotions and physical body you can travel into mindfulness for presence of emotion and enable self-healing. When you detach yourself from consciousness and are present in an emotional moment this is the self-actualization of the social engagement system and where healing occurs. When the thinking mind rests your body more easily rests. When your thinking mind is resting, when your body is resting, you reduce your cortisol stress hormones, and are able to create pathways of healing and restoration.
When you listen to a voice with a great degree of tonal modulation your nervous system triggers a biological state of safety. Interestingly, listening therapy understands frequency and prosody trigger neural networks enabling human beings to feel safer.[xxxv] The mindful use of your voice is critical to your self-healing. Your friends and family will need to learn how to communicate with you in the appropriate tone, or continue to remain ignorant to your Stress Injury triggers and vulnerability. The intonation is the first safety evaluation your neurons make, you do not have a choice.
You are extremely adaptive. If you come from families where your parents engaged in shouting, domestic violence, depression, emotional chaos, you may have adapted through non engagement, and use of your freeze neurons, to that of fighting or fleeing. When you down regulate your social engagement system in a Stress Injury state you may trigger additional disorders. You are not locked into your Psychological Stress Injury for life, but you can choose to experience your Psychological Stress Injury for life. This is the importance of reducing your Stress Injury triggers and creating a supportive environment with friends and family. As well, not all “disorders” are bad, non-positive, or mal adaptive. If your “disorder” has you experience states of unity with the universe and all matter, energy, vibration, and dissolve your consciousness. That’s cool too.
I will not describe in depth the micro or macro adaptive factors of my mind or “disorders,” Psychological Stress Injuries, yet will reveal the fullest Psychological expansion I know. My psychosis is the abandonment of reality, the abandonment of the thinking mind, the abandonment of the flesh, and the abandonment of the spirit. Dissolution of creation and vibration. This, is complete surrender into vagus channel one, the spiritual, mental, and physical death. The same surrender is used to experience vagus channel two. In order to experience vagus channel two psychosis I surrender the thinking mind, I surrender the stress of the physical body, and I surrender my spirit. The difference is, the direction, the intention, the reason why you choose to surrender. Vagus channel one is death, vagus channel two is life. Vagus channel one is destruction, vagus channel two is creation. Vagus channel one is negative thoughts, vagus channel two is positive thoughts. Vagus channel one is loneliness without hope, vagus channel two is unity, oneness, hope, endurance, and love. Five, four, three, two, one, choose your vagus channel.
Science reveals humans have an endocannabinoid system which responds to cannabis. Conclusively, endocannabinoids and cannabis effect human beings brains. Further, endocannabinoids and cannabis effect Stress Injury neurotransmitters in the brain. Current studies suggest individual’s brains with Stress Injury more easily access cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) synapses in the brain.[xxvi] Current research indicates, cannabis use in brains wired for Stress Injury results in positive short term reduction in symptoms and challenging behaviors.[xxxvii] Logically, continuous use of any substance increases tolerance. Therefore, moderating the brains CB1 receptor synapses is logical.
Cannabis for STRESS INJURY Treatment
The U.S Departments of Veteran Affairs reports “administration of oral CBD has been shown to decrease anxiety in those with and without clinical anxiety.”[xxxviii] Accordingly, our mainstream scientific community has research available for individuals and cannabis use to mitigate social anxiety. Whereas, the U.S Departments of Veteran Affairs does acknowledge the “one open trial of 10 participants with Stress Injury showed THC was safe and well tolerated and resulted in decreases in hyperarousal symptoms.”[xxxviv] However, the U.S Departments of Veteran Affairs does not take any responsibility to meet veteran’s needs in treatment, diagnosis, referral, response, and compassion.
Conclusively, we (America) lack the science and infrastructure to appropriately determine and assess the mental health needs of our veterans. I therefore advocate for access to cbd and other cannabis compounds before approval of the FDA. Your mental health and wellness are more important to me, and we are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Further, I have seen the destruction of opioid use and meth with my brother Jeromiah. Personally, my demon was cocaine. Additionally, I smoked cigarettes, switched from smoking cigarettes to dipping tobacco. I eventually switched to an electronic cigarette and quit tobacco. Then, I quit nicotine once I switched to cannabis. I have been cocaine free for 10 years.
The path is real, the path works, and the path needs further scientific evaluation and understanding.
Innate Primal Force, Wake Your Tiger
You have an innate primal force. The innate primal force you possess is more than mystical, more than spiritual, as well, your strength is scientific.
Efferent, afferent, and parasympathetic fibers all exist within your stomach or the gut. This is why you instinctively feel the gut feeling, gut instinct, intuition, thoughts of clairvoyance, or immediate triggers to your stress response system. In addition to, busting into laughter, exuberance within joy, ecstasy, and exhilaration. Further, you can meditate, pray, or be at a level of self-awareness where you can control the vagus 10th cranial nerve. There is truth to all these statements in one form or another. The truth only comes from your personal experience. I have experienced all these things and hope to provide you an opportunity to experience and master your 10th cranial nerve.
Fear and Immobility Cycle
The fear immobility cycle begins with arousal, into unsuccessful escape, experience of fear and helplessness, immobilization, and back into arousal to continue the process. This is the black hole of trauma, the darkness, the emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual death. I know, I have committed suicide multiple times. Trust me, you do not need to experience my suffering, you can be free. You have 5 seconds to make a decision when the automatic negative thoughts begin. The reason you have 5 seconds is because this is about the time your physiological response occurs within your body, from the root of your spine, up to your brain stem. To continue, once the information hits your brain stem, you have to consciously choose to enter into the pre-frontal cortex to make a logical decision based on your life experiences. The 5 second rule is my experience. I begin 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Blast Off, Presence, Now, Action. This does not mean your going to make the “right” decision, this only means you are going to make the best decision based on all your knowledge you have acquired in your life. You unconscious mind will access your whole brain once you enter into the pre-frontal cortex. Once you are in your whole brain you can channel all your life experience. Importantly, your life experiences of love, joy, laughter, contentment, humility, serenity, stillness, and peace. In this moment of stillness, the moment of no mind, no moment of no thought, your bodies cortisol stress hormones normalize. The no mind is easily observable with the gap in between your breath. At the end of your inhale and at the end of your exhale pause for one second. Observe the no breath. In the no breath observe stillness and observe peace.
Once your stress hormones cortisol normalize for your physiology you experience no mind. In the no mind state you are able to fall asleep. I know this because I chose to suffer years of insomnia. The easiest way you enter into no mind is filling your lowest part of your belly or abdomen. Approximately two inches below your belly button, fill that area up with air. Feel your lower abdomen and lower back expand with air. As a balloon fills up starting from your anus up to your heart, collar bones, chest. With practice you will observe your lower ribs expand with the middle lower back, into the solar plexus, middle back, into your heart and upper back, into your collar bone, feeling full expansion. Likewise, as a balloon can pop you can pull a muscle through strenuous breathing. Start slowly, 3 seconds inhale and a 3 second exhale, then into a 4 second inhale and 4 second exhale. Eventually, as you work deeper into your practice the number is of your choice. Importantly, the ultimate goal is relaxation of the breath, no counting, and only observation of the body. The purpose of counting is to slow the thinking, reduce the number of thinking mind synapses firing, reduce your hippocampus arousal, create a felt sense of safety in your body. Once your body feels safe within your breath the mind will feel safe. The thinking mind will not rest until the breathing is in a relaxing state, in vagus channel two, your mammalian vagus channel. The mammalian channel is the newest part of your brain, only 50 million years old, unlike vagus channel one which is 250-300 plus millions years and contains your ego. Vagus channel two containers your high self.
What is the Ego?
Many humans have spoken of the ego. I am Dr. Strange and I am here to reveal illusions. They are not wrong, I am revealing many pathways of illusion. However, my Dr. Strange ego is uniquely quirky. Existing in multiple dimensions. Therefore, there can be many challenges in understanding the ego without the appropriate awareness and ego practice.
The ego is your sustainer. Sustainer means, go find food and shelter, fuck and reproduce, don’t fuck because your heart hurts, go fuck some more, find a single lover, many lovers, or experience union with marrying yourself and the cosmic source. Find marriage in another who has married their self. Find another being who has mastery of their joy, peace, and contentment as your joy peace and contentment, Boom happy life, happy existence, reincarnate and do over. The ego evolves, adapts, changes, in order to increase the likelihood of you staying alive. When I refer to alive I mean your squishy, gooey, physical non metaphysical, non-spiritual self. I refer to alive as in breath, brain, and pumping heart. The ego will use your genetic profile, will activate your recessive genes, positive and non-positive in order to keep you alive. This is how I am Dr. Strange. My search for healing came out of me, because the healing is always within before without.
The ego is the thinking mind. Let’s keep the ego simple as the thinking mind whether we aware of the thinking mind through self-awareness, emotional intelligence, logic, mindfulness, and perception of the idea you have let go of your thinking mind. Your brain is active even in the no mind existence. Billions of neurons activate in a new way when you surrender the thinking mind. Your brain experiences expansion in your neurotransmitters, develops pathways of ego resiliency, and maintains nourishment of your cortisol stress hormones and the mammalian vagus verve. Once the ego becomes self-aware the ego will adapt to the new awareness and create new ego pathways for healing, restoration, strength, courage, resiliency, and growth.
Dam, what the fuck does that mean? Simply, your breath is a sustainer. The sustainer of your breath is your ego. You rest your ego and develop ego resiliency through the no mind state. The likelihood of me killing you and you killing me is much less likely if we both know how to enter into the no mind state. Further, sex, intimacy, and nourishing subtle energy bodies, simply your hormones, is much easier through the no mind.
Active Defense Responses and Restoration
I have multiple lifetimes of stored trauma including physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. I was beaten, choked, suffocated, and that is all I can remember physically. Emotionally as a child I was told I was a failure, I was not good enough, I was not smart enough, I was not strong enough, I was weak, I was slow, and no one wanted to be my friend because I was not good enough. My mental sufferings came from an overacted hippocampus, thought perseveration, time loops, depression, and isolation. To conclude my child sufferings, I was told I was the anti-Christ by my biological father when I did not behave in whatever psychotic way he was thinking at the time, told me I would not go to heaven, and I was put on this Earth to suffer. Woah, right, that’s super heavy. I am blessed. Because of my sufferings I can reveal and cast aside the illusions of your mind and provide a pathway to free your body from pain and stored trauma.
Engaging the body in healing
The practice of emotional intelligence begins with learning to be present with your thoughts, learning to be present in your feelings, and becoming present in your emotions. Once you have the ability to observe, thinking, feeling, emotions, then you can easily assist your physiology and body for healing and transformation. The process is not 1, 2, 3. The process must be tailored to the individual. The way you will begin to engage in the transformative process begins with your willingness to let go of your knowing of yourself, and let your body, mind, and spirit provide you the healing you need. Healing of your cells comes when your cortisol levels normalize at a resting state. When cortisol hormones reach normalization you will no longer engage in fight or flight, as well as, freeze. You’re able to regenerate cells more quickly through the use of empathy, compassion, and love. Feelings of contentment, in addition, to joy promote cell regeneration and reinforcing of positive pathways in the brain.
Develop your awareness, develop your ability to observe yourself, and acknowledge, take responsibility for your life, for your happiness, and for peace and joy you experience.
Physical Exercise as a Pathway to Healing Trauma
Healing trauma whether physical or mental can begin within the body with a physical practice in micro movements. The process will begin slowly in your body and mind. You will slowly learn to speed up. First, we learn slow, stillness, emptiness, into filling, into expansion, and into new thresholds. Once you enter your threshold you will then start over. You will observe pain and suffering in your body if you attach your thinking mind to your body. If you attach your emotional mind to your body. I you attach your spiritual mind to your body. You experience restoration and healing through non attachment, being present in the breath, using the breath to guide the body, and the body will focus the mind. The mind will free itself within the body. The body will experience goodness, feel restoration, and experience healing.
The micro movements are Kriyas. The Kriyas are repetitive movements. You will learn Kriyas, you will learn repetitive movements within your body. Within the physical practice you exhale your body into the opening, into the muscle, into your tightness, and into your restrictions. You never exhale into a place of pain, you never exhale into a place of suffering. Please do not experience the consequences I have experienced. Exhale into the opening and inhale up. Do not hold yourself in the opening when engaging in Kriya. The Kriyas will allow you to observe your physiological trauma as well as psychological trauma if you hold the posture. Pain is expected, suffering is optional. Pain and suffering are surrendered at the end of each exhale and each inhale. The Kriyas allow you to process your trauma through surrend of the thinking mind with engagement of the mind in the breath. You can breathe through trauma stored in the body and create new neural pathways which speed past, fly over, teleport, and ignore non positive trauma pathways. The Kriyas will heal you if you allow them to. The Kriyas and movements into the body often re-enact the trauma you experienced in your life if stored in the body. Thus, the Kriyas allow you to observe your trauma, and breathe into and out of the trauma, whereby your brain completes the active defense response. This is why you do not hold a posture. The Kriya allows a completion of the fight or flight cycle.
Indeed, there are additional breathing techniques which allow the processing of the freeze response in the brain. The style of breathing I incorporate is Kapalabhati breath, in addition to, Bhastrika breathing, and free breathing. I do engage in many other breathing styles, however, these are my main three healing modalities.
Active Defense Response Makes Trauma Surface in Physical Exercise
When you engage in the Kriyas your trauma will surface. When the trauma surfaces you need to observe your thinking, observe your feelings, observe your emotions, and observe your physiological responses. Through this observation you then accept the trauma, the multiple dimensions of the trauma (physical, emotional, feeling, thinking, spiritual) and you breathe into your trauma. You exhale into the trauma and inhale out of the trauma. These repetitive movements will allow you to develop your emotional intelligence and your mind body connection. The trick is to know you have stored trauma in your body and to use your breathe to surrender the thinking mind of your trauma. Breathe into your body, ignore your Basal Ganglia, ignore your Hippocampus, and reprogram your brain. After you complete a set of Kriya’s you relax, close your eyes, and observe the sensations in your body. The breath, body, mind awareness is a pathway to healing, recovery, strengthening, and endurance.
Observe any thoughts, observe your thinking mind while you practice your kriyas. When your mind presents a thought observe if the thought came up while you were in a particular posture, was the thought, pain or suffering, what the thought joy or happiness, in your hips, pelvis, back, or neck? Surrender the thinking and feeling mind of the body part and release your muscles, release your tension, release your stress, release your trauma, and release your injury.
Observing the sensations in your body is critical for developing your mind body awareness. You need to learn to observe your physiological state to master your vagus channels, autonomic nervous system, parasympathetic, sympathetic systems, in order to release your pain and suffering, release your trauma, and experience more joy, contentment, peace, and stillness of the heart and mind.
Risk of Re-Traumatizing Yourself With Kriyas
Yes, there is a risk of re-traumatizing yourself when you engage in a practice of Kriya’s. You need to commit, your heart and mind to the practice and facing your darkness or your shadow self. Importantly, you need support from a buddy you who can talk to in order to process your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and physiological experience with. Further, if you are spiritual you need a spiritual buddy. When you are able to process your re-traumatization after a Kriya you will be able to more easily regulate your 10th Cranial nerve. Regulating stress and happiness is easier because you are building resiliency pathways in the brain to your Stress Injury. You are becoming stronger. Reworking your traumatic experiences is called renegotiation. You are negotiating with yourself, and you’re telling yourself to become stronger.
Processing of feelings and emotions is critical for regulating your stress hormones cortisol. If you do not process your trauma you will likely maintain high levels of cortisol. The likelihood of entering into a time loop of Automatic Negative Thoughts is exponentially greater. This is why when you process your feelings you must look the other person in the eyes and they must look into your eyes. Once you look one another in the eyes you are able to make the heart and brain connection. Once you engage the eyes, heart, and brain, you are able to cry, laugh, and most importantly, heal. This is how I healed myself. This is how you can heal too.
Further, I also have been hurt in ways I will not show the depths of my darkness, nor show you how I have been the darkness unto others. If you do not process your trauma, with writing, music and singing, painting, and connecting with other humans and receiving their healing love, or engage in the healing others; you will engage in a life without purpose and will sow seeds and cultivate darkness in this world. Your goal becomes to consume. Your patterns of consumption will evolve. Some persons consume negative thoughts, consume depression, and become addicts to the darkness. Individuals who do not want to be darkness and create more suffering unto others as they suffer most often begin to use substances. This is critical why everyone needs to have unconditional love from someone. If a human does not love their self they will suffer, create unhealthy addictive patterns, often use substances, and kill their self, or become chronically ill. There is hope, and I know how to share a pathway to create hope in your brain. You’re hope is in learning to regulate your 10th cranial nerve, vagus channel one and vagus channel two.
Gentler path of healing than Kriyas, breath awareness, body awareness
The gentler easier path to recovery in your emotional and psychological healing involves resting in a body position or posture. While resting in the body position thoughts will arise. Thoughts are positive or non-positive, the thoughts are a time loop of your hippocampus, working to resolves experiences, curiosity, and creativity of your thinking and observing mind. Once, you are in a resting posture, you engage in the 3, 4, 5, second count breathing. I always count down 3, 2, 1, or 4, 3, 2, 1, or 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 etc. The reason I count down is for finality. Plus my ego loves astronauts. To continue, once you are able to rest the thinking mind into the no mind you enter into vagus channel two, into your pre-frontal cortex, you need to enter your pre-frontal cortex in order to engage the no thinking mind, restoration, and healing. Boom, experience healing over and over again. Through the state of the observation of your breath then your body then your mind. You engage the thinking mind with counting in order to count your sheep, your ponies, your spaceships, and experience points. Counting assists you in focusing your thinking mind on one subject, one task, or one priority.
Addiction to Negative Thoughts and a Pathway to Strength
Addiction is a pathway in the brain. The more we develop our neurological pathways the stronger they become. The more challenging the 5 second rule becomes. My brain may be 5 seconds someone else’s may be 4 or less (during my head injury healing anywhere from 8-15 seconds). Thus, the rule depends on the individual, perhaps 10, 11, 12 etc. However many seconds are needed to restore the thoughts to a positive loop.
The practice of interrupting negative thoughts are critical for time loops in addiction. I have overcome the abuse of cocaine, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, ephedrine, and caffeine. As well as, automatic negative thought time loops in reference to my character, my confidence, my intelligence, and other attributes. Importantly, automatic negative thoughts are often illusions of actual measurable reality, a skew in perception, thought distortions, and potentially brain damage or hippocampal damage. In order for me to successfully break my addiction I had to learn about why I wanted to use the substance. I did not understand my motivation for use out of my depression. In order to want to learn how to reduce use the individual will enter into the stages of change.
The stages of change are: 1) pre contemplation 2) contemplation 3) Preparation 4) Action 5) Maintenance and 6) Relapse.
Each stage of change requires developing new neural pathways based on the “5” second rule. When you choose a positive attitude after each negative thought you develop and or reinforce the resiliency pathway to substance use. The resiliency pathway can be turned into an intergalactic highway, freeway, bullet train, fighter jet, bomber, nexus of satellites, spirit animal, Faith, God, Great Spirit, or any other reinforcing mechanism of strength.
Each successful interruption of the automatic negative thought will maintain cleanliness of the highway, build new lanes, make sure reflectors are shiny, paint is new and bright.
How we do this us through harm reduction. We reduce our negative thoughts. If you have 100 negative thoughts a day your goal is then 90 negative thoughts a day. Then 80 negative thoughts a day and keep working down. Let’s say the persons is doing really well and is down to only 20 negative thoughts a day but on number 20 he or she smokes meth or uses heroin. Wow, that’s a victory. What? Yes, that’s a victory. Now, the individual will enter back into the stages of change after relapse. Start over. Now the goal starts over too, in a new place or direction. Perhaps the goals is only 10 negative thoughts a day and to use meth only 10 times a month. If the person use meth only 9 times that month and has only 9 negative thoughts a day, victory!
I hope I’m beginning to make sense. The goal is to always be working to a number of zero with substance abuse, but that goal is honestly not realistic for some persons. I support also reducing the harm of the substance. I choose CBD’s and psychoactive cannabis to meet my psychological needs when I am in a depressive state, or if I do not want to drink beer or alcohol because alcohol is not good for my mental health sometimes. If the individual is using heroin, meth, amphetamines, I recommend strong medical cannabis edibles in conjunction to pure cbd. The individual will need to experiment with dosage. The person is going to need to be in the Action stage of change and is ready for change if they go the path of cannabis. The path is extremely difficult and requires more scientific evidence. However, I have faith and believe in the power of cannabis over synthetic drugs and cannabis replaces my use of other harmful substances. As well, cannabis reduces the volume in my hippocampus therefore, reducing negative neural pathways in the brain such as traumatic childhood memories or other memories of violence.
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