Your first time is NOT supposed to hurt
You are NOT supposed to bleed
If you bleed, that is NOT your hymen being ‘popped’, it is a tear due to lack of sexual arousal and natural lubrication.
This is all a MYTH perpetrated by men so they don’t have to make sure you are comfortable and sufficiently aroused enough before you have sex with them. It is an excuse to disregard and hurt you.
I just really want women to know this.
Damn son our uterus stretches like 5x the size and then contracts and pushes a 7 pound baby out of a small tube into life if you think that isn’t metal as fuck get out of my face
YOUR ORGANS THOUGH IM SO SORRY LADIES
damn selfish babies taking up all the space
NAW MAN, LET ME FUCKING TELL YOU ABOUT PREGNANCY AND BABIES, ALRIGHT?
FIRST OF ALL, IT SUCKS DICK. FIRST OFF LET ME GIVE YOU A MOTHERFUCKING RUNDOWN ON WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T EAT OR DRINK WHEN YOU’RE PREGNANT.
- NO UNCOOKED ANYTHING IN FUCKING GENERAL ACTUALLY. AND ESPECIALLY NOT FISH.
- ANYTHING WITH CAFFEINE IN IT, WHICH INCLUDES COFFEE, SODA, CHOCOLATE (THAT’S RIGHT, NO CHOCOLATE), SEVERAL TYPES OF COOKIES AND CANDIES, AND ENERGY DRINKS.
- VEGETABLES AND MEATS THAT ARE RICH IN NITRATES LIKE HOTDOGS, SAUSAGE, LETTUCE, SPINACH AND CELERY.
SO BASICALLY IF YOU’RE USED TO EATING OR DRINKING ANY OF THOSE THINGS YOU BETTER BE PREPARED TO QUIT COLD TURKEY THE SECOND YOU GET PREGNANT.
NOW I’M NOT EVEN DONE. YOU SEE THAT PINK UPSIDE-DOWN TRIANGLE BELOW THE BABY’S HEAD? YEAH? THAT’S YOUR BLADDER. BABIES SQUEEZE DOWN ON THAT LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW AND ONCE YOU HIT THE THIRD TRIMESTER, YOU BASICALLY HAVE AN ELDERLY PERSON’S BLADDER. MY MOTHER TELLS ME SHE HAD TO GO TO THE BATHROOM AT LEAST 6 TIMES A DAY JUST SO SHE WOULDN’T WET HERSELF. ALSO WITH A BABY SQUEEZING’ UP AGAINST YOUR FUCKING INTESTINES LIKE THAT SAY HELLO TO CONSTIPATION NATION, EVERYONE.
SO NOT ONLY DO YOU HAVE THE BLADDER AND BOWELS OF AN OLD PERSON, BUT THAT GROWING HUMAN BEING GROWING OUT OF YOUR GULLET ALSO PUTS A HUUUUGE STRAIN ON YOUR BACK. NOT TO MENTION IT’S A PAIN IN THE FUCKING ASS TO MOVE ANYWHERE, SINCE YOU NEED TO START WALKING LIKE SOMEONE OUT OF A MONTY PYTHON SKIT JUST TO GET AROUND EFFICIENTLY. ALSO THAT ADDED WEIGHT MAKES YOUR FEET ACHE SOMETHING AWFUL. SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
WELL GUESS WHAT. YOU CAN’T TAKE ASPRIN. ABSOLUTELY NO ASPRIN. NO IBUPROFEN, NO NAPROXEN NO NOTHING.
SO NOT ONLY ARE YOU IN PROBABLY THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE YOU WILL EVER BE, BUT YOUR MEDICINE CHOICES ARE EXTREMELY FUCKING LIMITED. (AND NO, I MENTIONED NO CHOCOLATE EITHER.)
DO YOU GUYS NOT REALIZE THAT THE FATE OF SOCIETY AND THE HUMAN RACE IN GENERAL IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT WOMEN MOSTLY CHOOSE TO GET PREGNANT? FOR LITTLE TO NO REWARD?! THE UNITED STATES ONLY GIVES 12 UNPAID WEEKS OF MATERNITY LEAVE ON AVERAGE.
YOU WOULD THINK THAT THE FUCKING PROCESS BY WHICH OUR POPULATION CONTINUES TO GROW WOULD BE FUCKING REWARDED AND CELEBRATED, NOT SWEPT UNDER THE FUCKING RUG LIKE A PIECE OF FUCKING DUST.
Greatest rant ever.
You forgot alcohol. Which really should have been the first thing mentioned…
Well, we just assume alcohol is not on the average every-day consumption list and it’s kinda obvious you can’t drink or smoke or participare in a gang bang once you’re pregnant.
one of those things is not like the other
But it really is terrible that politicians are always throwing around vague ideas like “protecting family values”, and yet they refuse to force business to give mothers paid leave during late pregnancy and the child’s first year or months. You know, literally protecting the mom’s ability to raise her child and family and not lose her job.
There are veeery few countries in the world that don’t mandate paid maternity leave (and there are many that provide paternity leaves as well).
Liberia, Suriname and Papua New Guinea and the United States
All because we’re so terrified of the government interfering with the rights of businesses, we throw away the rights and protection of moms and parents during their most vulnerable time and their child’s most formative months.
Coping Tool Kit/Calm Box/Self-Care Package: It is often helpful for clients to have a central place to keep items that will help them cope, and to prevent regression after termination. I have clients decorate their box and fill it with anything they feel will help to look back on.
- Distractors: When anxiety first starts to build it is sometimes helpful to do a distractor task to keep anxiety at a more manageable level. Examples are fidgets, sensory activities, puzzles, brain teasers, coloring/drawing materials, etc.
- Coping Tools: Include multiple options of coping tools that help manage anxiety (ex. emotional regulation activities, comforting items, meditation/breathing exercises, etc.)
- Reminders of Supports: Photos and letters from family/friends. Encouraging letters from yourself could also be a nice addition.
- Means of Self-Expression: My view is that use of the box for distraction/coping should be followed by some means of self-expression or processing. Suggestions of items to include are a journal, art supplies/sketch book, etc.
- Resource List: Include a list of community resources, referrals, hotline numbers, etc. incase they become necessary.
- Grounding Techniques: Write down a few of your favorite grounding techniques to do when needed. Click here for suggestions.
- Therapy Materials: Interventions, work done in sessions, note from therapist, photos of important sand trays, etc.
- Self-Care: Include self-care items as well as self-care reminders (ex. calendar, self-care goals, etc.)
Does anyone have any other suggestions for what helps you or your clients?
This is such a great idea. When I stop seeing my therapist I will definitely make a box like this. Maybe even do so before then, just to have. Along the lines of grounding techniques, keep some grounding objects in the box. Just anything you can easily hold and feel when you need to stay grounded. Some of my favourite grounding objects include objects that were given to me from people who mean a lot to me. My ex and I went to Lake Superior and she gave me a rock and kept one for her and said now we both have a piece of the lake with each other. I like rocks because they have a rough texture and it’s easy to focus on how the texture feels beneath your finger tips. Really, anything with some sort of texture is amazing. Soft, fuzzy things are also really great.
i’m so happy this set of pictures exists. I’M NOT ALONE!
Every day ):
Congrats, you’re human :))
No but seriously, imagine if you digestive system couldn’t expend to accomodate food? You’d be in terrible pain every time you eat and would have to consume little quantities of liquid all day long to get your nutrition.
I need reminding sometimes.Tvhis is important
It’s so easy for me to forget that this is normal. Hope this is some helpful peace of mind for all you out there stressing over weight loss or weight gain
She’s really working it on the treadmill…
honestly this seems like an awesome way to work out good for you lady
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health are moving closer to a significant milepost in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease: identifying the first signs of decline in the brain.
After years of frustrating failure to stop late-stage Alzheimer’s, it’s essential to find and treat the mild stages, says Sterling Johnson, professor of geriatrics. “We need to identify Alzheimer’s as early as possible, before the really destructive changes take place. Typically, by the time we diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, patients have already lost much of their brain capacity, and it’s difficult or impossible for them to recover.”
The earlier phases, before large numbers of brain cells have been killed, should be more amenable to treatment, Johnson says. Alzheimer’s disease is the largest single cause of dementia. Early symptoms include memory decline, eventually progressing to widespread cognitive and behavioral changes.
In a study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex in December, Johnson, Ozioma Okonkwo in the Department of Geriatrics, and colleagues reported on measurements of brain blood flow in 327 adults. The researchers used an advanced form of MRI to compare blood flow in people with Alzheimer’s, a preliminary stage called mild cognitive impairment, or those who had no symptoms but had a family history of Alzheimer’s.
Reduced blood flow signifies reduced activity in particular parts of the brain, often due to the atrophy of nerve cells. One affected structure, called the hippocampus, is necessary for making new memories. In mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer’s, 40 percent or more of the hippocampus has disappeared.
As expected, the Alzheimer’s patients had lower blood flow in several brain regions linked to memory. People with mild cognitive impairment had a milder version of the same deficits. And people whose mother (but not father) had Alzheimer’s had clear signs of reduced blood flow, even though they lacked symptoms.
Other techniques that can measure blood flow are more costly and require the use of radiation and injecting a drug tracer during the scan, Johnson says. If this non-invasive MRI technique continues to prove itself, it could be a key to detecting Alzheimer’s disease in its early, and hopefully more treatable, phases.
“In the new paper, we showed that the same areas that show up with more established scanning techniques also are identified with this MRI blood flow technique, in people with Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment,” says Johnson. “So this method is valid and reliable, and is now ready to begin deployment in treatment research with people at risk.”
Alternatives to Self Harm
Below is a list of things to do instead of cutting, burning, bruising, or any other form of self harm.
Please keep in mind that unfortunately, not everything on this list will work for everyone. So, if you try something and it doesn’t work for you, don’t get discouraged! Some of these choices are complicated, and you might want to utilize the help of a therapist or trusted friend when undertaking them. Recovery is not a process that can be walked through alone, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Alternatives for when you’re feeling angry or restless:
- Scribble on photos of people in magazines
- Viciously stab an orange
- Throw an apple/pair of socks against the wall
- Have a pillow fight with the wall
- Scream very loudly
- Tear apart newspapers, photos, or magazines
- Go to the gym, dance, exercise
- Listen to music and sing along loudly
- Draw a picture of what is making you angry
- Beat up a stuffed bear
- Pop bubble wrap
- Pop balloons
- Splatter paint
- Scribble on a piece of paper until the whole page is black
- Filling a piece of paper with drawing cross hatches
- Throw darts at a dartboard
- Go for a run
- Write your feelings on paper then rip it up
- Use stress relievers
- Build a fort of pillows and then destroy it
- Throw ice cubes at the bathtub wall, at a tree, etc
- Get out a fine tooth comb and vigorously brush the fur of a stuffed animal (but use gentle vigor)
- Slash an empty plastic soda bottle or a piece of heavy cardboard or an old shirt or sock
- Make a soft cloth doll to represent the things you are angry at; cut and tear it instead of yourself
- Flatten aluminium cans for recycling, seeing how fast you can go
- On a sketch or photo of yourself, mark in red ink what you want to do. Cut and tear the picture
- Break sticks
- Cut up fruits
- Make yourself as comfortable as possible
- Stomp around in heavy shoes
- Play handball or tennis
- Yell at what you are breaking and tell it why you are angry, hurt, upset, etc.
- Buy a cheap plate and decorate it with markers, stickers, cut outs from magazines, words, images, what ever that expresses your pain and sadness and when you’re done, smash it. (Please be careful when doing this)
Alternatives that will give you a sensation (other than pain) without harming yourself:
- Hold ice in your hands, against your arm, or in your mouth
- Run your hands under freezing cold water
- Snap a rubber band or hair band against your wrist
- Clap your hands until it stings
- Wax your legs
- Drink freezing cold water
- Splash your face with cold water
- Put PVA/Elmer’s glue on your hands then peel it off
- Massage where you want to hurt yourself
- Take a hot shower/bath
- Jump up and down to get some sensation in your feet
- Write or paint on yourself
- Arm wrestle with a member of your family
- Take a cold bath
- Bite into a hot pepper or chew a piece of ginger root
- Rub liniment under your nose
- Put tiger balm on the places you want to cut. (Tiger balm is a muscle relaxant cream that induces a tingly sensation. You can find it in most health food stores and vitamin stores.)
Alternatives that will distract you or take up time:
- Say “I’ll self harm in fifteen minutes if I still want to” and keep going for periods of fifteen minutes until the urge fades
- Color your hair
- Count up to ten getting louder until you are screaming
- Sing on the karaoke machine
- Complete something you’ve been putting off
- Take up a new hobby
- Make a cup of tea
- Tell and laugh at jokes
- Play solitaire
- Count up to 500 or 1000
- Surf the net
- Make as many words out of your full name as possible
- Count ceiling tiles or lights
- Search ridiculous things on the web
- Colour coordinate your wardrobe
- Play with toys, such as a slinky
- Go to the park and play on the swings
- Call up an old friend
- Go “people watching”
- Carry safe, rather than sharp, things in your pockets
- Do school work
- Play a musical instrument
- Watch TV or a movie
- Paint your nails
- Alphabetize your CDs or books
- Make origami to occupy your hands
- Doodle on sheets of paper
- Dress up or try on old clothes
- Play computer games or painting programs, such as photoshop
- Write out lyrics to your favorite song
- Play a sport
- Read a book/magazine
- Do a crossword
- Draw a comic strip
- Make a chain link out of paper counting the hours or days you’ve been self harm free using pretty colored paper
- Knit, sew, or make a necklace
- Make ‘scoobies’ - braid pieces of plastic or lace, to keep your hands busy
- Buy a plant and take care of it
- Hunt for things on eBay or Amazon
- Browse the forums
- Go shopping
- Memorize a poem with meaning
- Learn to swear in another language
- Look up words in a dictionary
- Play hide-and-seek with your siblings
- Go outside and watch the clouds roll by
- Plan a party
- Find out if any concerts will be in your area
- Make your own dance routine
- Trace your hand on a piece of paper; on your thumb, write something you like to look at; on your index finger, write something you like to touch; on your middle finger, write your favorite scent; on your ring finger, write something you like the taste of; on your pinky finger, write something you like to listen to; on your palm, write something you like about yourself
- Plan regular activities for your most difficult time of day
- Finish homework before it’s due
- Take a break from mental processing
- Notice black and white thinking
- Get out on your own, get away from the stress
- Go on YouTube
- Make a scrapbook
- Colour in a picture or colouring book.
- Make a phone list of people you can call for support. Allow yourself to use it.
- Pay attention to your breathing (breath slowly, in through your nose and out through your mouth)
- Pay attention to the rhythmic motions of your body (walking, stretching, etc.)
- Learn HALT signals (hungry, angry, lonely, tired)
- Choose a random object, like a paper clip, and try to list 30 different uses for it
- Pick a subject and research it on the web - alternatively, pick something to research and then keep clicking on links, trying to get as far away from the original topic as you can.
- Take a small step towards a goal you have.
Alternatives that are completely bizarre. At the least, you’ll have a laugh:
- Crawl on all fours and bark like a dog or another animal
- Run around outside screaming
- Laugh for no reason whatsoever
- Make funny faces in a mirror
- Without turning orange, self tan
- Pluck your eyebrows
- Put faces on apples, oranges, or other sorts of food
- Go to the zoo and name all of the animals
- Color on the walls
- Blow bubbles
- Pull weeds in the garden
Alternatives for when you’re feeling guilty, sad, or lonely:
- Congratulate yourself on each minute you go without self harming
- Draw or paint
- Look at the sky
- Instead of punishing yourself by self harming, punish yourself by not self harming
- Call a friend and ask for company
- Buy a cuddly toy
- Give someone a hug with a smile
- Put a face mask on
- Watch a favorite TV show or movie
- Eat something ridiculously sweet
- Remember a happy moment and relive it for a while in your head
- Treat yourself to some chocolate
- Try to imagine the future and plan things you want to do
- Look at things that are special to you
- Compliment someone else
- Make sculptures
- Watch fish
- Let yourself cry
- Play with a pet
- Have or give a massage
- Imagine yourself living in a perfect home and describe it in your mind
- If you’re religious, read the bible or pray
- Light a candle and watch the flame (but please be careful)
- Go chat in the chat room
- Allow yourself to cry; crying is a healthy release of emotion
- Accept a gift from a friend
- Carry tokens to remind you of peaceful comforting things/people
- Take a hot bath with bath oil or bubbles
- Curl up under a comforter with hot cocoa and a good book
- Make affirmation tapes inside you that are good, kind, gentle (Sometimes you can do this by writing down the negative thoughts and then physically re-writing them into positive messages)
- Make a tray of special treats and tuck yourself into bed with it and watch TV or read
Alternatives for when you’re feeling panicky or scared:
- “See, hear and feel”-5 things, then 4, then 3 and countdown to one which will make you focus on your surroundings and will calm you down
- Listen to soothing music; have a CD with motivational songs that you can listen to
- Meditate or do yoga
- Name all of your soft toys
- Hug a pillow or soft toy
- Hyper focus on something
- Do a “reality check list” – write down all the things you can list about where you are now (e.g. It is the 9th November 2004, I’m a room and everything is going to be alright)
- With permission, give someone a hug
- Drink herbal tea
- Crunch ice
- Hug a tree
- Go for a walk if it’s safe to do so
- Feel your pulse to prove you’re alive
- Go outside and attempt to catch butterflies or lizards
- Put your feet firmly on the floor
- Accept where you are in the process. Beating yourself up, only makes it worse
- Touch something familiar/safeLeave the room
- Lay on your back in bed comfortably (eyes closed), and breathe in for 4, hold for 2, out for 4, hold for 2. Make sure to fill your belly up with air, not your chest. If your shoulders are going up, keep working on it. When you’re comfortable breathing, put your hand on your belly and rub up and down in time with your breathing. If your mind wanders to other things, move it back to focusing ONLY on the synchronized movement of your hand and breathing.
- Give yourself permission to…. (Keep it safe)
Alternatives that will hopefully make you think twice about harming yourself:
- Think about how you don’t want scars
- Treat yourself nicely
- Remember that you don’t have to hurt yourself just because you’re thinking about self harm
- Create a safe place to go
- Acknowledge that self harm is harmful behavior: say “I want to hurt myself” rather than “I want to cut”
- Repeat to yourself “I don’t deserve to be hurt” even if you don’t believe it
- Remember that you always have the choice not to cut: it’s up to you what you do
- Think about how you may feel guilty after self harming
- Remind yourself that the urge to self harm is impulsive: you will only feel like cutting for short bursts of time
- Avoid temptation
- Get your friends to make you friendship bracelets: wear them around your wrists to remind you of them when you want to cut
- Be with other people
- Make your own list of things to do instead of self harm
- Make a list of your positive character traits
- Be nice to your family, who in return, will hopefully be nice to you
- Put a band-aid on the area where you’d like to self harm
- Recognize and acknowledge the choices you have NOW
- Pay attention to the changes needed to make you feel safe
- Notice “choices” versus “dilemmas”
- Lose the “should-could-have to” words. Try… “What if”
- Kiss the places you want to SH or kiss the places you have healing wounds. It can be a reminder that you care about myself and that you don’t want this
- Choose your way of thinking, try to resist following old thinking patterns
- The Butterfly project- draw a butterfly on the place(s) that you would self harm and if the butterfly fades without self-harming, it means it has lived and flown away, giving a sense of achievement. Whereas if you do self-harm with the butterfly there; you will have to wash it off. If that does happen, you can start again by drawing a new one on. You can name the butterfly after someone you love.
- Write the name of a loved one [a friend, family member, or anyone else who cares about you] and write their name where you want to self harm. When you go to self harm remember how much they care and wouldn’t want you to harm yourself.
- think about what you would say to a friend who was struggling with the same things you are and try to be a good friend to yourself.
- Make a bracelet out duct tape, and put a line on it every day (Or any period of time) you go without self harm. When it’s full of lines, take it off and make a chain out of all the bracelets and hang it up somewhere where you can be reminded of your great progress.
Alternatives that give the illusion of seeing something similar to blood:
- Draw on yourself with a red pen or body paint, or go to a site such as this, where you ‘cut’ the screen (be aware that some users may find this triggering, so view with caution)
- Cover yourself with plasters where you want to cut
- Give yourself a henna or fake tattoo
- Make “wounds” with makeup, like lipstick
- Take a small bottle of liquid red food coloring and warm it slightly by dropping it into a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Uncap the bottle and press its tip against the place you want to cut. Draw the bottle in a cutting motion while squeezing it slightly to let the food color trickle out.
- Draw on the areas you want to cut using ice that you’ve made by dropping six or seven drops of red food color into each of the ice-cube tray wells.
- Paint yourself with red tempera paint.
- ‘Cut’ your skin with nail polish (it feels cold, but it’s hard to get off)
Alternatives to help you sort through your feelings:
- Phone a friend and talk to them
- Make a collage of how you feel
- Negotiate with yourself
- Identify what is hurting so bad that you need to express it in this way
- Write your feelings in a diary
- Free write (Write down whatever you’re thinking at that moment, even if it doesn’t make sense)
- Make lists of everything such as blessings in your life
- Make a notebook of song lyrics that you relate to
- Call a hotline
- Write a letter to someone telling them how you feel (but you don’t have to send it if you decide not to)
- Start a grateful journal where everyday you write down three: good things that happened/ things that you accomplished/ are grateful for/ made you smile. Make sure the journal is strictly for positive things. Then when you feel down you can go back and look at it.
- Bodies Under Siege: Self-Mutilation and Body Modification in Culture and Psychiatry By Armando R. Favazza
- Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers By Karen Conterio
- A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain By Marilee Strong
- Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation By Steven Levekron
- The Scarred Soul: Understanding & Ending Self-Inflicted Violence By Tracy Alderman
- Secret Scars: Uncovering and Understanding the Addiction of Self-Injury By V.J. Turner
- Self Injury: Psychotherapy with People Who Engage in Self-Inflicted Violence By Robin Connors
- Skin Game: A Cutter’s Memoir By Caroline Kettlewell
- Women and Self-Harm: Understanding, Coping, and Healing from Self-Mutilation By Gerrilyn Smith
- Women Living with Self-Injury By Jane Wegscheider Hyman
- Stopping the Pain: A Workbook for Teens Who Cut & Self-Injure
don’t fret it the scale number rises, that doesn’t mean you gained fat
best post ever
It can improve mood too! Sometimes if you’re feeling down or fatigued, you’re really just dehydrated
EPFL scientists have found that childhood trauma leaves a lasting imprint on the brain – a structural change that is related to a predisposition to violence.
It is well known that violent individuals are often themselves the victims of psychological trauma experienced in childhood. Some of these individuals also exhibit alterations in their orbitofrontal cortex. But is there a connection between these physical changes in the brain and a psychologically traumatic childhood? Can one’s experiences modify the physical structure of the brain?
An EPFL team led by Professor Carmen Sandi, member of the National Centers for Competence in Research SYNAPSY, has demonstrated for the first time a correlation between psychological trauma and specific changes in the brain that are related to aggressive behavior. In rats, the experience of pre-adolescent trauma led to aggressive behavior accompanied by structural and functional changes in the brain – the same changes that have been observed in violent human beings. In other words, psychological wounds inflicted in childhood leave a lasting biological trace that persists in the adult brain. The team’s findings have been published in the January 15 edition of the journal Translational Psychiatry.
“This research shows that people exposed to trauma in childhood don’t only suffer psychologically, but their brain also gets altered,” explains Sandi, who is head of EPFL’s Laboratory of Behavioral Genetics and director of the Brain Mind Institute. “This adds an additional dimension to the consequences of abuse, and obviously has scientific, therapeutic and social implications.”
The researchers were able to unravel the biological foundations of violence using a cohort of male rats that were exposed to psychologically stressful situations when young. After observing that these experiences led to aggressive behavior when the rats reached adulthood, they examined what was happening in the animals’ brains to see if the traumatic period had left a lasting mark.
“In a challenging social situation, the orbitofrontal cortex of a healthy individual is activated in order to inhibit aggressive impulses and to maintain normal interactions,” explains Sandi. “But in the rats we studied, we noticed that there was very little activation of the orbitofrontal cortex. This, in turn, reduces their ability to moderate their negative impulses. This reduced activation is accompanied by the overactivation of the amygdala, a region of the brain that’s involved in emotional reactions.” Other researchers who have studied the brains of violent human individuals have observed the same deficit in orbitofrontal activation and the same concomitant reduced inhibition of aggressive impulses. “It’s remarkable; we didn’t expect to find this level of similarity,” says Sandi.
Antidepressants and cerebral plasticity
The scientists also measured changes in the expression of certain genes in the brain. The neurobiologists focused on genes known to be involved in aggressive behavior for which there are polymorphisms (genetic variants) that predispose carriers to an aggressive attitude. They looked at whether the psychological stress experienced by the rats caused a modification in these genes’ expression. “We found that the level of MAOA gene expression increased in the prefrontal cortex,” says Sandi. This alteration was linked to an epigenetic change; in other words, the traumatic experience ended up causing a long-term modification of this gene’s expression.
Finally, the researchers tried to see if an MAOA gene inhibitor, in this case an antidepressant, could reverse the increase in aggressive behavior induced by the juvenile stress. The treatment was effective. The team will now concentrate its efforts on trying to better understand these mechanisms, and explore whether a treatment could possibly reverse these changes in the brain, and above all, to shed light on whether some people are more vulnerable than others depending on their genetic makeup. “This research could also reveal the possible ability of antidepressants – an ability that’s increasingly being suspected – to renew cerebral plasticity,” says the professor.
this could have so much potential. wow