Paper #7: Mental health problems
1. Carbon from partly burnt wood:
The human body is comprised of six main chemical elements as well as a number of minor ones.
By mass, the six main chemical elements in an average body are approximately as follows: oxygen 65% .. carbon 18.5% .. hydrogen 9.5% .. nitrogen 3.2% .. calcium 1.5% .. and phosphorus 1%. That is a total of approximately 98.7% of the mass.
It is clear that carbon (approximately 18.5%) plays a VERY significant role in the human body.
In my view, it was the eating of carbon from partly burnt wood and other pure organic matter .. that is, charcoal (wood or other pure organic matter that has been burned but not fully turned to ash):
(a) Which initially sparked, and then drove, the increased brain power of our predecessor hominin species, and
(b) Which, when combined with three additional factors, drove the increased brain power of their successors .. that is, our early homo ancestors, later homo ancestors, and more recent homo ancestors. These three additional factors were: (1) The eating of slightly charred food that had been cooked on an open fire and which therefore contained a lot of carbon, (2) The breathing in of smoke (and thus a lot of carbon) which densely filled the caves and huts in which our early homo ancestors lived, and the breathing in of smoke (and thus carbon) which was also the air in the dwellings in which our later and more recent homo ancestors lived, and (3) The mating decisions of our female (NOT our male) early, later and more recent homo ancestors (see also Points 11(a) and 11(e) in Paper #12).
This type of carbon .. that is, the type that comes from the burning of wood or other pure organic matter* .. is one of the key fuels for our brain.
*Note: By "pure organic matter", I mean organic matter that has remained above ground level. Organic matter that goes beneath the ground changes its chemical composition .. for example, it can become coal, oil or gas .. and is no longer good for our health.
Charcoal from partly burnt wood tastes fine!
It is full of energy .. that is why you can still burn it.
It is hygienic .. the fire has killed all the microorganisms in it.
And it is easy to digest. We cannot eat a branch from a tree but, if we partly burn the branch, we can easily eat the charcoal remains.
If a person becomes lost in the wilderness without any food then, provided there is wood around and they can start a fire, they can make all the food they need.
After forest and bush fires, charcoal from partly burnt wood was in plentiful supply for our predecessor hominin species and our homo ancestors.
And, when our early homo ancestors figured out how to master fire, they made the charcoal themselves. A stack of wood in the cave or hut gave them an unlimited supply of charcoal food, and a fuel for cooking, all year round; as well as a fuel for warmth all year round in colder climates and during the winter months in warmer climates. The only other thing they needed was water.
In my view, charcoal from partly burnt wood was their main food .. their staple .. supplemented when possible by meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and other delicacies.
Most importantly, it was the carbon in the charcoal that drove brain development.
In my view, this began with chimp-type animals, originally from the trees, that lived on the ground and picked-up and ate the charcoal. And this was followed by their successor hominin species; and then by their successor early, later and more recent homo species (our homo ancestors) who also ate it.
And thus their brains developed.
No other species (or surviving species) ate the charcoal (or ate it in sufficient quantities), and so their brains failed to develop.
And as stated above, in addition to this eating of partly burnt wood (charcoal), our early, later and more recent homo ancestors took in a lot of carbon from the eating of the slightly charred food they had cooked on an open fire and which was therefore rich in carbon; and from the breathing in of smoke (and thus carbon) from the fires they made in the caves and huts in which our early homo ancestors lived and in the dwellings in which our later and more recent homo ancestors lived.
As a result of these fires, their brains developed even further by this taking in of additional carbon.
No other species (or surviving species) made fires .. and so this did not happen to them.
The above explains why our predecessor hominin species and then their successor early, later and more recent homo species (our homo ancestors) enjoyed increasing intelligence over time .. whereas this did not happen to any other species (or surviving species).
So, over a period spanning millions of years, our predecessor hominin species and then our early, later and more recent homo ancestors took in a lot of carbon of the type that comes from the burning of wood or other pure organic matter.
Query when humanity ceased eating charcoal from partly burnt wood? It would have occurred in different parts of the world at different times, as other more tasty foods became available on a reliable basis .. with the consequence that charcoal, as a food, was forgotten.
In the developed parts of the world, right up until the 1950s and 1960s, cooking was done on a stove that burned wood, and heating in winter came from an open fire that burned wood. All homes had the wonderful smell of burning wood, and all occupants breathed in quite a lot carbon from the burning of wood.
But this changed in the 1950s and 1960s with the introduction of electricity and gas, to replace the burning of wood, in our homes.
And, since then, those of us in the developed parts of the world take in almost no carbon of the type that comes from the burning of wood or other pure organic matter.
I think it is very likely that this change has played a major role in the increase in mental illnesses, and also the increase in cancers (see Paper #9) and the increase in "autoimmune" diseases (see Paper #10), since the 1950s and 1960s.
2. Connection with mental illness:
So, what is the connection between this and mental illnesses?
In my view, carbon of the type that comes from the burning of wood or other pure organic matter is one of the key fuels for our brain. The brain uses lots of it. But if it uses up too much, the brain will then be deprived of the necessary level of carbon and will not function correctly .. and the result is likely to be a mental illness.
There are many different categories into which mental illnesses are placed.
A depletion of carbon is likely to result in at least three of them .. anxiety disorder, depression and bipolar disorder.
The symptoms of anxiety disorder are primarily feelings of anxiety, fear or panic. Anxiety disorder comprises various sub-categories including: generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, various phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Eating disorders (such as bulimia and anorexia) are not placed in the category of anxiety disorder but I think they should be, because I see them as a form of obsessive-compulsive behaviour .. that is, abnormal behaviour which is very focussed and repetitive and which therefore distracts the brain from the feelings of anxiety.
Depending on the level of its severity, the symptoms of depression are primarily feelings of flatness, lethargy, lack of energy, inability to think clearly, memory problems, lack of enthusiasm, lack of interest in sex, everything seems too difficult, inability to experience happiness or pleasure, melancholy, everything seems pointless and meaningless, despair, what's the point of pressing on, or comatose jet blackness.
The symptoms of bipolar disorder are primarily mood swings from low or very low (depression) to high or very high (mania) which results in delusional thoughts and hallucinations. Bipolar disorder was previously called manic depression.
Severe bipolar disorder takes sufferers up into a psychotic state where they hallucinate and lose all touch with reality .. that is, they go insane.
There are many other categories of mental illness, including schizophrenia and personality disorders. It is possible that a depletion of carbon may also cause, or play a role in, these problems .. I do not know.
But I am confident that a depletion of carbon is the cause of many problems that fit into the categories of anxiety disorder, depression and bipolar disorder.
Many problems in these three categories are related in the sense that they ALL share the SAME underlying root cause, not enough carbon of the type that the brain needs to function correctly .. thus the feelings of anxiety, or feelings of depression, or feelings of up-and-down mood swings; or two of these problems (anxiety and depression); or all three of them (anxiety, depression and up-and-down mood swings).
The inadequate level of carbon for the brain produces symptoms that are similar to those experienced by a drowning person.
A drowning person is starved of oxygen. And the progressive steps resulting from this lack of oxygen are:
Step 1 in a drowning: Feelings of anxiety, and then panic .. that is, feelings which are similar to those experienced by someone who suffers from anxiety disorder, because their brain is deficient in a key fuel, carbon .. and then
Step 2 in a drowning: Feelings of fatigue, lethargy, flatness, listlessness, and then giving up .. that is, feelings which are similar to those experienced by someone who suffers from depression, because their brain is deficient in a key fuel, carbon .. and then
Step 3 in a drowning: Feelings of gradually lifting-off into a pleasant state and then into a euphoric state, then hallucinating and losing all contact with reality .. that is, feelings which are similar to those experienced by someone who suffers from bipolar disorder with an upswing in mood to mania, because their brain is deficient in a key fuel, carbon.
In the case of a drowning, the fourth and final step from this deprivation of oxygen is death.
But, in the case of a deficiency of carbon, the fourth step after an upward swing into mania from bipolar disorder is not death but instead either: (a) Permanent insanity (in the absence of antipsychotic medication), or (b) The brain manages to suck in a little carbon from other parts of the body, so the sufferer returns to a depressed mood state (because insufficient carbon is sucked in) and then, as this carbon is used up, the process begins all over again .. thus the mood swings, from low to high and back again, in a repeating cycle.
The brain may manage to suck in some carbon from other parts of the body at any of the three stages .. that is: (1) At the anxiety disorder stage, in which case the sufferer will only experience anxiety (including possibly panic attacks) but will not experience depression or bipolar, or (2) At the depression stage, in which case the sufferer will experience anxiety and depression but will not experience bipolar, or (3) At the bipolar disorder stage, in which case the sufferer will experience anxiety, depression and bipolar.
3. Some examples:
As I said, this depletion of carbon is caused by the brain using up too much fuel, too much carbon of the type that comes from the burning of wood or other pure organic matter. Some examples:
Example 1: A brilliantly clever person or someone we may classify as a genius .. their brains suck in huge amounts of fuel, carbon, and thus their resulting brilliance or genius. But if, over time, too much has been sucked in, this will cause a carbon deficiency. And this will then cause the brain to malfunction .. typically producing anxiety disorder, depression or bipolar disorder.
Example 2: An extremely gifted artistic, musical, literary or similar creative person .. again, their brains suck in huge amounts of fuel, carbon, and thus their resulting level of creativeness. But if, over time, too much has been sucked in, this will cause a carbon deficiency. And this will then cause the brain to malfunction .. typically producing anxiety disorder, depression or bipolar disorder.
Example 3: A very sensitive person .. such a person will feel the normal bumps and knocks that life hands out in ways that are much more amplified than what an average person would feel. Such a person may then over-use their brain in trying to cope with these bumps and knocks and in trying to deal with the lasting emotional pain caused by them, in which case they may, over time, use up too much fuel, carbon .. causing a carbon deficiency. And this will then cause the brain to malfunction .. typically producing anxiety disorder, depression or bipolar disorder.
Example 4: A person who has had a traumatic childhood .. often caused by sexual abuse, but also caused by other forms of abuse, or by a lack of love, or by the absence or loss of one or both parents, or by other childhood emotional or physical trauma. Such a person will then, either unconsciously or consciously, try to lock away and forget the pain caused by the childhood trauma, in order to move on with their life. This causes the brain to use up a lot of fuel, carbon. And the effect of this is that, over time, the level of carbon may become depleted, in which case there will be two results: (1) The brain will then malfunction .. typically producing anxiety disorder, depression or bipolar disorder, and (2) The childhood trauma can no longer be locked away (because there is insufficient carbon for the brain to continue doing this) .. and thus the memories and pain of the trauma will come flooding back into the conscious mind.
Example 5: A woman who is pregnant, or who has recently given birth, uses up a lot of her own carbon in the making of her baby and in breast feeding. If too much is used up, her level of carbon will become depleted, and her brain will then malfunction .. typically producing anxiety, depression or bipolar. Thus, what is called antenatal (before the birth) or postnatal (after the birth) anxiety disorder, depression or bipolar disorder.
And finally, a few other examples: A person who is placed under major stress, or a person who experiences a major emotional or physical trauma, or a person who works too hard in a job that requires a lot of brain power, or a person who does not get enough sleep, or a person who is very unhappy with an important aspect of their life (for example, health, financial position, key relationship, job, accommodation, appearance), or a person who is criticised or humiliated by their friends or colleagues or in the media or on social media, or a person who is bullied or ostracised at school, or a person who is sexually or otherwise harassed, or a person who is trapped in a marriage without love or without sex, or a person who is unable to identify the purpose of their existence, or a person who fails in realising this purpose or in achieving a major goal, or a person who has had their heart broken in love, or a person who has been betrayed by someone whom they regarded as a trustworthy and close friend, or a person who suffers major grief or loss .. and so on. All these people over-use their brain in trying to deal with the problem and the lasting emotional pain caused by it. This causes the depletion of carbon over time. And, if the level of carbon becomes too low, the brain will then malfunction .. typically producing anxiety disorder, depression or bipolar disorder.
4. Cure and prevention:
These problems caused by a depletion of carbon can be cured, or can be prevented from arising in the first place, by ingesting carbon in the form of charcoal made from the burning of wood or other pure organic matter.
You can make it yourself by partly burning wood that has come direct from a tree (not from treated wood or processed wood because they contain dangerous chemicals).
Or you can buy activated charcoal .. also called activated carbon and medicinal charcoal.
Activated charcoal is charcoal (partly burnt wood or other pure organic matter) that has been processed with the use of oxygen to open up its atomic structure, thereby increasing the surface area of its molecules and its porosity.
Activated charcoal in a capsule or tablet* form is available over-the-counter .. that is, no prescription is needed .. at chemist shops and pharmacies. It is marketed in Australia for the treatment of excessive flatulence.
*Note: In Australia, the tablet form has had glucose added to it to sweeten the taste. So, if you are diabetic or on a low sugar diet, you should use the capsule form, rather than the tablet form, of activated charcoal.
It is VERY important to first check with your Doctor before commencing with activated charcoal. You need to ask your Doctor if activated charcoal will be safe for you, and to ask what dosage will be safe for you.
For curing anxiety disorder, depression or bipolar disorder, subject to what your Doctor tells you, based on my own self-experiments I would recommend initially commencing with about 15,000 milligrams of activated charcoal a day. In Australia, the product comes in two sizes .. capsules of 200 milligrams and tablets of 250 milligrams. So initially, that is about 75 capsules of 200 milligrams each a day, taken as three lots of 25; or about 60 tablets of 250 milligrams each a day, taken as three lots of 20.
At this dosage, you will know very quickly if the activated charcoal is going to work .. most probably within a day, but certainly within four days.
If you feel an improvement, then continue with the activated charcoal at whatever dosage level feels correct for you .. your body will tell you, so listen to it .. until you are feeling 100% OK. That is, no feelings of anxiety, depression, or up-and-down mood swings; and you know for sure that you are cured.
This cure could take some weeks or months, depending on the severity of the deficiency, your own metabolism, and the quantity of activated charcoal that is ingested. But as stated, at the above dosages you will know very quickly .. most probably within a day, but certainly within four days .. if the activated charcoal is going to work.
As you move towards feeling 100% OK, you will find that you will be able to reduce the dosage to levels that feel correct for you. Your body will tell you how much, so listen to it.
Subject to what your Doctor tells you, this reduced dosage could, for example, be about 3,000 milligrams a day .. that is, about 15 capsules of 200 milligrams or about 12 tablets of 250 milligrams. Or it could be even lower. Your body will let you know, so listen to it.
Based on my own self-experiments, I think it is likely that many people who suffer from anxiety disorder, depression or bipolar disorder will need to continue with, or to continue intermittently with, their lowest possible dosage indefinitely, raising it from time to time whenever they feel the need.
On the other hand, if you ingest 15,000 milligrams of activated charcoal (that is, 75 capsules of 200 milligrams or 60 tablets of 250 milligrams) on each of the first four days, but are not feeling any better by the end of the fourth day, then you can conclude that your anxiety, depression or bipolar is not caused by a deficiency in carbon of the type that comes from the of burning wood or other pure organic matter. In this case, you should discontinue the activated charcoal.
5. If the activated charcoal is ineffective:
If the activated charcoal is ineffective or only partly effective for your anxiety, depression or bipolar, this may point to the problem being caused by a deficiency in, or an inability to absorb into the body, one or more of the other fuels used by the brain. In this case, I recommend soaking your head hair with mineral water (either sparkling or flat) that has come from a natural source. See Paper #6. And, if this does not fix the problem, I recommend you ask your Doctor for a comprehensive blood test that will check the levels of all chemical elements, vitamins and other nutrients that make up a healthy human body.
Or it may point to the problem being caused by some form of toxicity. Again, a comprehensive blood test may be able to shed light on this.
Or it may point to electromagnetism caused by the use of modern technology (for example, sitting in front of a large television set or sleeping with your electric blanket turned on) .. or by living near power lines, a power facility or a telecommunications facility .. or by long-distance or regular air travel .. or by similar cause of electromagnetism. In which case, you need to eliminate the cause or remove yourself from it.
Or it may point to your anxiety or depression (not bipolar) being an appropriate response to one or more aspects of your life .. in which case, professional counselling is likely to provide the best solution. By its nature, bipolar disorder can never be an appropriate response to one or more aspects of your life; whereas, both anxiety and depression can be.
I think depression is what we experience when the brain partially shuts down. This will also produce feelings of anxiety. The partial shut down can be caused by any number of factors, including aspects of your life that are stressful or that result in you no longer being a social, physically active, working animal; which are three key features of our human evolutionary line and which therefore need to be maintained by today’s humans.
6. Specific adverse side-effects:
Prescribed medication: If you are taking any prescribed medication, you should not ingest activated charcoal in the two hours before taking the medication or in the two hours after taking it. Otherwise, the activated charcoal may interfere with the medication. This is MOST important.
Tremor or shaking or grinding: If, after commencing with the activated charcoal, you experience any tremor or shaking in your fingers, hands or legs, or any grinding of your teeth, then this is a sign that the dosage of activated charcoal is too high. In this case, reduce the dosage to the level at which the tremor, shaking or grinding disappears; and, if it still continues, then you should cease using the activated charcoal because this is a sign that your body has all the carbon it needs without the additional carbon in the activated charcoal.
Prescribed medication for your mental illness: Obviously, if you are taking any prescribed medication for your mental illness, you should continue taking it until your Doctor tells you to stop taking it.
7. Need for medical research:
Because the above ideas are novel, they have not yet been examined and tested by medical science.
It is my hope that the ideas will soon be examined and tested by medical research institutes, hospitals, university medical schools, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare companies and other organisations.
8. Risk of possible adverse side-effects:
For all treatments recommended in this Paper #7, I repeat the warning in Point 3 of Paper #1:
"Almost all medical treatments carry with them the risk of possible adverse side-effects, either for all people or just for some people.
It is therefore VERY important that, before carrying out any of the treatments recommended in the papers, you first check with your Doctor that it will be safe for you to do.
This is especially important if you are very ill, if you are pregnant or might be pregnant, if you are elderly, or if you are taking any prescribed medication.
I am not a Doctor. And, as we all know, medical science is extremely complex. So, please make sure you first check with your Doctor before carrying out any of the recommended treatments.
And if, after commencing a treatment, you believe it might be causing an adverse side-effect, you should immediately stop the treatment and check with your Doctor."
That concludes Paper #7.
Next is Paper #8, in which I explain how we can boost our brain power.
Please go to Paper #8 ...
Love one another and care for our planet,
Gee Ryan (Gerald)
16 November 2014
Love One Another Basin (side of basin, in mid blues), Gee Ryan (Gerald), 2016. H 38 inches x W 38 inches (96.52cm x 96.52cm). Mixed media on canvas. Art email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and art website is geeryan.com