Metaphoric ‘psych' fishing report from out on the Santa Monica Pier: –
Out in Cally last weekend, I asked this affable angler a basic fishing question: What are you fishing for? His answer: “Anything that bites…”
Sounds like typical fishing, – but it isn’t my way, and I hope isn’t yours.
No, his objective, today and everyday, is not targeted precision. It’s ANYTHING…
Medical science makes the new office/fishing wisdom simple: with neurotransmitter biomarker testing, we can match the hatch [they biting on Mayflies?]. We still need that careful clinical interview, just as we do with SPECT brain imaging– but with this kind of less costly evidence [most insurances cover it], we can see where the excess and the deficits exist. No longer will our conversations focus only upon serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine… but twelve neurotransmitters, many you haven’t yet heard about.
Background on all this fishing stuff
Yes, I do love to fly fish, from the Madison River in MT for rainbow trout, to bonefish, to stripers in saltwater, right here in Va. Beach. I tie my own flies, have written an article for Fly Fishing in Saltwaters, and, don’t tell anyone, have saved road kill [great fly tying materials – the Boy Scout way] – and if I had some more time, I would be out there in my kayak chasing those stripers.
But now I’m fishing for a different, more challenging fish: ideas that work for people – with no risk, using the best technology, at the best cost point.
So… how does fishing relate to brains and psych? Very simple – fly-fishing is about understanding the details of the natural world, seeing, then understanding what’s there in the water in front of you. If you aren’t looking and thinking, you may think your fishing – but it’s just passing time. – ‘Anything that bites will be just fine' just doesn't work in the context of what we now know about brain physiology and insect hatches.
Why all this fish fuss?
Just back last night from, dare I say it, a remarkable ‘fishing day’ with the NeuroScience folk talking about what I consider to be, get this, nothing less than: the future of psychiatry. One of the presenters, Eileen Wright MD, I’ve heard on CD, but seeing her live, listening to her psychopharmacologic understanding of sleep, – beats some of the deepest pharma researchers I’ve heard – and as you know, I have been seriously listening. Sleep, ADHD, Depression and Anxiety – just what exactly are we trying to find and fix?
Stay tuned here to the CorePsychBlog – I will keep bringing you up to date on neurotransmitter measurement [and correction] specifics. I spelled out these details in several CorePsych Radio Programs, and put up some links to downloads on the psychiatric implications of neurotransmitter measurement here.
Just read this excellent paper on Neurotransmitter testing to get you started – and I will teach you how to ‘match the hatch.'