The Depressed Body
Without realizing it, we count very heavily on the fact that our thoughts will trigger the right chemicals in our bodies; the mind and its messenger molecules are automatically and perfectly matched. But this process can break down, and then the resulting confusion is like running two programs on the same computer – when the input is scrambled, it is no wonder that the printout, your body, becomes garbled.
The immune cells have a reason for each receptor; they use them to think, act, perceive, and respond in precise ways. A person uses the same two eyes to view the whole world; a cell, however, has a different eye for each thing it needs to see. In other words, a constantly filled receptor renders the cell blind to one specific thing.
The only thing constant about a receptor is its unpredictability. Researchers recently discovered, for example, that a neuro-tranmitter called imipramine is produced abnormally in the brains of depressed people. While looking for the distribution of imipramine receptors, they were startled to find them not just on the brain cells but on skin cells. Why should the skin create receptors for a “mental molecule”? What did these skin receptors have to do with depression?
One plausible answer is that a depressed person is depressed everywhere – he has a sad brain, sad skin, sad liver, and so on. Instead of trusting drugs, one needs to find out how the patient’s sick memory got into his chemical system to begin with. For it is absolutely clear that the nonmaterial memory is there. It may be taking a ride on a molecule, but its life does not depend on that.
Adapted from Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, by Deepak Chopra (Bantam Books, 1990).