This Chemical Imbalance In My Brain Is Driving Me CrazyCommentary • Opinion • health • ISSUE 42•16 • Apr 19, 2006 By Kyle Jensen Have you ever been standing in line at the bank for so long that you feel like you're going to explode—just completely flip out? Well, I'm the exact same way. Except it's not waiting in line that drives me utterly nuts. It's the undersupply of key brain-chemistry cofactors, like amino acids, that help transport neurotransmitter precursors into my blood-brain barrier. That shit just makes me lose my fucking mind!This recurring neurological obstruction of the natural flow of information to my frontal lobe's processing centers is so annoying that I can't even think straight. Sometimes just the thought of how little serotonin my brain is producing is enough to completely kill my appetite, sex drive, and ability to sleep at night. In fact, most of the time I'm so wound up by the constant barrage of disparate neural signals discharging through my body that I can hardly concentrate on everyday tasks, such as washing each glass in the house four times.I swear to God, unless my corpus callosum starts regulating nerve traffic normally again, I'm going to go out of my gourd!There's something about my brain's chemical imbalance that really gets under my skin. At least once a day, the constant, overwhelming sensations of dread and hopelessness aggravate me to the point where I want to jump out the window. Seriously, I could be all sunshine and roses, and the smallest fluctuation in brain chemistry will just completely sour my mood. It seems like no matter what I try to do to distract myself, I can't get this chemical imbalance out of my head. It's always there, in the region of the brain that controls emotion and behavior, gnawing away at my cognitive reasoning and motor skills. The whole thing has been grating on my cerebral cortex's nerves for years now.In my early 20s, these elevated levels of dynorphin were only a minor annoyance. But their prolonged deregulation of my system's energy production and decision-making aptitude has, over time, really started to take a toll on me. Maybe I'm just overreacting to my body's increased hypersensitivity, but frequently, when my synapses are firing erratically rather than in tandem, I feel like I'm about to spiral out of control. Trust me, I wish the enlarged concentration of the toxic neurochemical melanocyte, among others, didn't bother me so much. I wish I could just ignore my brain's reduced availability of acetylcholine and carry on with my day as if the hampering of some of my central nervous system's most significant executive functions had never happened. Unfortunately, I'm not wired that way.This insufferable chemical imbalance is, if nothing else, incredibly tiring; so entirely and devastatingly fatiguing that, even after sleeping for 17 hours straight, I still wake up exhausted. It's strange, I used to be a pretty level-headed guy. There was a time when nothing in life could infuriate me enough to make me want to rip my hair out, hurl a stack of books across the living room, scream hysterically at innocent friends and family members, use a razor blade to secretly make tiny, shallow cuts in the back of my thigh, or kick a hole in the wall. What is it about these low levels of dopamine and norepinephrine that has got me so loopy?I only hope that if I do as they say, maybe the voices—which up to this point have been nothing but trouble—will deliver on their promise and come up with an answer.