I think I’ve got something figured out. This is my own idea, as far as I know. I have never heard anyone else quite say this.

It’s not totally clear to me, so I don’t know how well I can explain my idea.

Those caveats aside, let me begin simply, by saying that stress is what causes my symptoms. Well, that’s obvious, isn’t it?

But I mean those times that are really awful, when I feel suicidal or worthless or otherwise mysteriously miserable. Intense stressors impact the functioning of the areas of the brain responsible for social functioning, for understanding my mind and the minds of others, and for selecting effective responses, and I can’t make sense of or manage my own mind at those times.

Because the feelings can seem so intense (or, just as often, are not felt, but I have some incredibly strong impulse instead), it seems like they must be about something terrible. They aren’t. Not that terrible things haven’t happened. My brain has just developed a sudden coordination problem and cannot manage to calm my emotions, make sense of them, or decide among several courses of action.

That’s really what I have said all along, but without completely grasping it. It is the stress that’s causing this reaction, but the stress is not necessarily causing the emotions I have or the impulses I have. Essentially, it’s causing a decline in my base ability to function in regards to whatever happens to come along in that moment.

I don’t think what i have said is especially illuminating, but thanks for listening.