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May 23, 2012 at 11:35 AMComments: 10 Faves: 1

A Reason for "Freakin' Out Man"

By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This Author

"The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority."

                                                   -Stanley Milgram

Researcher's at the University of Texas and Washington State University have been playing around with the idea that exposure to certain chemicals in previous generations can have a direct impact on how current generations react to stress.

The researchers exposed gestating female rats to vinclozolin, a fruit and vegetable fungicide that wtfis commonly used and has been found to disrupt hormones in animals while having an effect on future generations. The researchers then tested the rat's third generation offspring for behavioral abnormalities and found they were more anxious, more sensitive to stress, and had greater activity in stress-related parts of the brain than offspring whose heritage had not been exposed to the vinclozolin.

"There is no doubt that we have been seeing real increases in mental disorders like autism and bipolar disorder," said David Crews, who focused on the neuroscience, behavior, and stress during the experiment. "It's more than just a change in diagnostics. The question is why? Is it because we are living in a more frantic world, or because we are living in a more frantic world and are responding to that in a different way because we have been exposed? I favor the latter."

The study also shed some light on weight gain, which is no surprise as most everything points to weight gain in our society.

The Next Step

This is all very fascinating to me. I don't think many can argue that, when comparing the capacity for stress in earlier generations versus current generations, the more "fresh" aspects of our society tend to lack the hardy constitution of their ancestors. Personally, I would have looked at the fact that most generations previous to the baby boomer age had been embroiled in globalold school wars, revolutionizing industry, or fighting for independence, lending to a much different view on life and its stresses. But, it's nice to know there is a direction in which to point a finger.

I guess the next question is: Beyond knowing a simple why, how will this discovery help us?

I mean, we can't erase what is genetically encoded and we have already realized that ingesting chemicals is bad mmmckaayyy. What's the next step?

Let me know what you think below...


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  • I'd say that one of the most important things we can do is stop the madness. Seriously, our kids' kids' kids' are going to be totally bonkers if we don't do something about all the chemical exposure.

    There is no need for standard use of most chemicals on crops. Seriously, is it that bad to have a small check pattern on your apple? Do we really need all crops available all year? Shouldn't we just eat what's fresh while it lasts, then move on to the next thing?

  • Some good points Seth. Unfortunately, at our current population level, fresh produce would run out fairly quickly.

  • I think everyone is looking for a reason for the way they are; they are not satisfied with the fact that they are who they are. It seems like everyone needs something to blame. "My parents were mean to me," "my parents coddled me too much," or "I am this way because of chemicals." While knowing this is helpful because we know why we have stress issues, that knowledge will not get us over them. I have just recently been told I have OCD, some form of Autism, and flat feet. This does not help me with my weight issues. Now, I suppose, I could act out in some way and then blame it on my diseases, but why? I lived for 29 years not knowing this. I just thought I was a nerd, or a geek, or a loner. Does labeling it help? I say, if you are happy with life, who cares about the rest? And if you're not, fix the parts you don't like. I don't think that there is much of a step after that. We can't change what we are, we can only try to deal with our situation as it is.

    There I go, rambling on about stuff. Great Blog, E.M. It really got me thinking!

  • Well said Rex...well said.

  • If you knowingly continue in a course harmful to others, you release your claim on ignorance and embrace culpability.

  • Culpability is dependent upon an accusing body that is willing to take the steps necessary to stop the harmful act. Our society looks down upon those people.

  • That accusing body should be our conscience. Of course, our society looks down upon reliance on the conscience, doesn't it. Just push through doing things you know are profitable or further promote your or your country's ideals regardless of whether they're universally wrong or hurtful to others. Eventually the voice inside your head will just shut up and go away. Then you can do whatever you want.

  • The philosophy of our current society. Well said Seth.

  • Nice Mr. Macky reference at the end mmmmckkaay. ;)

    I think all three of you just illustrated what the next step was very eloquently! EM, this blog really made me think too. VERY glad you posted on this topic!

    Also, another reason why I think anxiety is different today is because it's being manifested iitself in a different place. Maslow's Hierarchy of needs has been really on my mind lately. Our physical needs are met. Especially with all the governmental programs we have to help those who may not have enough money for food. So why are we anxious? Well as we move up the pyramid, we being forget how grateful we should be for where we are and our anxiety just focuses on another thing we wish we had or place we wish we'd be. I especially think the self-actualization stage is where a lot of anxiety can lie...wanting to reach ones potential, thinking about the future too much so you aren;t living in the present. I don't know if this makes any sense, but it's been on my mind lately.

  • Makes perfect sense Bri. With all the sensory inputs being thrown at us on a daily basis, focusing on what happens within us is difficult. In this loss of focus, we tend to forget who we are and who we wanted to be. Once this has been accomplished we become what we are told to become, driven by the appeals and prodding of outward influence. We do this enough and we find ourselves lost and afraid of where we are and what we've become, leading to anxiety.

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