You Are Weak Mortal
During one of Agatha Christie’s novels I read mid-2000s, the good old times when all you needed to baffle the police in a murder investigation was a bottle of cyanide, a murder case was initially blamed on post-cold depression. Now, given that I like to display my ignorance every time I open my mouth, I thought that the era’s lack of medical advancement was the cause of this “obvious medical error”, but I disregarded it and enjoyed the story. Fast forward to the end of 2016 where I catch a virus on Christmas eve that would keep me in bed for a week, and through recovery and withdrawal for additional two weeks. I found myself thinking why do we feel physically and emotionally feel weak due to illness? The explanation of that in return have further lead me down a spiral of thoughts on our characteristics as mortals and our obvious weaknesses that makes us who we are.
Have you ever focused on breathing? Do you notice how much more effort it takes when you are conscious of it and trying to control it? Imagine for a second that every function of your body must be controlled manually, that would be a nightmare, all our efforts will be spent in keeping us alive, and most likely will fail. We often take for granted that most of our body function runs automatically with next to no input on our behalf. One of the many Godly systems installed in our bodies is an antivirus called immune system. It is the most complex system in your body, and is made up of different organs, cells and proteins and aside from the nervous system (IQWiG, 2017). When we are sick this immune system focuses all its resources on fighting, killing, and conquering this invader. The usage of these resources and the lack of access to due to a war with foreign entities results in us feeling physically tired.
That is not the only thing happening to your body, shit gets deeper (but since shit comes from a deep place shouldn’t we say shit gets shallower?). Our immune system is also intertwined with neurologic and psychological systems (Wei, 2015), While protecting you, the immune system produce proinflammatory cytokines. This causes the brain to produce its own cytokines. According to psychiatrist and therapist Marlynn Wei, “These brain cytokines lead to fever, fatigue, depressed mood, lack of appetite, lack of motivation, social withdrawal, poor concentration, and altered sleeping patterns. In other words, the physical sickness caused by the inflammatory response significantly overlaps with depressive symptoms.” So, because your brain emulates similar symptoms to that of depression, It was often thought off post cold depression which Agatha Christie cleverly used in her book. Your body fools you into a state of which you are not.
We are often told, and sometimes, we experience our bodies fooling and failing us. Take our vision, inverted, and scattered, but the brain interrupts it as a whole. The color that you see, is everything but that color, and depending on each of us, it’s both objective and subjective. Our need to eat, drink, the release of food, and liquid. We need to sleep, and eventually, and inevitably die. Yet, we rule this earth as the highest “Animal” on the food chain. Our arrogance as species made us think at a point in time that we’re the center of the universe. Some of my acquaintance, mostly females, still thinks they personally are the center of the universe. We are weak, ignorant, and utter assholes, but, we have potential. If we humble ourselves and regain our childish curiosity we might still have hope in learning to harmonize and live within this vast universe.
IQWiG. (2017, 01 13). How does the Immune system work? Retrieved from PubMed Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072548/
Wei, M. (2015). The Surprising Psychology of the Common Cold. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/urban-survival/201502/the-surprising-psychology-the-common-cold