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Rage/Anger Brain Anatomy

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By Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.

Medical training involves knowing five basic areas: (1) Normal; (2) Effects of outside influences, ones condition, and ones choices in causing "normal variant" or abnormal behaviors or disease; (3) Diagnosis; (4) Treatment/Management; (5) Results. Brain anatomy information is evolving daily and thereby generates increasing uncertainty about all 5. Yet, amazingly experts disagree on almost everything about brain anatomy for several reasons. One is being too simplistic--as in saying specific things neurotransmitters do when actually they do different things in different places. Norepinephrine is the neurotransmitter used by the sympathetic nervous system to drive ones heart faster (among others in the body) and yet in the brain it has other functions. A second is the tendency to separate the inseparable--as with the cerebral cortex (Rational, Neocortex, Neopallium, Superior or New Mammalian), the Limbic (Emotional, Paleopallium, Intermediate or Old Mammalian) Brain, and the Ancient (Emergency, Archipallium Primitive, Brain Stem, Reptilian) Brain. Though it is established that the neocortex is the evaluating, thinking, and judging part of the brain, it is still interconnected with all other parts. Disagreements cause experts to give different names to the same part of the brain or the same name to different parts. Others combine different parts and place them in different subdivisions or say they are part of different systems.  As is true of the human body, no part of the brain operates independently of the rest--anatomically, chemically, or behaviorally--in any way. For example, in dealing with Anger it is now out of date to speak of an Anger center. Third are cumulative effects of hormones and stressors, as Epinephrine might make one excited but not angry unless that one is already angry.

At the junction of the Ancient Brain and the Limbic System is a group of cell collection entities important in Anger--the Hippocampus, Hypothalamus, and the Amygdala. Together they help regulate emotions and memory. Individuals operating out of their Omnibus Brain possess a Hippocampus which is ever vigilant in bringing into awareness "common sense" things to do and not do for self-protection; develops clues for how to recognize relatively safe/unsafe circumstances; and forms new memories related to avoiding the problematic. The Amygdala (in the temporal lobe) is like a warehouse of emotional memories and acts like the fire alarm for ones brain. The Amygdala can only react based on previously stored patterns. Meanwhile, the Amgydala is the center for the identification of danger--sizing up situations; determining what is/is not safe; and, when triggered, giving rise to fear and anxiety which lead one into a stage of alertness, and getting ready for Flight, Fight, or Fright. When there is anything in a situation suggesting a hint of danger or when there is danger perceived, the Amygdala goes into action with no rational thought such as evaluating, judging or thinking. This means there is no regard for consequences. Simultaneously,  its released flood of hormones (e.g. adrenalin) and peptides cause an emotional reaction and physical preparations including a surge of energy and other changes preparating for an immediate “Fight or Flight." But some have "Fright" to the point of a Freezing Response. Because a Rage "center" is closeby in the lateral part of the hypothalamus (Limbic), anger is part of the reaction involved with fear. This nervous system arousal can last for hours or even days. While "cooling down," ones stress hormones remain above normal, hence making one more easily irritated. With all of the of all 5 mentioned above, inappropriate or incomplete applications to Black People are likely because European "experts" refuse to get to "know" Black People and fail to take into consideration their layered effects of anger. As a result, Black People must be on constant alert not to allow life-damaging diagnoses and life-altering drugs to occur to themselves/their children. Think consequences before acting and reacting.