1.3.3 Struggle for life

In the previous post, we established that a salient symptom of manic episode (hypersexuality) seems to improve paradoxically the selective value of a manic bipolar patient. You can’t deny that his intense sexual activity would improve his birth rate, that is, in an age where technology doesn’t break the link between sex and parenthood. Access to sex significantly matters when fitness is defined. But it is not the only one parameter. The other one is the capacity to survive in a given environment.

Let’s go back to Pleistocene again. The main activities consisted in finding food (survival), fight against all forms of predation (survival) and copulate (fecundity). The increase in strength is a well-known manic symptom and no need to lay the emphasis on the competitive advantage it provides for survival. Is it an increase in muscular strength? I don’t think so. Try to find some Bruce Lee pictures on the internet and make the comparison with Arnold Schwarzenegger. You’ll notice that the power of mind is much more deterrent than a disgraceful pack of oversized muscles. We can conclude that the improved strength is perfectly consistent with the model I advocate. The fitness is increased during the manic episode. This entails a transient dominant status.

Source: I had to ride a storm, bipolar tribulations. J’ai dû chevaucher la tempête, tribulations d’un bipolaire (Yan Layma)
We had tried to neutralize him, we were 4 against 1. However, like all manic persons, he had an extraordinary strength and tried to struggle his way out like a devil. After several minutes he managed to escape and stormed toward the door and disappeared again. He left the four of us breathless.

I experienced this increase in physical strength during my first manic episode. Another manic symptom was also illustrated: a sharp weight loss made me look like a pack of bones. I weighed only 62 kg which is low compared to my size (1m77). However, no less than 5 psychiatric employees (which are not exactly runt) were necessary to get me under control. This phenomenon reaches a peak during manic furor. My pdoc told me he was very impressed when he saw a guy capable of lifting his own bed using only its arms.

In addition to increased physical strength, the maniac is full of energy and never gets tired. He is also more resistant to hunger and thirst. All these competitive advantages were bonanza when it came to win fights against dominants, other human groups or predators. More resistant, forgotten by fatigue, strong as Bruce Lee, energetic, he could apply these advantages in a larger time span than his fellow tribe members because sleep wasn’t mandatory anymore. Statistically he had more chances to survive and copulate, so the fitness, like mood, is up. How can you not link the whole phenomenon with dominance? If only manic episode were eternal!

On the contrary, we should be able to check that the rule is mirrored during depression (“down” phase). Bad news for depressed people, they’re not only depressed but also dominated from an ethological perspective. Don’t be afraid, you’ll know soon what dominated means in my theory. I don’t want to elaborate too much on this, but it seems to me that life could be difficult for a depressed guy in the Pleistocene age. Slow motor functioning was of no help when trying to escape from a predator starved stomach. And then back home, it was not the real thing sexually speaking. Sexual function disorder, impotence, sharp decrease or even disappearance of the libido would make any depressed homo sapiens go to bed, that is, directly. Survival and reproduction capacity near the absolute zilch, the depressed guy fall down to the base of the dominance hierarchy. He’s even not in the hierarchy any more. This triggers a negative feedback to the fitness which was already plummeting. The less you’re fit, the less you belong to the group. And the less you belong to the group, the less you’re fit. This can explain why how difficult it is to get out depression.

Source: I had to ride a storm, bipolar tribulations. J’ai dû chevaucher la tempête, tribulations d’un bipolaire (Yan Layma)
… I had fallen again into depression and apathy. Most important of all, I was feeling very lonely. And I was : during the 3 years I spent in this hotel, I had neither sentimental affair nor love story…
…I renounced to go out….My robots contracture as well as the suffering and craziness carved into my face trigger fear in most of my friends, even the closest one. Some said they did not want to see me in this state. Some others said nothing. They just disappeared from my life.

Guns & Roses/Get in the ring (Axl Rose, surely bipolar)
You wanna antagonize me
Antagonize me motherfucker
Get in the ring motherfucker
And I’ll kick your bitchy little ass
Punk! I don’t like you, I just hate you
I gonna kick your ass,
Oh yeah! Oh yeah!
You may not like our integrity yeah
We built a world out of anarchy
Oh yeah! And in this corner weighting in at 850 pounds-Guns n’ Roses!


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