Flash Drives and Cells

In Kaitlyn’s things are 2 flash drives. One was in her pocketbook; the other was in the bag that held her medical school IBM ThinkPad notebook computer. All these months after her death, I never really thought about popping one into my computer to see what was in there. I have never used a flash drive for anything though I see people with them all the time.

So one day, it popped into my mind, hey, the secrets of her mind may be in there! There may be some of her writings that will explain the source of her misery, or her thoughts about them or something. Maybe some deep dark secret will be revealed. So the other day I popped one in. There were a few pictures I had seen before. Nothing else. Then I popped the medical school flash drive into my computer and immediately so very many images began to come across my screen. Yes, the secrets to her mind all revealed to me……they were pictures of all kinds of cells of the body. No revelations there. Pretty, pretty multiplying cells. I had to cancel the download because there were hundreds of them. The mystery continues and always will.

But when you stop and think about it, cells are the mystery to my daughter’s depression. The cells of the brain are called neurons. They remind me of funny looking stars in a way. They communicate with each other by what is called synapses. One neuron communicates with another neuron by releasing chemicals called neurotransmitters. When someone says depression is caused by a chemical imbalance of the brain, the neurotransmitters are what they are talking about. There are many different kinds; Serotonin, Norepinephrine, and Dopamine are a few, but are the ones linked to depression. A decrease in serotonin can cause depression and suicidal ideation. Dopamine is also linked to depression. It regulates our drive to seek out rewards and obtain a sense of pleasure. If the above 3 neurotransmitters are not at their correct levels, then depression can occur. So that is what is meant when one says “depression is caused by a chemical imbalance.” Drugs given for depression try to correct these imbalances which hopefully the result will be the alleviation of depression symptoms.

So maybe seeing these cells reminds me of what Kaitlyn suffered, a chemical imbalance. Though the cells I saw are not neurons, (I don’t know what the heck cells these are) but seeing cells made me think again. Maybe there was no deep dark secret, no part of her past that was horrible that I did not know about, but simply, or rather NOT so simply, a chemical imbalance.

The things a simple picture of a cell will do to my mind.

Below is a picture of a neuron (brain cell).


About gatito2

My name is Rhonda. I'm a registered nurse, for the last 20 years, that has not been able to work since the day I learned of my daughter's death by suicide 4-12-13. (She actually died 4-11-13 and her body was not found until the 12th) Me and my husband have been married for 32 years and he's a wonderful man. We grieve in different ways. He works, I write. This is my journey through this horrible land of losing a child..
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12 Responses to Flash Drives and Cells

  1. Ellen Ross says:

    What a wise and meaningful connection between what was probably her homework and the true “secrets” that you were seeking. Everything is connected to everything else …..


  2. gatito2 says:

    Thank you Ellen. You have a gift of knowing what I’m meaning when I write what I do.


  3. No Name says:

    The brain is such a complex organ; it’s a miracle, it’s beautiful. It’s so inspiring to think about how our deepest feelings and pains are really just caused by the way those neurons flash back and forth. But it’s frightening how so many things can go wrong. Studies of the brain have shown that the brains of people with depression resemble the brains of people with PTSD and Alzheimer’s. The hypothalamus in particular is withered. You may want to study the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, also known as the HPA axis—it is a major part of the chemical basis of depression.


  4. gatito2 says:

    You are so right. The brain is extremely complex and we really no very little about so much of it. I find so many ironies in my life. When I was in nursing school, anatomy, psychology, and abnormal psychology were my favorite subjects because I found the brain so very fascinating. We are in our infant stage in understanding it though. If I had known back then how much the problems of the brain would torment my life in the future….well, it’s best I did not know. I only wish I had known in order to help Kaitlyn. But I never got that choice.


  5. jmgoyder says:

    Living with the mystery of why? must be one of the most agonizing aspects of this tragedy of loss. The cell idea is somehow comforting. My heart goes out to you, Rhonda.


  6. gatito2 says:

    Thank you so much. I know it must have been a chemical imbalance in her brain. Nothing that I am aware of happened in her life that was traumatic. But then again, no one is with their child every minute of the day. I suffer from major depression and I can only suppose that she got it from me. Of all the things she got from me. But she hid it so very well. I never could, but I could function and work and all that.


  7. jmgoyder says:

    I too suffer from major depression but on meds. that keep it at bay. I fear my son (19) has inherited it to some extent and he is reluctantly now on low dose meds. Your beautiful girl hid it to protect you.


  8. gatito2 says:

    She wrote she did hide it to protect me from it. I’d rather she had not hid it and protected me from what she ultimately did. In her mind it was the right thing to do. But it wasn’t. She wasn’t right this time in a life that was full of SO many right things.


  9. jmgoyder says:

    Not sure if this helps but my mother, who I am very close to, still doesn’t know about my depression because I don’t want her to, because I don’t want her to worry, and I am 54! Despite societal acceptance of this condition/disease there is still a stigma around depression. Your blog helps to open the windows and for this I bravo you for your courage and strength and will and honesty.xxx


  10. gatito2 says:

    You are so right that there is still very much a stigma attached to any kind of mental illness. That’s what makes me so angry and want to shout to the world that it must stop. So that’s what I do, shout to the world. Maybe I’ll find a way to be louder. I suffer from major depression too, but I was unable to hide mine because it became so dangerous I had to do something to get help because I didn’t want to leave my children. I still feel bad that the only thing she inherited from me is her depression. Well, maybe she inherited her love of books and writing and things like that from me, but I hate that she inherited my depression.


  11. jmgoyder says:

    No way! She inherited all of your beautifulness too


  12. gatito2 says:

    Thank you for saying that.


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