Bruce Alan Kehr, M.D. is the Founder and President of Potomac Psychiatry, ranked “Best Psychiatry Care Provider in Maryland” in 2020 by Global Health & Pharma. He has been named a Washingtonian Magazine “Top Doctor” for each of the past eight years. Dr. Kehr is a best-selling author whose works have been read by over 800,000 people in 206 countries. In 2020, Dr. Bruce Kehr’s blog was ranked #2 in the nation among mental health-related blogs. Dr. Kehr’s book, Becoming Whole: A Healing Companion to Ease Emotional Pain and Find Self-Love, is an Amazon Best Seller in the self-help categories: Happiness, Counseling, Healing, and Self-Esteem.
What is the Blueprint for Life? How Can I “Dance with Life?”
My Dear Reader: Do you ever feel a sense of awe and wonder about the enormous complexity of our human existence? In the quiet moments of your days or evenings, do you ever ask yourself questions such as… What is life? Where does our consciousness originate? How can I bring about a more joyful existence? How can I feel my very best, and actualize all of the potential inside me to live the fullest life possible? I think about these questions every single day, not only for myself, but also for my loved ones, the patients I treat, and the colleagues I teach. And the longer I study them, the more I understand that they aren’t just rhetorical thought experiments. While some questions like these will always be shrouded in mystery, there are others that science is already beginning to reveal—and the answers have the power to transform not only the way we see our lives, but the way we live them—both within our communities and within the confines of our own minds.
Since the days of Kepler, we have known that the entire universe—from the tiniest subatomic particles, to the waveforms that characterize light, to the largest celestial bodies—is constantly in motion. But does this motion merely amount to a series of random events, or is there some order underlying its very nature… a beautifully choreographed dance that exists just outside of the limits of our current knowledge? It may surprise you to learn that some of the most preeminent quantum physicists believe that there is a dance: that all of reality is based upon a deeply hidden, fundamental property we might think of as a “blueprint” that informs, unfolds, and enables all that was, all that is, and all that will be… a blueprint for life itself.
A Blueprint for Your Mental Health
If you’ve been wondering what any of this has to do with mental health, this “blueprint” is your answer. You see, like the universe itself, our minds are also in constant motion—and like the scientists who have theorized over such a principle, we too can feel as though all this motion is nothing but randomness and uncontrollable chaos. These feelings can lead us into the worst times in our lives, in which the question, “Is there a way to get to the bottom of what’s wrong with me, and correct it?” may give way to something darker still: “Is there even a bottom?”
Reader, while we may not see it with the naked eye, there is order to the universe. Causes have effects, and by studying them closely enough, they can become predictable—not a mob, but a dance. Rapidly advancing knowledge emerging from the fields of genetics, microbiome science, nutrition, and computational biology, suggest there is a series of root causes that can be specified and then built upon to form an entirely new architecture of the mind and the self. And so today we launch a new series for a new year, Root Cause Psychiatry – Your Blueprint to Build Mental Health, which will endow you with the knowledge, information, and power to become the architect of your mental health destiny. Together, let’s begin this amazing journey.
Building a Better You… from the Inside Out
Many writers since the dawn of mankind have turned to the “external factors” of psychology to devise a theory of mental health—including but not limited to our spiritual connections, medical conditions or disorders, political beliefs, workplace culture, love relations, social and friendship relations, immediate and extended family, childhood and unconscious experiences, and more. However, focusing exclusively on external factors can leave practitioners with an incomplete picture of mental health. You see, the human experience is informed not only by these external experiences, but also by the many trillions of building blocks within us—including our 130 trillion cells (30 trillion human, 100 trillion microbial). Within each and every one of these cells is 70 trillion atoms (and the subatomic particles within them!), and three trillion molecules; and inside our brain are 100 billion neurons, 100 billion glial cells, and 10,000 trillion synaptic connections. Indeed, our vast mental health ecosystem is based on the moment-to-moment, real-time interconnectedness and communication between these factors, both internal and external. They each inform each other, and in turn inform you, your body, and your mind. How is this even possible? Talk about wonder and awe!
The external factors have been extensively covered by the great minds of science—and so, while still underscoring their delicate interplay with what exists beneath the surface, this blog series will focus on the internal factors of our health, including mental health genetics, epigenetics (factors that influence what your genes manufacture), how cells work when they are healthy or unhealthy, and how all of the above are affected by lifestyle factors, and macro and micro nutrients. We will also explore how the fundamental nature of reality at an atomic and subatomic level not only permit existence itself, but also allow you to better understand the root causes of your conditions and their subsequent effects… and enable you to “dance” with life in the process. As always, we will present to you the latest scientific research that is revolutionizing our understanding of mental illness development and how to diagnose and treat it.
An Unseen Ecosystem of Wellness
It is becoming increasingly evident that the world we see around us, the one we see and touch and experience each day, is a narrow appreciation of the true nature of existence. Much of which is hidden from our senses, and occurs inside those trillions of cells, and trillions of trillions of atoms is where the fundamental properties of life take place. Science has recently uncovered laws that govern the very nature of being, which can point us toward better mental and physical health, and provide an explanation for many illnesses, including the symptoms of mental illness; and the root causes of aging and death. Here is an infographic that helps explain this at a high level, from the book “Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology”:
At the top of the image we have the world around us, the one we live in and experience with our senses, which operates according to the physical laws outlined by Sir Isaac Newton (this is the world of the external factors of mental health). Below that world is the world of the internal factors of mental health: which includes the world of human cells and the cells of our microbiome, governed by the laws of thermodynamics; and another world deep below that cellular world, extending outward into the world of the cell and the entire universe – the world of atomic and subatomic particles, governed by the laws of quantum mechanics (this world informs everything above which is built upon it!)
My Dear Reader, our existence is dependent upon each of these three “worlds” being harmoniously linked together, and is made possible by the interrelationships between the atoms, molecules, and genes that comprise each and every one of the trillions of cells inside your body. To make it clearer why this interrelationship matters so much to your mental health, let me share an example related to your diet, where (hopefully) you eat healthy proteins that your body converts into essential amino acids. These amino acids are assembled by your cells into enzymes (a specialized type of protein that makes critical things happen). Existence would be impossible without these enzymes, as inside your cells they accelerate chemical reactions a billion times faster. Cellular processes that would ordinarily take millions or even billions of years to take place, are enabled by enzymes to take place in a billionth of a second or less. These enzymes work according to quantum physical laws. The composition of your enzymes is heavily dependent on the molecules and atoms contained in the foods you eat; and the foods you eat, in turn, play a significant role in everything from your mood to your sleep patterns. The very basis of this blog series posits that this interconnection is the root of all mental health outcomes. What could be more worthy of study than this?
Root Cause Psychiatry Blueprints Mental Health Building Blocks
In our series we will explore how to create a blueprint of the building blocks of life inside your body and brain: atoms, molecules and genes working together harmoniously to produce good mental health as opposed to creating a “noisy environment” that brings about mental illness, including symptoms of depression and anxiety. We will teach you about the emerging science of “root cause analysis“and how we are using it to diagnose and treat chronic emotional distress using sophisticated new tests, services, and psychological resources. And as we build out the blueprint subject by subject, using the root causes as a guide, we will complete a “unified theory of mental health”—a framework of understanding to achieve a happier, healthier life based on the latest scientific research.
By the end of our series, if you are a faithful and diligent student, you will have the tools at your disposal to be able to truly “dance with life.” Stay tuned—the best is yet to come!
Read my Amazon Best Seller Book, ratings on Amazon and Goodreads, Becoming Whole: A Healing Companion to Ease Emotional Pain and Find Self-Love, if you would like to feel better through genetic testing, and improve your love relationships.
Proceeds from your purchase of my book will be used to directly help rape survivors and victims of child abuse through donations to RAINN
*Although lessons learned from the treatment of actual patients are included in the patient stories on this website and blogsite, the historical events and facts represented have been changed to protect the identities of any real patients and to protect their confidentiality. For example, the names, ages, careers, the number and sex of their children, as well as the careers of the patients’ parents have been deliberately altered, as well as other alterations that have been made. Consequently, all characters appearing on these sites are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
**Author’s financial disclosure: Genomind and Potomac Psychiatry have an ongoing marketing collaboration aimed at raising visibility for Genomind pharmacogenomics services and Potomac Psychiatry’s Genetic Testing Consultations. Dr. Kehr holds no ownership interest in Genomind and receives no consulting fees.