Monday, January 18, 2010

Lovecraft's Anxiety?

Lovecraft, Cortisol, and Anxiety?

Many writers have speculated that Lovecraft's young life was greatly stress filled. He wrote of the trauma of his grandfather's death, loss of his cat, his family home, and most means of support. His father and mother both deteriorated into health crises. He sometimes spoke of suicide, though it's uncertain how serious he was. By most accounts, then, he struggled as a child and young adult with a series of things.

In Jan-Feb 2010, Discovery Magazine declared the 61st (of 100) most significant scientific discoveries of 2009 as the linkage of cortisol, DNA, and a glucocorticoid receptors.

In this case, a researcher did autopsies of male suicide victims who also were confirmed to have been abused as children showed a 40% reduction in glucocorticoid receptors. In other studies, mood disorders are also related to low glucocorticoid receptors and are hereditary to some extent.

While we want to avoid entering "pop-psychology" these are intriguing coincidences with Lovecraft's life as expressed in his letters.


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