Depressives never feel “whole”.

So Dr. Satan’s drilling a hole in their heads – literally.

Two to be exact.

That’s right. A group of people who’ve waded through decades of the sad-sads (that have failed to abate with therapy and medical treatments) finally felt tortured enough to try anything. Among the “anything” experiments was a fairly recent one in which two thin tunnels were burrowed deep into a part of their brain called “Area 25” (an area in the cerebral cortex that’s overactive in depressives). Through these noggin corridors, hollow tubes were then shoved in along with electrodes to apply electricity to that disordered brain area. And what happened?

(*grabs popcorn* I’ve seen this movie, I totally know how it ends.)


Actually, once the signals hit the regions that regulated mood, sadness, sleep, and motivation – something sort’ve spectacular happened. With a tiny current at about the strength of one thousandth of a flashlight, their world perception changed in a flash. Positive memories were recalled. Some subjects felt “hope” and “connectedness”. Others described seeing vivid colors.

That’s pretty effing cool.

But, I wonder. First: If this is a patient’s last ditch effort – might it be power of suggestion? Like how they say in desperation we find hope? It’s hard to know because it’s hard to run a placebo test in an experiment involving brain cavities.

And building on that, I wonder how many of these people have truly tried “everything” before this invasive procedure. Could they mine that hope another way? I don’t like to complain ‘cause I get bored of hearing myself mope. But I also spend a good deal of my life not knowing which side I’m gonna get: the happy manic or the part that ponders, “should I order the Kevorkian EXIT bag now, or watch Cosmos on demand first?” Waking up in thoroughgoing panicky pain isn’t exactly conducive to wanting to roll out the yoga mat and “try”, either.

But what’s the alternative? There’s a lotta calm-down methods (that don’t require drugs or shrinks). They’re just hard is the thing. And meeting good results halfway takes an openness that only one who’s gazed into the abyss can finally acquiesce to or give a chance. It doesn’t necessarily get “easier”, but if you keep going, you definitely fight it a little less with the truculence of a two year old because you’re finally getting relief. Life only grows easier when willingness grows.


In fact, what struck me most about this story, was the results – the nature of them.

That “hope”, “connection”, and even the “vivid colors” – these are all things that hit me like I’d been Wizard of Oz style tornado punted into a new universe the first time I sat down, breathed deep, and STFU’d my brain for like five or ten minutes. When I opened my eyes, my first thought was “Did I put LSD in my soup instead of salt?” My second thought was, “I wouldn’t mind carrying on living today!”

I’m not saying that every one of these people haven’t tried their hardest. I’d just be curious to know how many people would opt for the head-hole cure before having exhausted every non-invasive option. I love literal brain hacks like these, but as for an actual implant? Holes drilled into Area 25?

Sounds more like an Area 51 experiment run by Rob Zombie.