A Mental Health Specialist Sees the Light, But Only Through a Chink

Majid Ali, M.D.

An Article of Darwin-Frued Series

I am happy to report that the discovery of D4 infidelity gene is encouraging some mental health specialists to learn somethings about Charles Robert Darwin.

Psychologists and psychiatrists have not been interested in what health of the liver and the gut have to do do with mental health? Or how  nutritional deficits and environmental toxins might adversely affect mental health? These issues do not seem to interest practitioners of mental health. If they do, they do not let anyone know about it. Certainly I have not read an article by them their case studies in which their use of nutritional therapies and environmental measures helped them improve their care of their patients.

Charles Robert Darwin made hundreds of observations of natural phenomena and drew a handful of inferences. I confess that this one aspect of their work persuaded me years ago to walk in Darwin’s footsteps. As for Freud, the less I say about him, the better.

Now to the subject of this article. I was happy to see the following text in an article by a psychiatrist published in The New York Times on May 24, 2015:

“We are accustomed to thinking of sexual infidelity as a symptom of an unhappy relationship, a moral flaw or a sign of deteriorating social values. When I was trained as a psychiatrist we were told to look for various emotional and developmental factors — like a history of unstable relationships or a philandering parent — to explain infidelity.

But during my career, many of the questions we asked patients were found to be insufficient because for so much behavior, it turns out that genes, gene expression and hormones matter a lot.

Now that even appears to be the case for infidelity.”

Infidelity Gene

Here is something else of interest on the subject. In 2010,  Justin R. Garcia of Binghamton University found people with a variant of one dopamine receptor subtype, the D4 receptor, were 50 percent more likely to report sexual infidelity. So, now enters Darwin into the picture. We now have an infidelity gene after all.

The  D4 genetic variant has impaired affinity for dopamine (the love hormone) and explains why some individuals are “hungrier for novelty than those lacking this genetic variant.”

Let us hope that this discovery of the infidelity gene will lead to more light on the molecular biology of mental health. So psychologists and psychiatrists might one day also become real students of Darwin and develop a passion for molecular biology of mental health (which I present in depth in my free “Dr. Ali’s Course on Mental Health” posted at http://www.aliscience.org and http://www.alihealing.org.

But when will the field of mental health really, really invite Darwin in and become clinical nutritionists and clinical ecologists?

Pathways of the Soul

Majid Ali, M.D.

One’s soul is the core of one’s being that knows not fear, nor remorse.

The soul exists beyond guilt and revenge.

The soul is love that knows not the color, creed, or race.

Pathways of the soul are conversations with one’s own core.

The body suffers, the soul does not.

The body withers, the soul does not.

The body ages, the soul does not.

Pathways of the Soul are the ways to reach God, goodness, or the glue that holds us together. This is the gift of understanding from our deep ancestors, the women of the Rift valley. Call it the Sufi way, if you prefer.

Below, I offer a part of a poem from my poetry book entitled “Drone Democracy” relevant to Pathways of the Soul.


A day for,

For trancing in every shrine,

Far, far,

From the mind of the malign,

Softly, sublimating,

Into the heart of the Divine.

A day for love,

A love,

That only soul can refine.

On the way to be a nobody.  

My book  “Drone Democracy” is available at http://www.aliacademy.org)  

Pathways of the Soul of Sufi Women of Early Africa

Majid Ali, M.D.

I recognize the Sufi way to be the continuity of the maternal and tribal instincts of African women of the Rift Valley. Some scholars think that the word Sufi is derived from the Arabic root word of tausuff (meaning purity of the spirit). Other scholars claim the Sufism as recognized in the modern use of the time is Persian in origin. Clearly, these linguistic issues developed a very long time after the sensibilities and sensitivities of African women of the Rift Valley of earlier (pre-historic) times. They recognized what I call Pathways of the Soul at some deep intuitive visceral levels.

I recognized this much earlier African origin of Sufism during the writing of my article entitled “Africa: the Mother of Medicine”. In African mythology, nearly all deities with destructive portfolios (earth quacks, floods, lightening, and others) were males, while all deities with protective roles (rain, crops, and fertility) were females. Below is some text from that article.

The Sufi Way – Part Two: Love Versus Not-Me-Ness

Majid Ali, M.D.

The Sufi Wayit seems to meis the continuity of sensibilities and sensitivities of African women of the Rift Valley of earlier (pre-historic) times. I recognized this during the writing of my article entitled “Africa: the Mother of Medicine”. In African mythology, nearly all deities with destructive portfolios (earth quacks, floods, lightening, and others) were males, while all deities with protective roles (rain, crops, and fertility) were females. For more on the subject, please read the companion article entitled “Sufi Women of Early Africa” at this link:   https://alilife.org/2015/04/12/africa-the-mother-of-medicine

Text from the Africa: the Mother of Medicine Article

African mythology is considered too large a swath to allow a meaningful synopsis.26 I believe it is possible to do a broad survey of dieties and their assigned roles to draw some conclusions that shed light on the Eastern Track hypothesis. African gods are excitable and love fireworks (lightning and storms) and utterly delinquent in their obligations to mortals. Male deities are not sympathetic to their mortal subjects. They want humans to become independent and stand on their own. The accounts of humans building mythological heavenly ladders for direct audience with gods are revealing. Such ladder always collapse, crushing the limbs of climbers and dashing their hopes. African goddesses, by contrast, are deeply supportive of humans—loving, nurturing, and forever sustaining hope. Specifically, Yemoja is the African “mother of gods.” She is a nurturer and directs the all-important portfolio of water management (as the goddess of rivers). The god Sango is interested in big bangs and huge flames (as the god of thunder and lightning). Yemoja and Sango are the forerunners—essentially prototypes for the planetary evolution of gender-related mythology—for generations of loving and nurturing female deities and mean-spirited and violent male deities ever ready to torture the hapless mortals.27 The essential attributes of male gods are best exemplified by the Greek supergod, Zeus, who was precocious and violent. He made love to everything that moved and incinerated mortals without provocation with his lightning rod. Hades ruled the underworld with other ill-tempered gods.


What might be the primal malignancy of the mind? This question takes form whenever my mind drifts to the murder of 132 boys in a Peshawar school ,or to the estimated one-and-half million people killed during partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947. Or the Armenian genocide. And, of course, holocaust of Europe.

What occupies the mind of Boka Haram when they abduct, rape, and murder teenagers in Nigeria? Or of the “drone-democrizaing” notions of the sages of Washington? Or the framers of the U.S. constitution when they legalized unspeakable horrors of slavery? Such questions, of course, are endless. But each of them bring me to the question in the beginning of this article: What might be the primal malignancy of the mind? What my study of history informs me about the question is the same as my reflections on the current world affairs. The answers to the question is always the same: “Not-Us-Ness.”

When and how might the primal malignancy of the mind have begun. My mind drifts to some earlier time in the history before the birth of healers, the predecessors of doctors today. I see a hunter falling off a cliff and tearing up his thigh. Then I see some other hunter climbing down the cliff, looking at the blood spilling out, looking around, in despair picking up some tree bark, and slamming it on the gaping wound. The wounded hunter lives and looks at the tree bark as the miracle. Seeing this, the hunter who picked the bark begins to engage in a different ideation. I chose the right bark and so it must be within me. I must be gifted. I must be different from others.

Or, there was drought. The land was parched and so were its people. Children were dehydrated and listless. Their mothers were distraught. Everyone seeks help from the chief of the tribe. The chief looks up to sky, then stares at distant hills, then at the sun squinting to escape its scalding light. He looks down at dirt, then back to the comforting distant hills. He is a chief and knows well the dependence of his tribe on hope. How can I bring some hope to my people now? he murmurs to himself. His tribe looks at him and he at them. He knows he has no answer but knows that he can admit it. His has been good at pretense before and recognizes he has to do it.

That night, it happens. The sky pours and pours and pours water. The whole tribe rushes to surround the chief and rain dance celebration begins. The chief engages in the same ideation as the hunter. It must be within me. I must be gifted. I must be different from others. The Not-Me-Ness germinates. This or something like this must have been the beginning of the spirit men, men who know better and know that others are not like them.

The Greeks were ingenious creators of gods, one god for everything—every desire, every rage, every pursuit, every war, and every conquest—under the umbrella of their super-god, Zeus. But the god-making Greeks were not the first people to excel in the craft. Their were Indians before them. And the people of Rift valley long before them? God-making craft had to have been developed. And what was this craft all about? Shapes of Not-Me-Ness, of course.

Africans were not Asians. Asians were not Europeans. Europeans were not Eskimos. Hindus temples were not Buddhist monastries, which were not Jewish synagogues, which were not Christian churches, which were not Muslim mosques, which were not Sikh gurdawaras. It was Not-Me-Ness then and it is Not-Us-Ness now. It will be the same Not-Me-Ness in the future, for ever and ever.

I recognize Not-Me-Ness has been celebrated as diversity. This does not fool me. Those who celebrate Not-Me-Ness as diversity have been its staunchest proponents.

So, I am afraid, Not-Me-Ness has been the human destiny—and will be so forever. So then why should I be like anyone else? Why should I not celebrate my inalienable right of Not-Me -Ness?

What Causes Doctor Burn-out?

Majid Ali, M.D.

The main reason doctors get burned out fast is they know they are not being true to their calling. They know people sickened by chemicals cannot heal with more chemicals. They know they have to rigidly follow prescribed standards of care and independent thinking is dangerous for their licenses and living.

The American Medical Association does not recognize this. Still they have some good points in its article  on the subject reproduced below.

How to beat burnout: 7 signs physicians should know

3/4/2015, 2:36 PM


If constant stress has you feeling exhausted, detached from patients, or cynical, take notice. You may be in danger of burnout, which studies show is more prevalent among physicians than other professionals. But how can you avoid it? Learn the signs of physician burnout and what you can do to stay motivated on the job.

Mark Linzer, MD, Director of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, has studied physician burnout since 1996. He said he understands why many physicians eventually feel exhausted practicing medicine, but this problem is avoidable.

“Burnout doesn’t have to be highly expensive to fix,” Dr. Linzer said. “The problem is that no one is listening. People always want to say that physician wellness and performance measures will cost a lot of money, but preventing burnout can actually save money in the long run on recruiting and training new practice staff.”

If physicians want to keep burnout at bay, Dr. Linzer said there are some serious signs they should never ignore. Here are seven ways to know if your practice is getting the best of you—and when to finally do something about it:

  • You have a high tolerance to stress.  
Stress consistently ranks as the number one predictor for burnout among physicians, Dr. Linzer said. “Please don’t ignore the stress, even if you can take it,” he said. Physicians who consistently operate under high stress are at least 15 times more likely to burn out, according to his research.
  • Your practice is exceptionally chaotic.  
A quick glance around your practice will let you know if you or your colleagues may cave to stress. “People tend to think it’s the patients that always stress doctors out, but actually, it’s the opposite,” Dr. Linzer said. “Caring for patients keeps doctors motivated. What burns them out is caring for patients in a high-stress environment. Change the environment and you’ll change the overall quality of care.”
  1. You don’t agree with your boss’ values or leadership.  
This one is particularly tricky to identify but “necessary to prevent burnout,” Dr. Linzer said. Whether at a large hospital or private practice, physicians need to feel as if the people leading them also share their values for medicine and patient care. Otherwise, their motivation can slowly wane.
  • You’re the emotional buffer.  
Working with patients requires more than medical expertise. “Often, the doctor acts as an emotional buffer,” Dr. Linzer said. “We will buffer the patient from our own stressful environment until we can’t take it anymore.”
  • Your job constantly interferes with family events.  
Spending quality time with loved ones helps physicians perform better. “When they can’t do those things, it’s all they think about during the day and the patient suffers,” Dr. Linzer said, citing work-life interference as one of the most common predictors for burnout among physicians in his studies.
  1. You lack control over your work schedule and free time.  
When work demands increase, but control over your schedule doesn’t, stress can kick in and spark burnout. That’s why Dr. Linzer often tells practices, “If you standardize, customize”— a medical mantra to suggest that if physicians must work a long standardized set of hours each week, practices should at least customize their schedules to flexibly fit changes or needs in their daily lives.
  • You don’t take care of yourself. 
When was the last time you enjoyed a nice bubble bath or morning run? If you continually neglect yourself, you may neglect your patients, too. “As physicians, we want to be altruistic but one of the keys to altruism is self-care,” Dr. Linzer said.

Did you fit most of these signs? If you think you or your fellow physicians are suffering from excessive stress, check out these tips from residents who have conquered burnout. Find more on maintaining a happy medical family in Physician Family, the AMA Alliance’s magazine.

Also download a copy of Dr. Linzer’s clinical study on burnout for tips and recommendations that may fit your practice.

Preventing physician burnout is a priority for the AMA’s Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability initiative, which partners with physicians, leaders, and policymakers to reduce the complexity and costs of practicing medicine so physicians can continue to put patients first.

Tags: Health_News , Physician_Health , Medical_Profession_News , Resident_News , SeniorPhys_News , MedEd_Update_March2015

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1:34 PM on 3/9/2015

More interesting is why we hand out advice like this when we know from decades of research it’s wrong.
Imagine burnout=PTSD.
If we told our PTSD patients to put on the stiff upper lip, chill, etc., we’d be reported to the state medical board.
So let’s call burnout what it is, a failure of leadership at the highest level.
The environment of practice is very controllable.
Drop SGR and spend the dues money using AMA podium to say no to issues that don’t improve environment of practice.




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11:46 AM on 3/11/2015

you need to be morally self sustaining and preserved so that a practitioner can be proud of its own and be a successful one .




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pamela lepera

10:32 AM on 4/15/2015

Interesting that # 1 sign is ” high tolerance to stress” It is difficult to know the alternatives to having a high tolerance. Perhaps , instead of tolerating stress a physician with low risk for burn out will seek solutions to problems that contribute to a stressful environment. What do other members think about constructive ways to optimize tolerance to stress as a factor for avoiding burn out?




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6:02 AM on 4/18/2015

Burns and injuries are very dangerous for human health. when anybody can burn and got hospital for treatment this will very difficult to doctors how to treat them.. 

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