The Mystery Of The Pineal Gland
The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland in the human brain that produces melatonin; the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. It is believed by some in the medical and scientific communities that the pineal gland may also secrete DMT, a chemical compound responsible for altered states of consciousness, intense hallucinations and mystical experiences.
DMT has been discovered in the human brain in extremely small concentrations. At these concentrations, no altered states of consciousness are experienced. It is also believed that the pineal gland may contain anti-DMT enzymes that constantly break down the compound, preventing us from hallucinating.
The question becomes: are anti-DMT enzymes malfunctioning in patients with schizophrenia, resulting in too much release of DMT that may be responsible for auditory and visual hallucinations? It is believed that DMT may be released at birth, during dreams, during very traumatic experiences and death.
It would be quite difficult to measure DMT in the human brain during any of the scenarios listed above. But since we do not know what causes psychosis, besides the possibility of too much dopamine, it may be possible that DMT is uncontrollably released due to malfunctioning anti-DMT enzymes.
When DMT is used for recreational purposes, users describe a very intense psychedelic experience of vivid hallucinations, a universal consciousness and detachment from the body. These descriptions sound similar to people who have gone through near-death experiences.
In addition, it has been observed in small DMT clinical trials that participants did not experience tolerance to DMT after receiving multiple doses. Tolerance is classic after multiple, consistent doses of LSD, psilocybin and mescaline are received. If the human brain does not experience tolerance to DMT, can this be part of the reason why some schizophrenic patients hallucinate indefinitely?
The next reasonable question to ask is why would the human brain create an endogenous substance responsible for making humans hallucinate? The same question can be asked as to why the human brain contains cannabinoid receptors and a compound called anandamide.
The human brain also produces endogenous natural pain killers such as endorphins and enkephalins, which are released when a person experiences pain. The pattern seems to be quite clear: the human brain contains receptors and endogenous chemical compounds that help with pain relief, pleasure, eating and sleeping.
If DMT is produced by the pineal gland, is it possible that it may be responsible for causing schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses in millions of people worldwide?
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)