Mental Illnesses and The Brain

What are mental illnesses and personality disorders in relation to the brain?

Mental illnesses are mental health disorders that contribute to abnormal thinking, abnormal excessive moods and emotion thus affecting our behaviour.

The human brain is part of our central nervous system and it coordinates our actions (thought, emotion, movement, behavior) and sensory information. The body responds to the brain, the brain responds to what is received through neurons from different parts of the body including what is learnt and studied.
Cerebrum. This part of the brain functions to initiate and coordinate movement, learning, planning, vision, judgement, reasoning, problem solving, emotion amongst other things.

Below is the brain structure of an abused brain and a healthy brain, along with a link to some of the causes of mentall illnesses.

Most scientists believe that mental illnesses are caused by problems with communication between neurons.

“Neurons that fire together wire together” Dr Joe Dispenza.

  • Prolonged activation of stress hormones reduces neural connections in the temporal and frontal lobe of the cerebrum.
  • Continuous trauma can weaken remaining neural pathways in the cerebrum and strengthen neural pathways to the survival part.
  • Individuals with mental health disorders may be less capable of coping with adversity, both as children and adults.

Can this be the reason we often are quick to attach current moments to past experiences? Why we think in terms of the past? Is it neurons firing together?

According to Dr Dispenza, repeated thought leads to repeated emotion that gets automated in our system.

When we join together unrelated experiences and view them from the same consciousness developed during suffering, we respond to these experiences in the same manner, through our automatic emotional reactions.

Some suggested tips in maintaining mental health

  • Visit a professional.
  • Shadow work. Visit, analyse,  work through and make peace with past and current trauma. Make time and space to unlearn what you have acquired during this period. Beautiful experiences should not be measured equal to past horrible experiences.
  • Develop your brain. Read, learn and feed your brain new things/information.
  • To take part in new experiences. If old experiences can affect how the brain works, can’t the memory be reprinted with new exciting ones?
  • Question the validity of your thoughts and reactions. 
  • Meditation 
  • Consciously remaining  present so not to have our actions controlled by what we know of the past.
  • Self-inquiry. Being in the highest awareness of ourselves

Kindness and understanding goes a long way.

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