You are viewing a single comment's thread from:

RE: Psychology Addict # 52 | Mental Illness – A Straight-Forward Discussion about a Non Straight-Forward Topic.

in #psychology3 years ago

Loved this piece. I have always wondered how do you draw a line. I remember this time in my life when I was fighting to quit smoking. I went to a psychiatrist for help. She gave me pills for bipolar disorder, and I was in shock, why? I am fully functional, in fact, more functional than many around me. Just because I see science in ink blots presented to me and I said that I knew smoking is suicidal and yet continued it how would it be bipolar. She later explained to me that I don't have anything serious, just that I have a personality like that and hence these medications would help me in quitting.

That was the first time my brain got completely fucked up - how to draw a line between personality and disorder. Did I have low days and super energetic days - yes. Did I get suicidal thoughts, maybe, but never a will to act on them - apart from starting to smoke? What about those days where I would feel very excited - did I room part in risky behaviour and mismanaged money? Maybe, but nothing more than average teenager, maybe slightly more careless in terms of money. I mostly used this energy to read books, go on binge watching movies without sleep, you know. As a teenager growing up in environment where mental illness was looked down upon it was very stressful to me to be even labelled with a personality linked to it.

Anyway, now having worked on experimental models of stress and PTSD I have a little better understanding of biology behind it. I know how brain can be primed to have certain personalities and how when these traits get overamplified you transition from personality to a full blown disease - say a slight increase in dendritic spines in amygdala that can make you bit cautious in life vs the amygdala becoming hyperactivated to give you generalized fear or anxiety disorder.

Reading your post made me wonder if we can quantify the brain and inflammation status to tear apart everyday personality traits form disorders. Like what are the thresholds. And can we have actual values for them, like we have for body temperature cutoff to call it normal or fever or hypothermia.

Posted using Partiko Android

a slight increase in dendritic spines in amygdala

It reminds me of Sapolky's studies. Do you remember we had a brief discussion about this before? Gosh ... that was a while back :)

made me wonder if we can quantify the brain and inflammation status to tear apart everyday personality traits form disorders.

Can you imagine how complex it would be to disentangle with precision socio-cultural learned behaviors and environmental values from the traits resulted from neurobiological mechanisms? Setting cutoff points here would be a very, very delicate task!

Despite the high reliance the diagnosis of mental illness has on the biomedical model, a biopsychosocial approach mustn't be completed disregarded. Psychological constructs exist in a two-way motion that moves back and forth, back and forth : brain - mind - mind - brain. As much as our psyche is influenced by our brain activities, so are our brain activities influenced by our psyche. ref., ref.

Thresholds already exist in diagnosis, mental health professionals draw a line on a continuum, but they are rather based on a categorical diagnostic system (the DSM) :)

It is wonderful to hear from you @scienceblocks and I thank you very much for taking the time to share here with us your very personal experience with a mental health professional and your insightful reflections upon it! I was interested in how you managed to use that energy, as you put it, to good use and managed to be productive through that phase. Quite remarkable!

PS: You last post is simply a master piece! I read it all (over two days), but am struggling to find the time to leave a comment.

All the best to you my dear.

Your comments are sometimes as rich as your posts...and always sensitive.

You are so very kind @agmoore. You never shy away from being encouraging 😊

I feel so privileged. I have people who take time to read my writings and to meaningfully interact with me. I am constantly learning from the insights, personal experiences and the knowledge shared here in my comment feed. Hence, it is wonderful to hear, especially from you, that my replies contribute to these discussions in a significant manner.

It is a beautiful day over here today: Blue sky & sunshine. How is the NY Summer treating you?

With immense gratefulness & affection,
Your Brazilian Friend,

You're like a blossoming flower on Steemit. This is a commercial platform premised on crypto currency. Yet, in your corner of this crypto universe, there's warmth and wisdom. People find comfort, and discover tools for going forward and improving their lives.
I'm sure this is something you do in your physical universe, also, but your reach is so far on this platform, in the virtual world. These words will live on, the effect will continue. There is no seven day window on that.
I can imagine the work that goes into these essays. There's accumulated wisdom apparent, but also current research and consideration of the specific audience you address. All of this takes time and effort.
It is appreciated and valued. It makes a difference--you'll probably never know where and to whom.
Such a pleasure to know you. I start my day with your words. That, and the picture of a sunny🌞 landscape my son sent me.
Warm and sunny here, in humid, sticky New York. I'm sure the beaches are full

With great affection and respect,
Your sticky NY friend,😄


I'm off to read about the amygdala and post traumatic stress/generalized anxiety disorder. Sounds fascinating. I related to some of what you wrote... my motor runs a little faster than the 'norm'. I'm so grateful for that. As you say, I get a lot done :)