A New Perspective on Mental Health, part 1

In the last two posts, I dived into some concepts of mental health issues and what steps we could do to understand them better. However, I was fortunate to learn about organisations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (http://www.nami.org/) and the mental health first-aid that are hoping to revolutionise the lives of those suffering from any crisis using things like neurofeedback and other forms of therapy. How long ago has it been in human history that people built asylums for the insane? Who was the first person to come up with the concept of mental illness? Through the readings, it was discovered that an understanding of how mental illness worked is still a mystery, the way cancer and heart disease were in the early 1950’s and 1960’s. It is such a complicated array, with what the brain hardly being researched and all, that it makes things challenging. We are taking the wrong paths to treating these victims and are doing them more harm than good with all those chemicals that claim they can balance out the hormones and neurotransmitters. However, in order for us to know what a particular drug will do to the brain, the pharmaceutical industry depends on killing innocent creatures to find out what it did. When they get enough people willing to participate, then they perform clinical trials on the subjects. If it is successful, then they call it a good day.
I began to think on possible alternatives on how we could begin changing. The first thing to understand is how mental illness works in the first place. What is it caused by. Is it voluntary or involuntary? What are the motivations to having a person behave this way? What about language that they can use to transmit the way they feel to someone who has never felt the sensations they have?
Let us begin with how mental illness works. Mental illness is characterised and diagnosed by observation, evaluation, inventory and question banks, and aren’t usually diagnosed by using biological markers the way they would do in the case of body illnesses, such as heart or liver conditions. What is a disorder? A disorder can mean several different things. In an earlier entry, it was explained that rewiring the brain, intentionally or unintentionally, can cause a disorder. It is not just based on how one was born. That’d be more like a traumatic brain injury of some sort. For instance, I read a book by David Melton called A Boy Called Hopeless. It is set in a real place called the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential.
There are several different kinds of mental illnesses out there that branch out in the psychiatric field. Science has not yet determined a definite cause for a lot of mental illnesses, though one theory that stands out is the history of the illness. In my last post, I talked about how, if your grandparents were abusive, there is a chance that you would too. The same could happen with mental illnesses. One could willingly go insane because of a traumatic experience, and the future offspring can have traces of that, like some sort of foreign instinct. This is probably because the genetic code containing the instructions on hormone and neurotransmitter production was rewritten. However, people can suffer a mental crisis even after living a normal life. This is probably because they faced a traumatic event that forced their thought patterns to change the way their neurotransmitters and hormones were being produced. There are tons of traumatic events that one can associate to present-day occurrences, and that can lead to all kinds of phobias and forms of paranoia. I am curious to know if there is a gauge that can tell you how fear is measured, or how it can be more sensitive to one person but not another. Also, what is a traumatic event? Something that you interpret as having a major effect on how you perceived the information that was sensed by the brain. It is because of how those events were carried out that your subconscious mind literally protected your conscious mind. Sometimes we have nightmares about these events because of the fear we are faced with, yet dreams are composed of the brain’s confusion and starts mixing cells in odd structures. This is known as the study of oneirology. So, most of these are associated with stress, anxiety, and depression (SAD). People who have suffered trauma often deal with flashbacks, which is grounds for diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder. And, in some cases, a C is added to mean complex PTSD.
At this time, it is hard to say if a mental illness is voluntary or involuntary, in other words, can you will yourself to have bipolar disorder, or will a mutation cause you to have it? Can it happen because of the lack of nurture you were given after birth? A mutation is when instructions are not properly read by the body and the sequence ends prematurely, otherwise there has to be a genetic host. For that matter, can a person with bipolar disorder will themselves to be normal by forcing their brain and body to listen to their mind? Would a person even want to? I once asked someone that if there was a cure to their disorder, would they go for it? Why or why not? Surprisingly, they said they’d never want to be normal. If they did, they would be more freaked out at having a new life than the old life that they have come to know since childhood. This applies to many other people who have learned to cope and embrace their disabilities as part of their identity. I don’t see myself as a blind and hard-of-hearing person. I see myself as a person who is physically unable to see and uses residual hearing to communicate along with supplemental devices. People feel like they are compelled to bond with the divine power that forced them to have this disability. It is like their destiny was planned out. Surprisingly, however, I broke away from this power.
Many people, regardless of what language they learned, or if they learned any language at all, can feel the way they feel inside their head and in their body, and they know how to respond to these kinds of sensations, like throwing a temper tantrum, crying, laughing, or just sleeping. I am sure you can think of more that do not require the interpretation of language. We assign words to these sensations so we can relate to similar words and sensations, how we ended up feeling this way. Some of such examples include, fire-like sensations, cold-like sensations, intense pressure, tightness, emptiness as in boredom, overwhelmed as in your head and body is overheating, etc. Usually, however, a person can regulate the way they feel, but if their feelings were altered without the control of the mind, then it is due to a change in production, so we try to figure out where the flaw is so we can fix it and make the person well again. The good news is that we are totally flexible, though there are some things that can’t be rewired, like undeveloped structures. That would need some kind of stem cell treatment.
How can language help in the understanding of mental illness? If we know how a word is precisely defined in terms of demographics, there is a chance that we might be able to put ourselves into the shoes of those living with mental illness. Do mood swings happen gradually, or do they happen suddenly? Some people can be angry one second and calm the next. This is known as impulsive action because you act based on how you feel, not think on how you feel before you act. If you keep your feelings bottled in, they will build up and up until you explode like a soda bottle, so it is always best to write them down and or talk to someone in words that are meaningful to you. It may be hard for others to understand. It’d be like transmitting sensations across the internet or something like that just using words. Your brain has to use the already visible sensations you learned to associate with language, and use those to piece together a new and somewhat good replica of what the person is feeling.
I once asked to someone if a person dreamed of having a completely usable body of a different sex. In their dream, they’ve experienced all the sensations that person would have as someone in their new role, and that they exclaimed that it was shocking and very different. The question then becomes, how does our brain know what something feels like internally and externally if it has never been present or exposed to it in its life? Could it be something found in the cerebellum or brain stem, the most primitive? What about before we were born. Did we have memories of our other lives written? What about afterword? In any case, I asked a female person what their sensations were like, and surprisingly I was able to relate theirs with a dream I had about my being in a female’s body. In this particular dream, I was experiencing what it was like to have oxytocin released into my system. What made me suspect that I was to learn was the fact that female neurochemistry allows them to experience a cuddly sensation more than males. When they told me this, I was taken aback, for I have felt those very sensations and I could definitely relate to them. Female neurochemistry is set to finding the best-fitting mate while the male neurochemistry is primarily set to focus on planting the seed.

Published by HeavenlyHarmony-KJ7ERC

Check out the About Page of this site to learn more about me. I am a new ham radio operator, and you can find my call sign on my profile. I am completely blind, severely hard-of-hearing, and an active member and participant of the LGBTQIA community.

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