Mental Health: Genetics and Development
Mental Health and the Brain:
Our sixth session and resulting on-line forum discussion completed the outlining some features of brain organization relevant to mental health, adding a third "loop" to its architecture, an interpersonal one. Beginning this week, we will move on to a series of discussions of more traditional topics in mental health, asking for each how useful the story of the bipartite brain is for finding new approaches.
Readings for this week
Where we've been ....
Observations to date are also consistent with the mind not being in the brain but needing a properly disposed material brain to express its powers ... This business of creating meaning still confuses me ... do we need to create a meaning of life in order to keep going?... MartinBayer
without meaning people have a really hard time. If they don't have bigger stories to help make sense of their lives they really do end up struggling, despairing or losing hope ... a person actively has to make meaning ... adiflesher
[Yalom] says that anxiety arises when we try to cope with the four “givens” of existence which are the inevitability of death for each of us and those we love; the freedom to make our lives as we will; our ultimate aloneness; and the absence of any obvious meaning or sense to life ... Paige Safyer
For all that we have been able to discuss ideas of mental health in the abstract we have not been able to put them into practice. Everyone of our suggested 'treatments' for each case is no different from what would happen to a lucky patient under the current mental health programme ... Have we really departed in any fundamental way from age old notions of what it means to be sick or healthy? ... I'm afraid that we are making the same mistake the mental health profession makes by separating the mind (higher abstract thought) from the body (real practical answers) ... akerle
One of the (many) questions I left class last night pondering was whether or not "social interaction" was actually different from any other kind of interaction between the unconscious and the outside world ... Why did they get their own class meeting to discuss while all the other inputs to the unconscious got grouped together into one? ... kmanning
When a critical number of monkeys learn a skill on one side of the lake (e.g. how to open a banana more effectively), the knowledge seems to jump to the other side of the the lake and those monkeys somehow know how to open the bananas in the more effective way ... ryan g
Often we do not make a choice about a story based on how much sense it makes but based on how much we trust and like the story teller ... adiflesher
our culture tends to define people based upon “self,” the individual, rather than relationships to other people. It seems that for people who may define themselves, or create stories in which “I” is, perhaps, not the primary worldly relationship, but rather “other” is (or community), this creates internal conflict ... Sophie F
It seems that many world cultures would define the individual much more in terms of relationship to community than in terms of individual or "self" properties ... mstokes
people have begun to place such a large importance on their relationships with others that they may be loosing the relationship with themselves ... llamprou
When we try to define or understand ourselves as a "self" we are trying to divorce how we find ourselves to be meaningful from the things - relationships - that create that meaning. We are trying to create objective, "un-related" meaning in the form of the "self" from inherently subjective, related meaning, and that definitely creates conflict! ... kmanning
I think the thing about our social relationships in the world is that we look to them to confirm the stories our I-function is telling us about ourselves (or about the cohesion between selves that is being created) ... ysilverman
There can be no conclusive "knowing" of anything or anyone, making conflict, internal and otherwise, "inevitable." It is only, perhaps, with the acceptance of such limitations that conflict can be eased, valuing rather than devaluing our shared lack of "knowing." ... Maybe this entails letting go of the sanctity of "self" and falling (easing?) into the uncertainty of connectedness, of narrative ... Sophie F
a potential therapist is a person who is interested in and talented at mucking around in others tacit knowledge or unconscious. This person would make observations about their patient’s unconscious’ activities, a task the patient is incapable of performing themselves ... jrlewis
Moving on: genes (Julia, Paul B.)
"It was as if my father had given me by way of temperament an impossibly wild dark and unbroken horse it was a horse without a name and a horse with no experience of a bit between its teeth." ... Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind
Virtually all behavior is influenced by genes
Virtually no behavior is determined by genes
If mind is part of the brain then
- Mind is influenced by genes
- Mind is not determined by genes
Is the study of genes in relation to mind and mental health useful?Williams syndrome - sociability genes?
Sex and gender genes?Genes code for macromolecules, not for behaviors or aspects of mind. During development/life genes interact with each other, with intracellular surroundings, with extracellular influences including hormones, with extraorganismal influences including other human beings. Mind reflects all this, as well as its own internally generated stories.