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Mental Illness: The Brain You Don't Know

Updated on May 14, 2022
Junaid Altaf profile image

Hailing from Kashmir i have been into writing for the last 10 years. worked mostly as a content writer and currently working as a freelancer

I suffer from Bipolar disorder, GAD, OCD and ADD.

I am mentally ill but not insane. This is something that really needs to be understood so that the stigma sorrounding mental disorders can be addressed productively.

Our brains are also vulnerable to disease

The organ that fuels our vanity, as the emotion of pride seeps through the tributaries of the red river supporting our life; it is the brain that makes us the revered amongst all living.

The source of every personality, this highly functional and sophisticated piece of flesh that we carry in our skulls is where calculations and inventions have been ignited since the first neuron started functioning. You already are enchanted by the magnificence and dominance of this sophisticated machine which is a primary organ of your body, a vital organ in medical terms to be precise.

It is an organ as I stated above and even if I hadn’t it will still hold the same position. That is exactly what is missing today in the understanding and relation with the brain. We treat it as an entirety of our beings and thus discard the possibility of its very possible malfunctioning.

There is a certain logical incoherence in the statement above and that would follow as “it is the brain where thoughts are produced and processed and it is where a personality resides and moulds itself while storing inputs obtained through the five senses as experience, then is it rational to call a man with bipolar disorder a sane individual?”. We can even conclude that a man with any psychological disorder cannot be considered a sane entity because his source of personality has been compromised, if we go according to the clause supposed.

On the contrary we find maniacs, psychopaths, schizophrenics and autistic people to be some of the greatest achievers in their respective fields. Nikola Tesla suffered from OCD( Obsessive Compulsive disorder), a mental disorder characterised by repetitive thoughts and compulsions and Abraham Lincoln was later on found to be suffering from depression and I won’t go into the details as that is not the purpose of this article.So what is the problem with people who are suffering from a particular mental disorder? Well actually the problem lies with the vast majority that doesn’t have one. In their real world a brain that is diseased is weirder than a man living with a single kidney or a 90 year old granny whose heart has been pumping for the last 20 years because of a pace maker.

Mentally ill?

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We share a common instinct

There is something wrong with a percentage of brains in this world, something paranormal going at a microscopic level which a layman has no idea about. Should I say that awareness and education about the brain and its functioning should be made widespread. I am confused about it at the moment because people don’t get attracted to the organ, they get attracted to what the organ has to offer and when it comes to the brain we have a faculty of pleasure which motivates us to seek pleasure oriented activities without considering the consequences. We don't exercise complete control over our brains and the instinct of seeking pleasure does get the best of almost all of us at one instance or the other. You have negligible control over it and you have proved it to yourself time and again by your irrational decisions, last hour exam preparations, immoral sexual relations, unsafe sex, reckless driving, recreational drug usage, excessive alcoholism, unnecessary shopping, inability to control jealousy, the attitude of killing time, laziness, gluttony and a lot more. This makes me wonder how come a sane person has habits that are a contrast to the honored attributes a human being is a symbol of.

Again we have a logical fallacy at our disposal which would follow as “ if people without a mental disorder have a behaviour that are symptoms of various mental disorders, is it correct to say everyone is mentally ill but only a small percentage is believed to be mentally ill?”

Now we have reached at a point where the two classes i.e the mentally ill and the so called mentally fit no longer seem to have a firm foundation to be recognized as separate groups. Thus we can move on to dig a bit deeper into the mountain of a widespread perception we have been living with.

Are you dictated by your pleasure seeking instinct?

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Philosophy, religion and ideologies

Peace is the pinnacle of the human utility of thought, the ultimate destination every human being deserves. We find that almost all religions have a fundamental belief in life after death or resurrection where on the basis of one’s deeds one shall be thrown into an endless cycle of pain and torment or into an atmosphere where a person is surrounded by eternal peace and harmony. This might have tasted like a cold hot dog for the atheist and agnostic readers, but the point here is that even religions seem to hint towards the primary purpose for human beings wherein the attainment of salvation or peace is the penultimate mission of human existence. This leads to the understanding that one who is in charge of what is happening in his head is the one who can fit his/her self into a module that leads him/her to peace within one’s self and with the entire universe and whatever lies in it. It doesn’t matter whether that module is religious or not. What really matters is, the level of understanding a person has about his own being and what are the steps he adopts to curb the negative elements within his psyche. Moreover the crux of this analysis would be, “what would motivate a person to tread on a path to rectify and overcome his intrinsic fallacies”?

One more concept that needs to be reconstructed within minds is that of equality which is and has been scarce from time immemorial. The superiority that has been claimed by certain races and groups on the basis of caste, creed, religion and even sexual orientation is evident enough to prove the disease that has been lurking within mankind since the very beginning of a societal era.

To locate the source of ideologies that have polluted the thought processes of individuals and led to the downfall of human beings as they decided to execute fanaticism of their vague ideas, then we again come back to the role of the ever influential brain in processing or developing a thought process leading to belief in the authenticity of such a destructive use of the faculty of thought. What exactly could have been the reason that ideas such as capitalism, communism and racism were able to create an impact on people and thus create loop holes within the societal frame from where oppression and injustice would seep its way into the society and hinder its overall well-being?

Whether it’s the emotion of being happy or the emotion of feeling highly anxietic or the ever dreaded feeling of depression, we take them as emotions that come under the category of mental health. Whenever emotions like jealousy, pride, rancor, narcissism, conceit, lustfulness, greed, the urge to back bite or gossip and selfishness come, they are considered to be spiritual ailments in different religions and they need to be rectified by adhering to the divine methodology respectively and it should be noted that one has no right to condemn or belittle the understanding any religion propagates.

The question however is, Aren’t these emotions a product of the same organ that creates other emotions like excitement, anger, pleasure gained from sexual activity, fear, happiness, the need to socialise, the discomfort you feel because of loneliness and a lot more?

The irony is that not all emotions are thought to be treatable or not all emotions produced are given the same importance in terms of their effect on a person’s thought process and thus its effect on the society. What do you think is the reason that we find ourselves living with this misconception?

© 2019 Thought Addict


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