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Brains - Misfiring

Updated on May 30, 2017
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Mentally Ill

How does that term hit you? What does it mean to be mentally ill? Does the word crazy come to mind? Does fear strike your heart at the thought? My goal in this hub is to take the mystery, preconceived notions, harmful labels and fear out of a diagnosis of Mental Illness.

There is a well known and respected organization called NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) that has helped many people and families to gain a clearer understanding of those who are Mentally ill. The link above will provide many resources and helpful information.

Find a brief description from NAMI below.

You need to research NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

What is Mental Illness: Mental Illness Facts

Description of Mental Illlness by NAMI:

"Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life."

The mind is complex, unpredictable, easily shaped and influenced. Some people struggle with chemical imbalances or, as I say, with 'minds that misfire.'

There are those who do battle with their minds on a daily basis. They struggle to find their equilibrium as their minds take on a life of their own sliding from irrational to far out and then back to clarity.

There are many symptoms and classifications of mental illness with categories ranging from pesky depression and anxiety's which come and go - to the devastatingly complex diagnosis of a clinical depression, bi-polar or schizophrenia.

Thank God we live in this day and age. Today mental Illness is widely recognized and the psychiatric community is making great strides in helping the mentally ill to live fulfilling lives.


Recent Mental Health News

Mental health is something most people take for granted but for those afflicted with a mental health disorder or illness its power to penetrate and disrupt every area of their lives can be life shattering.

For those who think mental illness is a condition one brings on themselves, consider the following scientific evidence.

In Recent Mental Health News on depression the National Institute of Mental Health conducted the largest study ever done in the US using brain imaging. The study revealed that when there is a thinning of the cortex (outer layer) of the right hemisphere of the brain it predisposes one to depression. When the left side of the brains hemisphere is also thinned the studies reveal that it throws the predisposed into depression or anxiety.

Researchers have studied those that have ADD and those with loss of memory. Results showed that they also have thinning on both sides of the brain’s outer layer. The original studies of families with a history of depression were carried into this study using brain imagery. The results show that the thinning is hereditary and passed down from one generation to the next. It is hoped that finding the root cause will lead to early intervention of progression of the mental health condition.

Thoughts and Depression

For those who experience bouts of depression allow me to suggest that there is a direct connection between your thoughts and a depressive state of mind.

Many people who experience non-clinical depression have not made the connection that their thought life is the problem. All of us have thoughts running through our minds on a daily basis. Most of us do not take the time to target our thoughts or even acknowledge them. They are subconscious but never-the-less very powerful. "As a man thinks in his heart ... so is he." Proverbs 23:7

In order to take control of your thoughts we must first become aware of them. Have you ever caught one of those thoughts and wondered .. where in the world did that come from? Ever had a thought like ... your life is over, you are useless, you have no value, you'll never make it, you're such a loser or what an idiot? All of these self defeating, self hatred statements can combine to create a serious depression in your mind and brain.

THE GOOD NEWS: You can change the way you think! Only you can do it. The key is to replace every negative thought with a positive one.

I am a believer in God, His son Jesus and in His word. I believe His word is truth. Unlike any other book the Bible is alive and God breathed. For the believer it is like a sword to conquer attacks that assault and damage us. This holy book has the power to change lives, I am living proof of this fact.

I use the word of God (as a sword) to wage war against unhealthy, defeating or dishonoring thoughts. Allow me share some powerful tips I have learned along the way.

When lies come into my thinking and threaten to steal my joy, I visualize myself grabbing the lie and laying it at the foot of the cross - I give it to Jesus. Now, it's important to replace the lie with HIS truth and to speak the truth (out loud if possible) as many times as needed until it sinks in and brings back peace.

NOTE: A thought is just a thought. You add value to it or you deal with it as a lie.

Let's consider some thoughts that may invade your thinking when in a depressed state of mind:

Thought: I'm such a loser, I'm not good at anything. I might as well never have been born. Replace that thought with Truth.

  • "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14
  • "The very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." Matthew 10:31-32

THOUGHT: I will never pull out of this depression. I am useless. Replace that thought with TRUTH

  • "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
  • "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Phillipians 1:6

Follow this example for the intruding thoughts that plague you. Look up Verses about whatever it is you are thinking.

Example: Search Google: Bible verse, I feel like a loser.

If you are diligent about this process you will eventually find yourself pulling out of your depression and into a place of peace.


Nutrition and Mental Health

Most people are not aware of the connection between food and the state of their mental health.

Research on the connection between mood instability and food intake is still early on but the results thus far do suggest a very real link. In fact one study found that a lack of Omega-3 Fatty Acids was a contributing factor to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and ADD and ADHD.

A person who is malnourished will experience moodiness and lack of energy. Changes in your nutritional intake will affect your brain chemistry, specifically the levels of the chemicals called neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters work to take messages from one nerve to the next nerve cell. Neurotransmitters affect your moods and your ability to think clearly. They can even interfere with healthy sleeping patterns if not working optimally.

The brain requires 20 to 30% of your body’s energy or calorie intake. Make sure you get all of the food groups to maintain strong brain functioning.

The core food groups that your brain requires to maintain mental health are as follows; Healthy Grains, Protein, Vegetables and Fruits, Milk and Healthy Fats.

If you experience depression or mood swings, you would be wise to pay attention to your calorie intake and eating habits. For instance when you eat refined sugars on an empty stomach do you end up on the couch afterwards?

Do you snap at your husband or children? If you see a connection between eating sugar and your behavior you need to know that this indicates a reaction from the fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Sometimes people have allergies to certain foods. When you experience mood changes go back and consider what you have just eaten to see if there is a connection.

Do your research, conduct a self study and you will find the connection between healthy nutrition in connection to maintaining balanced brain functioning and health.

Don't Give Up

This hub is in no way the complete answer for those who deal with mental health issues. I have learned that for many health and mental health conditions there are healthy alternatives.

Just know that there is a connection between healthy eating, negative thinking patterns and mental health.

For hard-core depression, schizophrenia, bi-polaIr and other major mental health conditions, we can thank God we live in this day and age. There are medications, available today, which provides the chemicals needed to balance the brain.

I have been privileged to work with many who have been diagnosed with mental illness. In every case, with perseverance and determination, these people are living fulfilled and productive lives.

Don't ever give up on yourself or a loved one. There are treatments and many resources available today. Ask lots of questions, do your homework - use the internet and research and learn everything you can. You WILL find answers as you go forward and persevere.


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    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks By Grace .. it's how I think of the brain when the delicate balance of chemicals and messengers get out of line. I liked the title too. SMILE



    • By Grace 7 profile image

      By Grace 7 

      8 years ago

      Great hub, I love the title.

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Hi Tracy, Thanks for the Kudo's .. coming from a professional who knows .. I value it!



    • Tracy Ann profile image

      Tracy Ann 

      8 years ago from Washington

      Love the article. Great info. I worked for a Mental Health agency for nearly 10 years. So I know what your talking about and you did a great job.

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      MFB, I'm sorry your mom was born at a time the mysteries of the mind were not well understood. How blessed she was to have you love and care for her .. she must have felt so sad that she was unable to care for all of you.

      Your humorous coping method cracked me up .. oh your poor Dad, the alarm he must have felt. lol lol lol You really are one funny guy.

      Thanks for the read and encouragement. May God Bless you today dear man.

    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 

      8 years ago from United States

      Zoloft, Risperdal, Concerta, and so many more drugs can do wonders for an ailing mind...a change from years ago when my mom was hooked on Valium all day, like a zombie, wrapped in a blanket shroud on the couch, that helped her ignore her depression. One night I took a skull that I had acquired

      from a flea market and propped it on a pillow on the couch and wrapped some pillows and blankets into a body shape to resemble my Mom's habitat. My Dad who came home at 1:00 a.m. was shocked enough to let out a yell, and was not amused by my antics, but perhaps it was a protest for those primitive methods of helping my mom, overcome her mental disorder.Just my way of humorously coping. We loved her anyway and did all the chores and made sure she was fed and cared for till she finally got up the gumption to self improve her lifestyle. Sadly she died at sixty, because she became hooked on Benadryl and was taking many, many tablets a day to escape her pain. Great hub....full of new wonder drug hopes for those who are plagued with mental

      disorders. ~~~MFB III

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      lol lol lol ... oh NO!!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Dad is following your sites be careful.Great Job.

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      tim you are welcomed. Your quest for God blesses me too! I pray for you brother tim and I know that "He that began a good work in us will also complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Do you know the song... he's still workin' on me ... to make me what I ought to be.... He is faithful!

    • tim kenner profile image

      tim kenner 

      8 years ago from Greater Orange County

      This was very good Makenzie as is all your work, You are a blessing to me and I want to Thank you for your being there for me and the wisdom you bestow. God Bless You!!!

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      tobey, thanks for stopping by. That proverb came to me later and I added it. Yes - it was important to list it. Our thoughts often lead us to dark and scary places... we need to reign them in and reprogram them to what is good and pure and truth.

    • tobey100 profile image


      8 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

      Excellent hub. I'm so glad you included "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" Words to live by.

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      awe Steph thanks! It took me awhile to come up with that title... I think it fits... Thanks for the kudos my friend!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I like the term, "minds that misfire." It seems less laden with judgment, and offers hope for those that suffer. :) Great piece and very interesting!

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Rebecca, you are too kind. I am glad you found the hub valuable. So many suffer in silence when they don't need to. It's a blessing to be born in this day and age. Blessings dear one

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      again rated up, bookmarked and Stumbled upon, this is valuable information you've writien in an easy to understand way.

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      eng, thanks for stopping by my hub. You make a good point when you mention the stress of this fast paced life we are all subject to. Blessings to you and thanks for the lovely comments.

    • profile image


      8 years ago from cairo egypt

      thank u for ur useful information pls provide us with more information about other kinds of therapy like behavier therapy to fight anxiety and relaxation therapy which is very effective and may me more medication if the person is under the pressure of his environment with no imbalance in chemicals in the brain like those who suffer from mania for example....god with all people suffering from mental health disorders due to the fast life around us...thanks a lot and have lovely wonderful day

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      I'm glad you liked the title ... I pondered the topic for quite a while before finding the words to describe this malady. I wish it were a faster process too - but the answers are out there and although it takes some trial and error I believe peace can be had. The unfortunate ones are those who have no one to intercede for them. When you are already desperate ... you don't usually have the wherewithall to do the research yourself... I pray those of us who care will rise up and take on the challenge of finding answers for those who cannot defend themselves .... yet.

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Smireles, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I have seen lives destroyed and family's ripped apart - BUT - I have also seen family's come together (as you note) and the afflicted find peace.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      8 years ago from India

      Your title describes it so perfectly - I do hope there comes a time when balance is achieved much faster than it does today!

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Very nice hub. Chemical imbalances destroy lives. Thank God we have hope and a great medical community. Working together lives are changed.

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      breakfastpop, thanks for visiting my hub. I'm hoping it will reach those who are seeking answers. Blessings

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      Terrific hub, loaded with sound advice for those who suffer or know someone who suffers from mental illness. Great informative writing.

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you Quill ... it is hard to find peace in a mind that misfires - but Thank God, it can found.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent Hub, very informative, it is hard to find peace in a confused mind.


    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you dear Steve for stopping by and for the encouragment. Mental Illness can be devastating affecting not only the one afflicted but all the people in their lives. My goal is to try to get the word out there ... so people will find the root and change their lives.

    • SL Perrin profile image

      SL Perrin 

      8 years ago from South Carolina

      Nice piece my friend. Informative in many many ways. Some of which I am aware of seeing I was afflicted with some imbalances. Well put together in my eyes.


    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Interesting about the spoken words of the paranoid and schizophrenic.. doesn't surprise me.. I was just now coming to this hub to add the the verse you quoted here .. as a man thinketh in his heart... so is he. I see it as confirmation to add the verse - thanks! I agree that the medication does not heal but calms (wonderful way to put it AM) making it possible to deal with many issues that contribute to mental illness. Thanks for stopping by AM, You are a very wise man and I appreciate your input!

    • A M Werner profile image

      Allen Werner 

      8 years ago from West Allis

      I have worked with people in group homes nearly all my life. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:14 to care for the feebleminded. While I believe that there are those, as you have stated, mind's misfire, I fear that for many their depression and negativity towards life in general is a result of the way they eat and think. As a man thinketh, so is he.

      If you listen to the paranoid and schizophrenic speak to their voices and themselves, it is negative and angry, some even memories or imaginations of trauma and fears replaying themselves over and over in their thoughts. I see the medications of today as the saying in Proverbs 31:6. The medication doesn't heal, it calms all the misfiring. Interesting hub, Peace.

    • Mekenzie profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Ream 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you dear RevLady .. appreciate your stopping by .. as always ... Have a blessed day!

    • RevLady profile image


      8 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      Great information that I am sure will be helpful to those suffering with chemical imbalances.

      Forever His,


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