The Compassionate Brain: Week 2

MondayThe topic of week 2 of The Compassionate Brain series focused on mindfulness and the term Mindsight, which was developed by Dr. Dan Siegal.  Definitions of these terms are as follows:

Mindfulness: Staying in the present.  Being aware of your feelings and separating them what is actually happening around you.

Mindsight: the ability to see the inner life of a being, such as feelings, thoughts, or ideas. Continue reading

The Compassionate Brain: Week 1

MondayThe first week of The Compassionate Brain series focused on the link between compassion and neuroplasticity of the brain. First let us start with some definitions:

Neuroplasticity: The brain’s ability to change due to environmental changes or training. These changes can be both structural and functional. All events in our lives affect the neuroplasticity of the brain. Just reading this post is changing the neuroplasticity of your brain.

Compassion: A recognition of another’s suffering and a desire to end that suffering. Continue reading

The Compassionate Brain Webinar Series

MondayThere is a completely free webinar series on compassion and the brain/mind. This is something my pdoc recommended so I decided to check it out. It’s pretty interesting so far, and I’ve decided that I would like to blog the series for those who would like to know the information without sitting through an hour long webinar. Since I am a couple of weeks into the webinar series, I will have to play catchup, but after that it will be a weekly publish. Continue reading

The Cost of Mental Health

MondayMaintaining your mental health is expensive. Medicine is expensive. Many of the antidepressants are generic now, but still cost about $1/pill without insurance. Lithium is much cheaper at 30 cents a pill. Prices on anxiety meds vary depending on if they are generic or not. But the antipsychotics… woah! I take Geodon, which recently went generic, and without insurance the cost is $379/month! Fortunately I only have to pay $76 because I have insurance. Even Lamictal runs $170/month generic. These are only some prescription prices. What do you pay in supplements that aren’t covered by insurance? Continue reading

Neurology Now

MondayI want to share with you information on a free magazine called Neurology Now.  While its main focus is on neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, epilepsy, stroke, brain trauma and Multiple Sclerosis, it also has featured articles on migraines, pain disorders and depression. Other topics include ADHD, Autism/Asperger’s, and Restless Legs Syndrome. This is a magazine that is free to patients and caregivers/friends/family members of patients.

I always find the articles interesting, even if they don’t directly apply to me. Continue reading

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

MondayI nominated Canvas for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  This may sound a little odd because it’s a group blog with many different writers, each of whom contributes something unique and individual to the group.  But that’s exactly why I nominated Canvas: the individuality, creativity, and support found through this blog is inspiring.

I won’t put down seven random facts about me, but I will extend the nomination to each blogger and commenter in this community. Continue reading

Mental Illness: Genetic or Environmental?

MondayThe currently held belief is that the answer to this question is both. This theory is called the Two-Hit hypothesis of pyschiatric disorders. First, one must be genetically pre-disposed to developing a mental illness, but there must also be an environmental impact that triggers the development of the illness.

It is commonly thought that there are four key elements involving the development of pyschiatric disorders: Continue reading

Vincent and the Doctor

MondayThere is a fantastic episode of Doctor Who titled: Vincent and the Doctor.  The basic premise is that the current incarnation of The Doctor and his companion, Amy Pond, travel to Provence in 1890 in order to hunt down a monster haunting the Church at Auvers.

As you may know, Vincent van Gogh was known for his “artistic temperament” of extreme highs and extreme lows suggesting that he suffered from bipolar disorder.  If you watch the episode, you may see van Gogh in a familiar light.  At least I do. Continue reading