The 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
There 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
Maintaining 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
I 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
I 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
The 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
There 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
I’ve been reasonably stable (or at least no one has complained loudly) over the past several years by taking Lamictal alone for bipolar. However, my moods have gradually gotten out of control over the past year. I realized (and admitted) that I needed a meds adjustment, so I found a psychiatrist who believes in the teamwork approach to meds management. Thus, she sent me on a quest for new medications; I’ve always been opposed to lithium, but she asked me to consider it and also to look into the anti-psychotics. In fact, she loaned me a book that describes the mechanisms behind how (it is believed that) they work. Continue reading