Psychology Speak

Two very different articles/videos have touched me and inspired me today.

One was a very scientific video. It was a TEDx video (which I love those) about the part of the brain responsible for processing other peoples’ minds and how they think. A cognitive neuroscientist was discussing her research. She was very, very articulate and presented her research in an effective and easy to understand way to a general audience.

The other was an article, or more so a list. It was on the creative mind. It stated things like creative minds are observers, inspiration strikes them at odd times, how they don’t like boundaries, etc…. What really struck me was at the end, the last thing on the list was “they love”. It went on to explain how they love life and the things around them and it made creative people to be the most positive, rainbow-barfing motherfuckers out there.

The list struck me. I mean, it was a pretty good definition of myself to be perfectly honest. I don’t associate well with everything on that list (I keep a pretty regular sleep schedule and sometimes listen to my brain over my heart), but a lot of those things were pretty accurate for myself. 

I got to thinking. Obviously, it’s a list of stereotypes. No one every perfectly fits a stereotype unless if the parameters aren’t set wide enough (i.e. only going with 2 or 3 stereotypes.) But many artists are inspired by their darkest moments. Not all, but many. Many artists have struggled with loss, discrimination, depression, etc.. Those artists that did struggle with depression though… yes, they might have been more insightful on other perspectives than their counterparts, but were the two sides of the coin always positive and negative? Were they both positive? Were they both negative?

I’ve also been seeing all of these quizzes on my newsfeed lately testing to see if you’re right-brained or left-brained. 

I’ve always known that I have more right-brained inclinations. The difference used to be much more dramatic however. As I have grown, I have come to acknowledge rationality and in general think more. Especially on thinking things through more throughly. I hyper-analyze every situation. It’s a blessing and a curse. My results lately have shown that I use both sides of my brain fairly equally, just a slight preference to the right or “creative” side.

So I got to thinking a little, I wonder if people with depression have an inclination to one side of the brain. Or is it effected at all when one side starts to kick in more when the other side was primarily used?

Honestly, the more I think about it, the more ludicrous it seems. Depression is a mental disorder. It is a chemical disorder. Serotonin, endorphins, and other happy chemicals aren’t being absorbed/produced in the brain properly. It’s a malfunction. Some see this as intimidating, I find it relieving. I like knowing that it’s not just that I have a bad attitude to life, but I have a physical, tangible thing that’s happening to me.

But like any kind of therapy, it takes work. Breaking your leg requires physical therapy. A very physical, tangible thing happened to your leg, so you have to work that leg to get it back to normal. I have to have mental therapy because drugs aren’t going to fix me. I do need a bit of an attitude adjustment I guess.

I am registered for a mindfulness course as per instructions of my therapist. Hopefully my insurance covers it. More importantly, I hope I benefit from it.

But back to my original topic. Wouldn’t it be interesting though, just to see the correlation? I mean, the very specific spots triggered in the brain by the depression. What things wire the brain to fail to make those connections or make bad associations? I’m sure if I dug into it enough, I could find exactly what I’m looking for. I am taking Abnormal Psychology this summer so I’m sure I’ll read plenty on mood disorders soon enough. 

I just think psychology is fascinating though because we really know so little how the human brain works. We know the big things like what parts of the brain are responsible for speech, motor skills, seeing, etc., but not how we think. Not why people believe certain things and are willing to die for their convictions. 

I just think humans are endlessly fascinating and terrifying.

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