I read an article by a man named Ronald Chase, a neurobiologist (and apparently gastropod sex expert?) who made the decision to pursue his field instead of going to law school after his brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia:
"I began to believe that mental illnesses—at least the major disorders like schizophrenia—are not in the mind but, rather, in the brain. I reasoned that no nonphysical thing, a mind, could possibly govern a physical thing like the brain, and it was the brain that mattered, because it controls behavior. The mind, I concluded, must be an aspect of the brain’s function."
This got me thinking about the differences between mental and physical health. I thought about the 24-year-old woman who was recently found to have been living without a cerebellum, and my friend's token "crazy ex" in college whose irrational behavior towards the end of their relationship was found to be literally caused by a benign tumor in her brain that was putting pressure on the part of the brain that controls reasoning. As much as we like to think of our personalities and intelligence and higher processes in general to be something ethereal or mystical, the truth is that we are all organic machines, and our brains aren't that different from computers — or, for that matter, any other organ in our bodies. The difference between depression and Irritable Bowel Syndrome is really just about which part of your body the problem exists in (one makes you feel like shit, and one makes you literally shit?).Read More