Bipolar and Mental Illnesses are written about here.

Archive for September 8, 2014

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Embodied Anatomy: Contralateral

Embodied Anatomy

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“Classically we often think of this as the movement of walking or running, with the opposite arm and leg connected through the movement, and if we’re really lucky accompanied by a spiral through the whole torso.”

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“But it is much more than this, our walk is an expression of the way we meet the world and the fluency of this relationship. From the way we receive the ground through our feet and whole body, to the way we receive the world through our eyes.”

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“We can try to contrive our walk to be easier, more connected, cooler, whatever image we are striving to emulate, yet whatever we try to do will be an interference. That is the wisdom of the body, as Nietzsche suggested ‘deeper than our deepest philosophy’. Prolonged sitting changes the balance of our spinal curves, so that we tend to lose the rejuvenating Contralateral movement in walking, even to extent that walking can create more strain in the lower back.”

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“To recover this natural movement and put back the spring in your step; you’ll need to awaken your curiosity to receive impressions of the ground through your feet, and be supported by the generosity of your eyes to accept to be touched by the world.”

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Bipolar- Delays in Diagnoses

bidpolar Disorder

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“One of the difficulties with diagnosing Bipolar is that often patients present with symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. Any combination of these can mask the real problem and this is compounded by the reality that patients don’t go to their doctor when they are manic. My own situation is somewhat typical. I actually had a minor breakdown but by the time I went to the doctor I had already made a recovery. Nine months after the initial breakdown, I had a major breakdown. I presented with the symptoms of anxiety; I couldn’t cope with work and was signed off for a week or two at a time. As the weeks rolled by, I was diagnosed as suffering with stress and within months, I was diagnosed with depression.”

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“Twelve years after my breakdown my wife went to my GP. I was having a protracted and higher manic episode than typical for me. He made an urgent referral to see a psychiatrist who then diagnosed me as having Bipolar. That diagnosis pretty quickly became a huge relief. I was not mad! It really explained a lot about my entire life and especially why I had gone back to look at a violent criminal and his minder. I had thought that I was invincible and my sense of justice proved to be a recipe for disaster.”

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“Since then more and more research using brain imaging studies with MRI scanning show that depression and anxiety disorders damage your brain when untreated. Parts of the brain shrink causing measurable changes in key areas of the brain. Typical symptoms include mood changes, difficulty with cognitive functioning, trouble remembering things, difficulty making decisions, planning, setting priorities and taking action. They cause abnormalities in specific areas of the brain including the hippocampus, the memory centre and the anterior cingulate, the brain’s conflict-resolution area. The longer the illness is not treated the more damage is done. Recent research by the German researcher Thomas Frodl showed continued decrease in those brain areas in people with depression and in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex as well when they were not treated.”

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