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Mental Health and the Brain: Working Group, July 13th

Mental Health and the Brain Working Group:

July 13th, Minds, Bodies and Stories
Synopsis and forum for continuing discussion

Thoughts welcomed in the on-line forum below.


Background for discussion



wale Emmanuel's picture

thinking while asleep

Please I need some tips to get out this,some times i don't get enough sleep I put my brain into a lot of work like thinking and imagine things while lying on bed or trying to sleep so it makes me to get up quickly.
Can this leads to low academical performance?

Paul Grobstein's picture

Mind/body medicine: where's the problem and the cure

A review of Ann Harrington's The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine triggered a whole host of thoughts in me, and so I was predisposed to have a look at Harrington's other work, including the book itself, and to talk with others about it.   The book is enormously rich, both as a history and as a challenge to much of contemporary thinking about mental illness/health, and I'll write more elsewhere about it in particular.  What struck me about the conversation, though, was a sense that because Harrington offers a quite broad context, people have trouble connecting it to their own more immediate concerns.  Harrington writes with great sympathy about patients who display/are troubled by symptoms that traditional medicine can't make sense of.  The problem is that most people, perhaps even most people interested in mental health, don't identify with that population.  Deep inside, people would, I suspect, like to believe that the things they are concerned about aren't actually that mysterious, or at least won't be once contemporary science/medicine catches up with the problem.  I think that's missing the real point of Harrington's book: that everyone is, in one way or another, "troubled by symptoms that traditional medicine can't make sense  of" and that that will always be so.  Or at least will always be so until science/medicine catches up with the idea that the brain is always a "work in progress" and so will always have to wrestle with incoherences of its own making.  In this sense it is not only the "cure" but the circumstances that cause one to look for a cure that is "within."

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