Mental health – me naked

Mental Health – The Cortex

This is a transcription of my youtube videos the cortex part 2 and part 3

So in previous video I talked about the difference between the cortex and the neo-cortex. Spoiler alert, the cortex is the old part of the brain and deals with impulse and instinct, the neo-cortex deals with logical thought.

The cortex, from what I’ve read, can be affected from before you were born, from the start of mankind, and as I said defies logic.

In the primitive brain, it’s all about survival and that is where you get a combination of your ancestors and your own life experience, it’s also involved in panic.

As an example, I’m going to read/write some words and think about your immediate response.

Formulae 1
James Corden
men in blue suits with brown brogues
Maths lessons at school
Kanye West
Incorrectly using commas
Farting in public
Bacon sandwiches
Me naked

okay, that’s enough of that.

Your response to each of these words will be different and unique to you and is determined by your instincts and your upbringing.
Or as Freud called it, your ID, which is controlled by your cortex and your Super Ego controlled by the neo-cortex.

I think that what we can control is down to how desensitized we are to threats, again both from ourselves and our ancestors. For instance, I like spiders, English Spiders that is, probably not the deadly things they have in other parts of the world for example the funnel web spider in Australia, but I’m rather anxious around dogs. Now to me that seems sensible, spiders are little and tickle when they walk up your arm, but dogs have teeth and can rip your arm off, sensible logic as far as I’m concerned. Proper preservation, but I’ve met plenty of people who, as far as I’m concerned are freaks and oddballs, and they scream and run away at the sight of a spider but will let a dog lick their face, good god.

so the correct answers to the test, because that is what it was are as follows and if you deviated from me in any way shape of form you are wrong and your parents were bad parents and it’s there fault you have to watch a video about depression and anxiety.

Spiders – mild shrug
Dogs – instant death rip you limb from limb
Coffee – thirsty
Formulae 1 – boredom, oh god metal boxes going round and round, good god Football – over paid, lazy, arrogant, wow can kick a ball well, whoopee dooo
James Corden – punch somebody
Thunder- it’s a noise get real
men in blue suits with brown brogues – kill and maim
Maths lessons at school – horny, my maths teacher wore tight jeans, he was alright was Mr Philips, nice bum
Quorn – healthy but why do you cost more than fillet steak, you are a mushroom protein for goodness sake
Lightening – okay, we may die now as I’m standing outside under a tree
Kanye West – ultra violence,
Lions – mild, more dangerous than dogs but not in this country
Incorrectly using commas, die you smug bastards you are the killer of creativity and the reason it took me until I was forty five to realise I could be a writer
Wolves, mild fear but again not in this country
Farting in public – battle between Id and Super Ego, my id says mild relief my super ego says, so wrong
Bacon sandwiches – great smell but I’m veggy,
Me naked – anything other than a queasy feeling in your stomach is viewed as not right and depression is the least of your problems

So back to the learning stuff.

In all situations where the brain perceives threat adrenaline is produced to allow you to access the danger and make a sensible decision about the best course of action.
If the threat is small a small amount of adrenaline is produced and you send messages to the neo-cortex to think about solving the problem

Occasionally, for whatever reason best known to the cortex and your ancestors and probably a bit to do with your life experiences, your body, or more importantly your adrenal gland, just starts to produce adrenaline like it’s going out of fashion.
so when people mention Kanye West I feel extreme rage and want to smash something

I’m sure if you got a time machine and went back through your history and your parent’s history and your parents parents history etc. etc. etc. you’d possibly be able to identify one specific episode in the last billion years when one of your family, in between climbing down from the trees and the fine specimen I see before me now, where someone had the most almighty scare and an unhealthy trend started, and I don’t mean shoulder pads and rolled up jacket sleeves like in the 80’s.

However, there could also be instances in your own past where panic set in and now you have an unhealthy fear of something that can be considered harmless. I’ve know my mother try to get out of a speeding car at seventy miles an hour, that was at the sight of a wasp and not because of my driving.

This is mega panic where the fear of being stung by a wasp even outweighed the danger of jumping out of a moving car. I’ve no idea where the fear came from but it may be covered in my video “How parents can totally f**k their children mentally”.

As we saw before, the cortex determines, mild irritation, anxiety and panic.

So sometimes the cortex can keep you safe but sometimes it can really mess you up. Next I’ll talk about anxiety and depression and how mine interact to really mess with me good and proper.

Mental Health – Therapy Types

Mental Health – Therapy Types

Before I start, I’m a person who remembers his first episode of depression on my ninth birthday in 1974. As I grew up, I always compared myself to other people, nearly always in a negative way and I’ve always been very critical when I make mistakes.

I will talk about me in further articles and videos but please remember; I’m not a therapist and these articles and videos are not to be treated as therapeutic. The stuff that I write, and talk about are just my ideas for you to consider and talk about. Don’t do any self-therapy without appropriate support and don’t use any techniques I suggest without trained support.

I feel that there are two main types of therapies and that is because, as far as mental illness is concerned, the brain is split into two main parts,
The cortex and the neo-cortex

The cortex is the old part of the brain, the brain that keeps you alive. It tells you to breath, eat, drink, sleep and run like hell when there is a person behind you with a giant sword shouting ‘bastard’.
There is no active logic concerned with this part of the brain, it’s the stuff you do instinctively.
The neo-cortex is the new part of the brain, hence ‘neo’, this is the part of the brain that uses logic, this is still evolving in some people especially the ones you see in Stockton High Street at 9.00 a.m. on a Monday morning.

How the two parts of the brain work together is pretty amazing.
So when you get thirsty the cortex says “Thirsty”, then sends a message to the neo-cortex and it’s the neo-cortex that tells you to get a caffeinated coffee or a decaffeinated coffee depending on the time of the day, it tells you whether to get a snack or a huge meal and it tells you which direction to run if there is a person behind you with a sword shouting ‘bastard’.

So, because there are two parts of the brain there are generally two types of therapies.
Deep rooted problems such as problems can stem from childhood, and I don’t just mean specific trauma or neglect here, I mean things happening in your childhood that still have an impact, that’s me folks.
These need to be treated using stuff like Psychodynamic Therapies, Transactional Analysis, or Dialectical Behavioural Therapies.
Maybe even a bit of Neurolinguitic Programming NLP or hypnotherapy but that doesn’t tend to be offered by the mainstream therapy services, I don’t think.

Other problems that involve the neo-cortex can be treated using therapies that involve logic, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Solution Focused brief therapy.
This distinction dawned on me when I tried to use cognitive behavioural therapy with teenagers who stammered.

Part of the stammering therapy would be to challenge a persons first thought around stammering, or specifically how people react to stammering.
When I had a client with me, we walked up to people and asked them a simple question. Sometimes the client could identify the first thought. At this point, I knew cognitive behavioural therapy techniques would work.
But occasionally I would come across a client who, no matter what, could not identify their first thought. It seemed that they had such an immense rush of adrenaline, and emotion, usually fear, that they simply could not identify the first thought, they were almost panicking.

I realised that when the reaction is so intense you can’t use logic. I read a lot more and learnt about the connections between the cortex and the neo-cortex and how, when huge amounts of hormones are produced the link between the instinct and logical parts of the brain don’t happen, the old ‘Rabbit in the headlights’. the cortex is waiting for a signal or a message about which way to run and the message from the neo-cortex to the legs is just not happening.

I had a recent block of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and the therapist was brilliant but very quickly, after 5 sessions, it was obvious that CBT was not going to work and we both agreed to suspend therapy. I knew before we started that my self-esteem, self-loathing and negative feelings are very low and that I have felt that way since childhood and so the feelings are very ingrained. I’m reluctant to take risks, especially with money and I believe that the self-preservation response is so intense with me that logic and positive talking just go out of the window.

After the CBT I was offered some Psychodynamic Therapy. I’d heard about Freud but had no idea about the type of therapy or what it entailed so I started reading around the subject. I have also been reading a great deal about Transactional Analysis. I love both approaches and I’m hoping that the further I go into these techniques, with the help of a therapist, that I will improve and overcome a number of issues that have been affecting me since I was very young, a long, long time ago.

I think because of the push in the NHS to save money, they are too busy worry numbers and it appears to be about quantity not quality, a great number of people are being offered quick fixes such as CBT or Brief Therapy that are just not appropriate or effective, when what the person really needs as long term therapies. If your GP refers you to therapy and it does not appear to be working go back and ask for something else.

If you are not happy with a therapy let some-one know, there are plenty of alternatives out there.

Next time I hope to talk about while it’s great to talk about how parents stop their children talking about worries and how this impacts in later life.

Please watch the videos

Take care.