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Wellness

What Is A Brain?

You need both its good and less-than-good parts. The brain has some good parts — those that help us think, act, and make decisions about our lives and the world they live in — and it also has its less-than-good parts — those that are less-than-perfect and which hinder our day-to-day lives. In the brain, there are the hemispheres, which are the main parts of our brain.

We’ve discussed this topic before, but it bears repeating: when the two hemispheres are engaged, the brain functions properly. These two hemispheres are the thinking (left) and the feeling (right) parts of the brain. As these two parts are engaged, the right hemisphere of the brain is stimulated and the left hemisphere is inhibited, which results in a more balanced brain, able to do more than one task at a time. A brain without these two halves is like a car without a steering wheel, or like two drivers trying to communicate, or like a person who tries hard to perform at his or her job, and is ultimately unsuccessful but not because the work is too hard or not rewarding.

The bad parts of a brain that don’t work well include: 

1. The right hemispheres get disconnected and disordered. When the left hemisphere of the brain becomes disconnected and disordered, it can lead to depression and other mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. A disconnected right hemisphere can also lead to other problems, such as:

A. Inattentive ADHD symptoms. While the left hemisphere of the brain helps focus our attention and attention gets focused more by doing tasks that stimulate the right hemisphere, the left hemisphere doesn’t always work effectively.

B. The inability to make decisions. If the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere of the brain are out of sync with one another, then the task of thinking can sometimes be difficult. In this case, the right hemisphere becomes the “thinking” part of the brain and not the “feeling” part of the brain, resulting in inattention to tasks and other activities.

C. Lack of ability to feel pleasure. A left hemisphere that is disconnected from the center of pleasure doesn’t always sense pleasure, and a disconnected right hemisphere can feel little or no pleasure. This can cause chronic anxiety, sadness, or emptiness.

Note that the above descriptions could apply to anyone. These are the two hemispheres in the brain, so they can also apply to any person. And the same could be said about the brain that has two hemispheres.

The good side of the brain, the rational side, can help us make the right decisions. The bad side is often inattentive. The good side is often impulsive and sometimes impulsive acts, so the two sides of the brain work better together than one normally would.

2. People with disorders of the right hemisphere of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, may not have the ability to use the left hemisphere correctly. For many with these disorders, one or both hemispheres are removed. This can result in the left hemisphere becoming more dominant, which in its current state causes an imbalance between the hemispheres. A combination of the left hemisphere becoming over-dominant and the right hemisphere feeling isolated could result in symptoms that are similar to the bipolar and schizophrenia symptoms described above.

3. In one study , it was found that after an MRI brain scan shows a normal brain, one of the first tasks the patient can be asked to do is to identify what are the good and bad parts of the brain. There is no guarantee that some or all of the subjects in that study could have been diagnosed as having mental illnesses, nor that the subjects would be willing to participate. Thus, some may have been told that the MRI showed no problems — yet those patients would also have had to be informed that the MRI showed the brain as a whole had some problems. It isn’t uncommon for a patient to be told that the MRI wasn’t necessary for their diagnosis, although there is no way to know whether that might have come from the doctor or from the patient.

4. People with Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia have some parts of their brain that are so damaged by the condition that they may not have the ability to use them properly.