I received the following article from Moira Shultz which affords some useful insight into the operation of the brain.
”CHANGE YOUR BRAIN
CHANGE YOUR LIFE
FIVE OF THE BRAIN SYSTEMS
The following are five of the brain systems that are most intimately involved with our behavior; listed are some key problems of each system:
Deep Limbic System: moodiness, negativity.
Basal Ganglia: fearfulness, conflict avoidance, nervousness, anxiety, panic.
Prefrontal Cortex: bad decisions, attention span.
Cingulate (sing-u-lat): rigidity, overfocused, getting stuck, worry.
Temporal Lobes: temper flare-ups, rapid mood shifts.
Possible Diagnoses: head trauma, dementia, strokes, seizures, the impact of drug abuse on brain function, and aggressive behavior and mood disorders that are not typical or responsive.
Pseudodementia (depression masquerading as dementia) can cause a person to appear demented (i.e., having a demon). Dementia can be described variously as madness, insanity, mad, out of one's mind, impairment or loss of mental powers, melancholia, withdrawal, hallucinations, delusions, mental unsoundness, devoid of reason, etc. (Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary Unabridged).
The same problems often run in families (i.e., ancestral curses).
PROBLEMS IN THE DEEP LIMBIC SYSTEM
Moodiness, irritability; depression; increased negative thinking; negative perception of events; decreased motivation; flood of negative emotions; appetite and sleep problems; decreased or increased sexual responsiveness; and social isolation.
Deep Limbic Checklist
Feelings of sadness; moodiness; negativity; low energy; irritability; decreased interest in others; feelings of hopelessness about the future; feelings of helplessness or powerlessness; feeling dissatisfied or bored; excessive guilt; suicidal feelings; crying; lowered interest in things usually considered fun; sleep changes (too much or too little); appetite changes (too much or too little); low self-esteem; decreased interest in sex; negative sensitivity to smells / odors; forgetfulness; and poor concentration.
PROBLEMS WITH THE BASAL GANGLIA SYSTEM
Anxiety, nervousness; panic attacks; physical sensations of anxiety; tendency to predict the worst; conflict avoidance; Tourette's syndrometics; muscle tension, soreness; tremors; fine motor problems; headaches; and low / excessive motivation.
Basal Ganglia Checklist
Feelings of nervousness or anxiety; panic attacks; symptoms of heightened muscle tension (headaches, sore muscles, hand tremor); periods of heart pounding, rapid heart rate or chest pain; periods of trouble breathing or feeling smothered; periods of feeling dizzy, faint or unsteady on your feet; periods of nausea or abdominal upset; periods of sweating, hot or cold flashes, cold hands; tendency to predict the worst; fear of dying or doing something crazy; avoidance of public places for fear of having an anxiety attack; conflict avoidance; excessive fear of being judged or scrutinized by others; persistent phobias; low motivation; excessive motivation; tics; poor handwriting; quick startle reaction; tendency to freeze in anxiety-provoking situations; excessive worry about what others think; shyness or timidity; and low threshold of embarrassment.
PROBLEMS WITH THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX
Short attention span; distractibility; lack of perseverance; impulse control problems; hyperactivity; chronic lateness; poor time management; disorganization; procrastination; unavailability of emotions; misperceptions; poor judgment; trouble learning from experience; short-term memory problems; and social and test anxiety.
Prefrontal Cortex Checklist
Inability to give close attention to details or avoid careless mistakes; trouble sustaining attention in routine situations (homework, chores, paperwork, etc.); trouble listening; inability to finish things, poor follow-through; poor organization of time or space; distractibility; poor planning skills; lack of clear goals or forward thinking; difficulty expressing feelings; difficulty expressing empathy for others; excessive daydreaming; boredom; apathy of lack of motivation; lethargy; a feeling of spaciness or being "in a fog"; restlessness or trouble sitting still; difficulty remaining seated in situations where remaining seated is expected; conflict seeking; talking too much or too little; blurting out of answers before questions have been completed; difficulty awaiting turn; interruption of or intrusion on others (e.g., butting into conversations or games); impulsivity (saying or doing things without thinking first); and trouble learning from experience; tendency to make repetitive mistakes.
PROBLEMS WITH THE CINGULATE SYSTEM
Worrying; holding on to hurts from the past; getting stuck on thoughts (obsessions); getting stuck on behaviors (compulsions); oppositional behavior; argumentativeness; uncooperativeness, tendency to say no automatically; addictive behaviors (alcohol or drug abuse, eating disorders); chronic pain; cognitive inflexibility; obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); OCD spectrum disorders; eating disorders; and road rage.
Cingulate System Checklist
Excessive or senseless worrying; being upset when things do not go your way; being upset when things are out of place; tendency to be oppositional or argumentative; tendency to have repetitive negative thoughts; tendency toward compulsive behaviors; intense dislike of change; tendency to hold grudges; trouble shifting attention from subject to subject; trouble shifting behavior from task to task; difficulties seeing options in situations; tendency to hold on to own opinion and not listen to others; tendency to get locked into a course of action, whether or not it is good; being very upset unless things are done a certain way; perception by others that you worry too much; tendency to say no without first thinking about question; and tendency to predict negative outcomes.
PROBLEMS WITH THE DOMINANT (USUALLY LEFT) TEMPORAL LOBE
Aggression, internally or externally directed; dark or violent thoughts; sensitivity to slights, mild paranoia; word-finding problems; auditory processing problems; reading difficulties; and emotional instability.
PROBLEMS WITH THE NON-DOMINANT (USUALLY RIGHT) TEMPORAL LOBE
Difficulty recognizing facial expression; difficulty decoding vocal intonation; and implicated in social-skill struggles.
PROBLEMS WITH EITHER OR BOTH TEMPORAL LOBES
Memory problems, amnesia; headaches or abdominal pain without a clear explanation; anxiety or fear for no particular reason; abnormal sensory perceptions, visual or auditory distortions; feeling of deja vu (feelings of being somewhere you have never been) or jamais vu (not recalling a familiar place or person); periods of spaciness or confusion; religious or moral preoccupation; hupergraphia, excessive writing; and seizures.
Temporal Lobe Checklist
Short fuse or periods of extreme irritability; periods of rage with little provocation; frequent misinterpretation of comments as negative when they are not; irritability that ends to build, then explodes, then recedes; person often feels tired after a rage; periods of spaciness or confusion; periods of panic and/or fear for no specific reason; visual or auditory changes, such as seeing shadows or hearing muffled sounds; frequent periods of deja vu or jamais vu; sensitivity or mild paranoia; headaches or abdominal pain of uncertain origin; history of a head injury or family history of violence or explosiveness; dark thoughts, such as suicidal or homicidal thoughts; periods of forgetfulness; memory problems; reading comprehension problems; and preoccupation with moral or religious ideas.
THE DARK SIDE
The violent or aggressive person may have trouble thinking, getting stuck on thoughts, have a short fuse or have anxiety and moodiness.
Caffeine: Heavy daily usage (more than three cups of coffee a day) is a problem and need to be stopped in order to maintain a healthy brain.
Nicotine: If you want to have full access to your brain, don't smoke.
THE MISSING LINKS
1. Using drugs, especially alcohol, methamphetamines, cocaine, phencyclidine, and anbolic steriods, may directly elicit aggressive behavior.
2. Drug or alcohol usage may impair executive function and increase the likelihood of aggression.
3. Drugs or alcohol may be used as self-medication for underlying brain problems involved in aggression.
4. Cingulate problems, in conjunction with prefrontal cortex and temporal lobe problems, can exacerbate addictions and potentially violent situations.
5. Drug or alcohol usage may be involved in poor decision-making processes or provocative behaviors that put a person in high-risk situations.
1. Depression can cause a person to feel distant, uninterested in sex, irritable, unfocused, tired and negative. Unless the partners understand this disorder, they often have severe relational problems. People who suffer from depression have divorce rate six times higher than those who are not depressed.
2. Anxiety causes sufferers to feel tense, uptight, physically ill and dependent, and to avoid conflict. Partners often misinterpret the anxiety as physical symptoms as complaining or whining and do not take seriously the level of suffering.
3. Obsessive or overfocus tendencies, as we have seen, cause rigid thinking styles, oppositional or argumentative behavior, holding on to grudges and chronic stress in relationships. Seeking help is essential to establishing a new ability to relate effectively.
4. Prefrontal cortex problems, such as ADD, often sabotage relationships because of the impulsive, restless and distractible behavior involved. Without help there is a high degree of relational and family turmoil.
5. Temporal lobe problems may be associated with frequent attacks of rage, angry outbursts. mood swings, hearing things wrong and low frustration tolerance. I have seen these problems ruin otherwise good relationships.
1. Depression can cause people at work to be negative, unfocused, tired and unmotivated, and to take things too personally or the wrong way. Such employees may negatively affect others' morale and unknowlingly skew everyone's perceptions at work so they see positive things in a bad light. Depressed people have more sick days than people without depression.
2. People with anxiety are often tense, physically sick and conflict-avoidant. Their level of anxiety often cause them to be dependent and require too much supervision. Their anxiety tends to be contagious and those around them may also begin predicting negative outcomes to situations. They can negatively affect a work group and tend to be fearful rather than hopeful.
3. Obsessive or overfocus tendencies cause rigid thinking styles, and employers or employees tend to be more irritable, oppositional or argumentative. They often hold grudges and can be unforgiving, causing long-term workplace problems.
4. Prefrontal cortex problems, such as ADD, cause many problems at work, including chronic lateness, inefficiency, missing deadlines, impulsive decision making and conflict-seeking behavior.
5. Temporal lobe problems often affect work. I am willing to bet that most workplace violence is associated with temporal lobe disorders. More commonly, temporal lobe problems are manifested at work by mood swings or unpredictable behavior, low frustration tolerance, misperceptions, auditory processing problems and memory problems. The anger, misperceptions, and mild paranoia can wreak havoc in a work group.
Significant Negative Effects
1. Depression (limbic system) clouds a sense of accomplishment (even with incredible accomplishment) and causes intense sadness and internal pain. Depression is not the absence of feeling but rather the presence of painful feelings. Depression is one of the most common precursors to drug abuse and suicide. Depression often compromises immune system function, leaving people more prone to illness.
2. The tension and panic associated with anxiety (often a result of basal ganglia problems) can feel like torture. I have known many patients with panic attacks who become suicidal in hope of escaping their fear. Anxiety is often associated with physical tension and an increase in illness. Many anxious people self-medicate by drinking alcohol, taking drugs, overeating, engaging in inappropriate sex and other potentially addictive behaviors.
3. Overfocus (cingulate) issues cause repetitive thoughts and worries that are often self-medicated with drugs or alcohol. Internal torture by constant worry is common. When someone says one negative thing, they may hear it in their minds five hundred times. They cannot get away from negative thoughts.
4. People with prefrontal cortex issues, such as ADD, often feel a tremendous sense of underachievement, repetitive failure, and low self-esteem. People with prefrontal cortex issues may use internal problems for self-stimulation and be chronically upset. The stress associated with these problems is often accompanied by increased illness.
5.Temporal lobe problems can wreak internal havoc. The internal violent mood swings and thoughts often torment the soul. Unpredictable behavior, low frustration tolerance, misperceptions, and memory problems are often associated with an internal sense of damage. Anger often alienates others and loneliness is common.
Stimulants: Adderall, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Desoxyn, Cylert.
Antidepressants: Norpramin, Tofranil, Wellbutrin, Elavil, Pamelor, Sinequan, Anafranil.
Antiobessives: Prozac, Anafranil, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Effexor, Remeron, Serzone.
Anticonvulsants: Tegretol, Depakene, Depakote, Neurontin, Lamictal, Dilantin.
Blood Pressure: Catapres, Tenex, Inderal.”
The brain is a complex organ and should be cared for prayerfully.
May Yah bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.