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When Severe Mental Illness Strikes a Loved One

When Severe Mental Illness Strikes a Loved One

Book Review: “I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” by Xavier Amador, PhD.  (Vida Press, 2012) For the last 20 or so years, brain research has helped doctors and therapists understand that the serious mental illnesses of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are diseases of brain function. During the century before the “Decade of the Brain (the 1990’s)”, these rare and frightening mental diseases were blamed on bad or inadequate mothering (the “schizophrenogenic mother”), thanks to the early theories of…

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When Empathy Goes Awry : Mirror Touch Synesthesia

When Empathy Goes Awry : Mirror Touch Synesthesia

How do we come to understand another person’s emotions? Within our brain are a cluster of nerve cells that scientists call “mirror neurons.” These cells and circuits turn on and develop when, as infants and toddlers, our primary caregivers express on their own faces what they sense in us. We are wailing because we are in pain? A caring parent has some of that same suffering in their facial expressions. We laugh and smile when we begin to recognize our…

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Faith and the Brain

Faith and the Brain

How does our brain look when we engage in prayer and meditation? This weekend’s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly program on PBS explores this fascinating topic. July 30, 2010 ~ Faith and the Brain | Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly