Your Brain and Mental Health
by Ron Kurtus (26 February 2007)
Your brain is part of your physical body and its health is affected by the health of your body. The brain not only controls bodily functions and activities, but it is also the seat of the mind.
Like any other organ, the brain requires proper nutrition and exercise or use. But also, diseases may enter the brain or its parts may malfunction, often resulting in mental problems.
Questions you may have include:
- What does the brain do?
- How does it need nutrition and exercise?
- What happens when the brain is diseased or malfunctions?
This lesson will answer those questions. Mental Health Disclaimer
What the brain does
Although there are some automatic functions of the body that the brain does not directly control, it is the place that sends signals to initiate most actions and activities that you have. The brain also processes information received from the various senses.
Your emotions and your personality are controlled from your brain. The brain is the seat of the mind, where all thought processes exist.
Behavior and habits you developed are stored in the mind's programming.
Nutrition and exercise
All organs in the body need proper nutrition and exercise.
The brain uses 30% of the bloodstream in order to get oxygen and nutrients that will allow it to function. A healthy body typically means a healthy brain. Since the brain is so important, lack of food will starve other organs before it affects the brain. But toxins such as alcohol and recreational drugs directly affect the functioning of the brain and often can cause damage to it.
Organs that are not used will atrophy. People who do not think very much have brains with low capacity. The brain is like a muscle, and increased use will often increase the strength of the brain and the intellect.
Disease or malfunction
There are diseases that can affect the brain and the thinking process. For example, Alzheimer's disease can rob a person of memory and ability to perform common activities.
Mentally ill patients often have hallucinations or distorted perceptions of reality. In some cases it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Injuries to the brain have resulted in such maladies as amnesia and personality change.
Your brain not only controls bodily functions and activities, but it is also the seat of the mind. The brain requires proper nutrition and exercise. Diseases may enter the brain or its parts may malfunction, often resulting in mental problems.
Keep a healthy brain
Resources and references
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Your Brain and Mental Health