Know a Narcissist? Blame their brain

I am fascinated by our newfound ability to study the brain in real-time.  For most of my life the only way the brain was studied was by  autopsy.  

For decades, I’ve explained to clients that “feelings” are not psychological constructs but a neurochemical phenomena. I had no proof – just  trickles of brain research I read. Now that I’m retired the evidence is mounting.  I’d love to be able to say “I told you so!”

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In psychological “terms” the proportion of outward behavior is a measure of internal feelings.  Examples:  Do you know some one who is a “control freak”?  Of course you do.

The more someone tries to exert control over everyone and everything it is usually (read “always” – I’m trying to be “politically correct, ahem . . .)  a direct measure they internally/unconsciously feel out of control.  People who “feel” in control don’t have to prove they are in control – they can collaborate, give others credit etc.

Know someone who is a narcissist – the earth revolves around them, not the sun?  Of course you do.

The more a person needs to boast about themselves, point the finger of blame at others etc. . . . the more insecure they are.  Read about some interesting brain research that substantiates this that on a neurological level.

Read more: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/07/a-neurological-level-narcissists-are-needy.html

I TOLD YOU SO!

An apple a day . . . Some people are predisposed to focus on the negative

Instead of mothers always taking the blame for our “stuff” fathers can now be included.  . . .  or .  . . maybe we can shift ALL the blame to the fathers . . . (Eve may have been more of an optimist than Adam since she wasn’t afraid to take a bite  . . .   Aha!)

IMG_0021A new study by a University of British Columbia researcher finds that some people are genetically predisposed to see the world darkly.”

“The study, published in Psychological Science, finds that a previously known gene variant can cause individuals to perceive emotional events – especially negative ones – more vividly than others.”

“These individuals may be more likely to pick out angry faces in a crowd of people,” says Todd. “Outdoors, they might notice potential hazards – places you could slip, loose rocks that might fall – instead of seeing the natural beauty.”

Read the entire article

Am I Neurotic or Psychotic?

Nature or nurture?

Psychosis or neurosis?

Best to never know

Creatively weird

Crazy is as crazy does

Just comes naturally

Dopamine System in Highly Creative People

Similar to That Seen in Schizophrenics

 “New research shows a possible explanation for the link between mental health and creativity. By studying receptors in the brain, researchers at Karolinska Institute have managed to show that the dopamine system in healthy, highly creative people is similar in some respects to that seen in people with schizophrenia.”

Humph! Is she neurotic or psychotic . . .
too close to call . . .

“High creative skills have been shown to be somewhat more common in people who have mental illness in the family. Creativity is also linked to a slightly higher risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

“Certain psychological traits, such as the ability to make unusual  bizarre associations are also shared by schizophrenics and healthy, highly creative people. And now the correlation between creativity and mental health has scientific backing.”

“We have studied the brain and the dopamine D2 receptors, and have shown that the dopamine system of healthy, highly creative people is similar to that found in people with schizophrenia,” says associate professor Fredrik Ullén from Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, co-author of the study that appears in the journal PLoS ONE.”
“Thinking outside the box might be facilitated by having a somewhat less intact box,” says Dr Ullén about his new findings.”

Read the entire article in Science Daily, click here

Productive Procrastination (Parenthetically Speaking)

My personal physician Dr. Oz sent this to me.  He wanted to validate that my day dreaming was NOT a form of procrastination NOR detrimental to my well-being.

Part of my mission is to help people understand that those of us who are perceived as procrastinators have GOOD reasons for our behaviour.  Mehmet.Knows!

“You might think of daydreaming as a slacker habit, but it turns out that it’s good for your brain.  (yippi) So let your mind wander a little bit today.”

“Zoning out doesn’t mean your mind is on vacation. Just the opposite. New research involving brain scans showed that when people daydream, the brain actually works harder, and in different ways.”  (Beginning to make sense why I’m exhausted all the time!)

“Stop Paying Attention (who said I ever began)
A new study compared brain activity during two different conditions — when people played an easy game and when their minds simply wandered freely. And daydreaming lit up the brain areas that researchers expected it to, such as those areas that handle routine daily activities.”

“But, surprisingly, the activity of daydreaming also activated the lateral prefrontal cortex and the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex — the so-called executive network of the brain, where complex problem-solving happens. Which led researchers to conclude that giving your brain a break allows these higher-function areas to work on the weighty questions humming in the background of your thoughts. You know, those big things, like how to solve a problem at work, resolve an argument with your spouse, or start a new business venture.” (how to figure out how to get someone else to do the things you were going to do when you were daydreaming, resolve world peace, make plans to move to a château in the South of France and/or a Tuscan Villa)

“Make It a Habit  (I’m waaaaaaaaay ahead of the game.  It’s not a habit with me but a way of life)
The researchers suggest people encourage daily daydreaming with simple, mindless activities. Washing the dishes, knitting, doing jigsaw puzzles, or weeding the garden are all good choices.” (These researchers that came up with these were all born before WWI and never burnt their bras)

Test your brain to see which side is dominant

Watch this spinning dancer to determine if you use your left or right brain.

Can you make her spin in the opposite direction?  It’s possible!

  • She spins clock-wise if you are right brain dominate
  • She spins counter-clock-wise if you are left brain dominate

It took me forever to get her to spin counter-clockwise and then she reverted almost immediately right back to clockwise. I’ve always known that my right brain is the alpha-dog.

Here’s the article: What Do Split-Brain Patients Tell Us About the Whole Brain?
 www.The Worry Solution.comWhen our hemispheres are surgically separated, our right brains demonstrate themselves to be highly intelligent and even better than our left brains at certain tasks, such as understanding emotional body language, facial expressions, and tones of voice. Their speech ability is quite limited though, and if their thoughts and feelings are going to be put into words, the information needs to be sent across the corpus callosum to the left-brain speech centers. Once there, it may be directly expressed, but it can also be altered, edited, suppressed, or even ignored.Our ability to think rationally and to use speech and numbers has allowed us to build on our imaginative abilities and emerge as the most dominant creatures on earth. Perhaps because of this evolutionarily new and astounding power to alter our environment, the left brain has become a little over-impressed with itself. Because it alone has the ability to name things, it calls itself the dominant, or “major” hemisphere! That’s fair, because it can and does provide an override function in relation to the more emotional right brain, but it makes a serious mistake when it thinks that it is the only hemisphere that counts. While logical thinking is necessary for building skyscrapers and flying to the moon, it is nearly useless when it comes to creating and maintaining an emotionally intimate relationship, or responding to fast-developing threats.

“The split-brain research showed us that we have another type of intelligence that coexists with our usual way of thinking about and describing our world. This intelligence has its own perspective, priorities, form of information processing, and motivations. It influences our daily lives much more than we know.
This intelligent “unconscious” mind undoubtedly lives in not only the right brain, but in other areas of both brain hemispheres and parts of the limbic brain that lack direct access to speech.”

It has eons of evolutionary experience that can guide us or help us solve problems. It tends to think in terms of how things are connected, rather than how they are different, and it excels in recognizing both spatial and social relationships. Bringing this emotional/intuitive intelligence into our problem-solving and emotional coping efforts greatly expands our ability to worry well; it lets us use all of our brain capacity to resolve rather than create worry and stress.”