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Mental Health & Clinical Psychology

The happiness and/or sadness defying pill is yet to be invented, however, it took nature over 300 million years of evolution to reach the existing status of the human brain. The complexity, integrity, and near perfect interaction between 100 billion neurons renders the brain more than capable to mobilize all sorts of coping mechanisms and instincts to deal effectively with stressful changes in the environment.

Over 200 million years ago roamed and dominated the earth Reptiles, birds, and fishes their brains contained only centers for instincts such as hunger, gastrointestinal movement, breathing, and sexuality, all activities are essential for survivability of the organism but without emotional expression or attachment, e.g. reptiles lay their eggs in a safe place when eggs hatch the off springs were left to fend for themselves. Then the limbic system evolved (Latin for neighboring) where all emotions and memories are formed and stored, so every memory almost always attached to a specific type of emotion such as fear, anger, sadness, depressed mood, anxiety, and OR happiness.

If all these emotions are run without control, our moods and behaviors would be extremely emotional and erratic. The outcome of behavior dominated by emotions is pathologic, also called maladaptive.  General Anxiety, phobias, depression, and Bi polar disorders are examples of emotionally dominated behaviors that are counterproductive and harmful to the individual health and wellbeing.  

So, last but not least came the Cerebral Cortex most developed and unique to humans, it is what makes us who we are, the Frontal lobe contains the Broca’s area a center responsible for expressive speech enhanced our ability to communicate and reason with one another. The prefrontal cortex takes on the task of controlling our emotions by being the voice of reasoning, rational, and logical thinking, by utilizing methodical, clinical, and practical ways of managing stressful situations.

        Dr.  Sigmund Freud was the starting point in the Psychoanalytic approach for treatment of Psychological disturbances.  He described three components of personality, The Id, the Ego, and the Super-Ego.  The “Id” is the instincts that demands to be satisfied and it is controlled by the Pleasure Principles and needs immediate gratification such behaviors could be harmful to the organism. The Ego, tries to adjust the actions of the demanding “Id” by using societal norms, logic, and the Practical Principles or the delayed gratifications, when the Ego fails to control the demands of the “Id” it incorporates the Super-Ego. The Super-Ego resides in the Frontal and prefrontal cortex, it voices the parents and the Grandparent’s values and morals, ethical and religious control over the emotionally charged behaviors of the Id.

      In conclusion if our brain activity is not inhibited and reasonably stimulated and trained to control the irrational emotional thinking we can achieve peace of mind and live happily ever after.