Mysteries of mental illnesses

Hello and welcome back to our blog!

During this week we had both a lecture and an exercise session. The lecture was about last weeks reading topic “wiring the brain” and at the exercise session we got tips for completing the first operative exercises, which we think are going to be interesting and exiting to complete. This week we also met with the group in person at a lunch, which was truly refreshing for most of our studies are distance learning.

During the lunch, we discussed about our current feelings about the course and the chapter we were reading this week called “Mental Illness”. Overall, we all though the course keeps on being interesting and inspiring. However, due to other courses taking place in this period as well, some of our group wished this course would have more time to engage the subjects, since the subjects do truly interest us.

This week, we felt the chapter was easier to approach than previous chapters: it was easy to read and understand. However, the information of this chapter seemed to be less certain than the information of other chapters for the reason behind a great deal of the chapter’s phenomena remained to be determined. Among our group, we also discussed the worrying state of students’ mental health especially during this current pandemic.

One alarming issue that was left bothering my mind after reading the chapter, is that many of the illnesses seemed to occur remarkably more often among female than male population, but the chapter gave no explanation why so. What is the reason for this? Is there a biological explanation? The chapter also states that in experimental animals, continuous exposure to cortisol, such as during periods of chronical stress, can cause hippocampal neurons to wither and die, and this degeneration might lead to a vicious cycle of more cortisol being released and thus even more hippocampus getting damaged. I wish the chapter would also address the breaking of this kind of cycles and possible repairing of the damages already done.

Thank you for reading our thoughts once again!

Posted by Sara S.

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