Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Do You Mind?

That was the title of last night's psych lesson about the mind-body debate.  Here's how I know I'm in the right field - I was geeking out right and left about some of the stuff being discussed.  No lie.  I am a nerd and a half, kids!  Love it.

Anywhoozles, there was some pretty crazy stuff that came out of the lesson and I figured some of it was interesting enough to share.  Here goes.

  • People used to think that "madness" (what we would typically now call mental illness) was caused by, well, the devil.  They thought people were being possessed or that there were demons in the brain.  All sorts of crazy shit, right?  Even crazier was that in the Stone Age, they thought drilling holes into people's heads to let the demons out was a reasonable (and helpful) form of treatment.  Ouch.
  • Approx 90% of Americans believe in some form of Heaven, and another 72% believe in Angels.  People tend to believe that the mind and body (brain) are separate entities and that one's mind - spirit - lives on after death.  In fact, some people actually think that within the next decade or so, we'll be able to upload our spirits to a computer once our bodies have expired so that we can later be downloaded to a new vessel.  And that, my friends, creeps me the hell out.
  • Hippocrates (you know, the guy we named the Hippocratic Oath after) was kind of out there.  He thought mental illness was caused by an imbalance of what he called "humors" (biological fluids).  So, essentially, if one of our fluids was out of balance (too much, too little, etc), that's when mental illness strikes.  Even weirder is the fact that he related some of these fluids to different elements and personality traits.  For example, Fire = Blood.  This fluid is responsible for traits like confidence and optimism.  Whereas Earth = Black Bile, which causes depression and frustration.  I guess I have a little too much Earth and not enough Fire, then, eh?
These are just a few of the random things I learned last night.  I'm not going to lie...  I'm excited for the rest of this class now!  If we're going to be learning crazy things like this, I am SO in!  :-D

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