Neurons, mental health and everything in between

Ishita 🌙
4 min readJun 26, 2020

The gazillion electrons ran excitedly through the kite string via the thunderstorm giving Benjamin Franklin, the shock of his life. Not the minor one, but the one that pulled the human race from the dark ages (literally), electricity. However, Franklin did not discover just electricity that day. It was the very beginning of unraveling the mystery that is the human brain. We would finally understand how information transmission is driven by electrical impulses in our neural network.

Electricity did not just light up the world we live in, it illuminated the very core that makes us human, our brain.

Unfortunately, even after revolutionary strides in studying the human brain and developing novel healthcare approaches, mental disorders continue to plague our society more so than ever. 46.4% of the population will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. A baffling outcome considering the time we are living in is supposed to be the most prosperous era in human civilization. Maybe increased awareness has spiked our sensitivity to the phenomenon? Or maybe it is the first time in history that people are finally cognizant of their mental state, adapting to the frequent power surges that come along?

“Indeed feelings don’t just matter, they are what mattering means” — Daniel Gilbert

Let’s retract a little and really try to examine our neural network. Our brain has a markedly complex infrastructure with multiple distinct circuits electrifying layered neural networks much like the power lines in our homes. These neural networks in turn link individual brain components like the amygdala, hippocampus that finally lights the bulb. Of course, the existence of synapses between neurons has even enabled “wireless” transmission further propelling the dendritic network.

Considering the intricacy involved and the exactness desired, why then do we conceive superhero expectations from our human brain? More importantly, if we don’t fully understand it’s functioning, how do we expect to understand what went wrong? Even after extensive awareness about mental health in the inflicted strata, the real challenge lurks in the deepest folds of our multilayered neural system. Why is our…