Well, I said I wasn’t posting today because I was too busy, but I did some more reading, starting with Gianna’s Beyond Meds blog. She included a post of a You Tube Bipolar Disorder: How to Heal Bipolar Mania and links to several other blogs (Different Thoughts) and through surfing I came to some people who were able to put into words what I felt about Jill Bolte Taylor’s TED talk about her stroke, A Stroke of Insight.”

Here is what Stephanie of Idealwg has to say about that TED talk:

So many people have sent me the link to the TED talk given by Jill Bolte Taylor (transcript here). I watched it and was a bit curious as to why people are so impressed with this 18 minutes. She is a good performer but not a good scientist. Some thoughts from others are below. What did you think of the video?

From a professor:

It is unfortunate that Jill Boltes dragged out the left-brain/right-brain stuff as an explanation for her experiences since the brain does not work that way. In other words, while the sequence of events might have been somewhat different, she would probably have had the same sorts of experiences had the stroke occurred in the right cerebral hemisphere rather than the left.

The only reason I can think of that she used the left-brain/right-brain metaphor is that she must have gone to school in the 1970s when we really did think that the

brain worked like that, and then didn’t read anything relevant after that (that happens more than you think in academia). By 1980 it had become obvious that the brain didn’t work like that even though the left-brain/right-brain distinction persisted in new age books and popular culture for quite some time after that. If you don’t believe me that there is no left-brain/right-brain duality then read the following two articles:

Yates, F. E. (1980). Two minds about brain asymmetries. American Journal of Physiology, 238, R1-R2.

Ellenberg, L. & Sperry, R. W. (1980). Lateralized division of attention in the commissurotomized and intact brain. Neuropsychologia, 18, 411-418. [Note here that Sperry was one of the people who STARTED the left-brain/right-brain metaphor in the first place.]

Also I’m not sure why she misleads viewers about the interconnections between the cerebral hemispheres, which are multiply connected, most notably through the brain stem and massa intermedia in addition to the corpus callosum. The problem is that that sort of professional blundering discredits the rest of what she says for those who do know brain physiology. And that is unfortunate because of the rich layers of experiences that she has during her near-death experience.

Thank you Gianna for your post on Bipolar Awakening and the link to Different Thoughts.

These posts and blogs got me to thinking even more about the discussion that on our circle of blogs. Recently I posted about supplements and Susan of Bipolar Wellness Writer stated that she did not use supplements and that she had had a bad experience with a charlatan who had prescribed supplements to cure her depression. I have, for a long time been focused on healing myself through the use of supplements and food. But the Susan’s experience and the video make me think that when we focus on only the biological aspect, without the spiritual aspect as the cause of mental illness, we truly lose valuable insight and alternative ways of healing.