Articles of interest
17th September 2021
Book in Focus
Emotional Health, from Science to Whole Being
By Carol Dillon
We are living in a rapidly changing world where different challenges are constantly emerging. Environmental disruptions, everyday life stressors related to economic issues, problems at work, and difficulties in the family or in our social relations are all risk factors for the development of anxiety and affective disorders.
Mental health can be defined by the presence of a bio-psycho-socio-cultural balance. Emotions are an exquisite combination of our past and present experiences and external influences; they can also have an impact on our mental and physical health. Mind and body are a continuum. Emotions rule our everyday lives, and so it is crucial to learn how to cope with them. Discovering ourselves and understanding our biological rhythms, as well as the environment that surrounds us, can help us to handle emotions.
Our brains, heart, and vascular, immunological, digestive, and respiratory systems are all formed by different kinds of cells. All of our body’s cells have genetic information (DNA), which is transmitted to other cells. Daily life activities and habits, psychological stressors, and environmental changes or disruptions can affect genes. This is one of the basic concepts of epigenetics, which refers to changes outside genetics that do not affect DNA sequencing (genotype), but do impact its expression (phenotype). In conclusion, the environment can affect our present and our future generations.
To cope with these changes, it is necessary to start building resilience. The American Psychological Association defines resilience “as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth”. We need to learn how to cope with changes and stressful events to achieve happiness and a good quality of life.
In engineering, resilience is a system’s ability to recover from a fault and maintain the persistency of service dependability in the face of faults. The Cambridge Dictionary also defines resilience “as the ability of a substance to return to its usual shape after being bent stretched, or pressed”: elasticity. Our brains have this capacity through the process of neuroplasticity. Environmental changes stimulate our neurobiological systems and generate neurobiological changes both in brain cells (neurons and neuroglia cells) and in neuronal systems (throughout neurotransmitters).
Emotional Health, from Science to Whole Being introduces the concept of emotional health defined through the neurosciences and different medical and psychological approaches. It defines neuroscience, biological concepts, and mental health through both psychiatric and clinical perspectives by presenting case reports. The book also develops the concept of a bio-psycho-socio-cultural balance, and describes the features of nutrition, lifestyle, and physical and cognitive activities, as well as their influence on mental health and emotions. It introduces the concepts of planetary health, environmental changes, and epigenetics, and explores the concept of holistic medicine and how it can work alongside medical treatments.
The social and cultural environment, biology (personal and family history), and personality (resiliency ability) are important aspects to consider during a holistic examination. The bio-psycho-socio-cultural approach requires integration between conventional medicine and complementary modalities. This strategy will make us appreciate the body-mind connection and achieve a cure using multiple levels, including nutrition, movement, healthy lifestyle, relaxation, proper and effective medication, and psychotherapy, among others.
In the book, different topics, such as anatomical and cellular components of the nervous system, brain functioning and its relation with the emotions, clinical case reports, the relationship between mental health and the environment, and psychopharmacological treatments of depression and anxiety are addressed. The book demonstrates that the integration of conventional medicine with complementary modalities is essential to analyzing people and patients using a multidimensional approach. This leads to the idea that a connection between the mind and the body is of great importance.
The book represents the culmination of different research topics addressed by its author, Carol Dillon, MD, PhD, such as depression and anxiety disorders, depression and its relation with cognitive impairment, lifestyle factors and neurodegenerative diseases, nutrition and healthy brain, cognitive stimulation, and pharmacological treatment of affective and anxiety disorders.
Dr Carol Dillon studied Medicine at the Salvador University, Argentina, and specialized as a Psychiatrist at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital “Dr Braulio Moyano”, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2001-2005). After receiving her PhD in Mental Health Studies from Buenos Aires University, she is now a Professor of Neuroscience at Palermo University, Argentina, and works as a Clinical Researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council. She also performs her clinical practice as a Neuropsychiatrist in the Neurology Section of the Medical Department at CEMIC University Hospital, Argentina, and is an international member of the American Psychiatric Association, as well as the World Federation of Biological Psychiatry. Her research explores depression, degenerative diseases, neuropsychiatric and neuropsychological symptoms, biological psychiatry and neuroscience.
Emotional Health, from Science to Whole Being is available now in Hardback at a 25% discount. Enter the code PROMO25 at the checkout to redeem.