Mind Wandering – How It Points Toward Mental Disorders

So much focus is given to the heart in this age of romanticized everything that we forget the value and the power of our brains – the power to think of ways to change our lives and others’, the power to dictate the decisions we make, the power to remember and to forget. But then, unfortunately, our mind tends to wander and explore places beyond the direction to our goals, leading us to find difficulty in completing tasks that were supposed to serve as stepping stones.

Just recently, some scientists reviewed what resulted from research published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience about mind wandering in the hopes of creating a new framework for comprehending mental disorders. The study includes how the wandering mind relates to mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, as well as ADHD.

Anxiety arises when our mind wandering is coupled with our fears. Our fears tend to constrain the contents of our mind wandering, drawing us to the same thoughts that are usually causing worry in us. Now in this paper, we begin to see dreaming as mind wandering as in REM sleep, the regions of our brain that are activated in mind wandering are also activated, and our calm state functions as a constraint to our dreams’ content. As a result, dreaming and anxiety start to form a link, as those imagined catastrophic possible situations we so fear and prevent in real life begin to manifest in our dreams and force us into our most worried about scenarios. This new development causes a breakthrough in therapy and treatment as dreams could then be used to pinpoint the anxieties of one who is experiencing mental illness, especially those related with trauma like post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mental illness can be treated

The generation we belong to is one that seeks to understand mental health and raise awareness about it. Today, support is given to those who are suffering through mental disorders, and mental illnesses are being seen as no light thing that is in need of immediate attention. There are many ways today to treat mental disorders, including mindfulness treatment and talking with a professional therapist or psychiatrist in the pursuit of holding down your mind which could be triggering when allowed to wander. There are also many hotlines that people who are struggling with mental disorders can call in times that they feel they need to confront their concerns. Mental illness need immediate attention and treatment, that they must not be delayed, as things often have a way of getting out of hand, so seek help today.

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