Today I finally got my flip chart out to do a little brain workshop with you! I discuss the Limbic System (amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus) and the pre-frontal cortex and cortisol.

hi guys happy Friday I am here today
with my flip charts and I'm gonna talk
about the brain the brain in someone
with borderline personality disorder
before I start my lovely friend Megan
friend and publisher
I still can't believe that I've got book
coming out that she actually sent me
this because I asked her to because I
wanted to have a look through and if I
thought it's good I'll show you guys
basically it's the dialectical
behavioral therapy wellness plan by
amanda L Smith and it's amazing it's
basically a lie everything that I got
tall in DBT let me explain right so at
the beginning why DBT it talks about
mindfulness it was rather stress
tolerance etc and then you have hang on
a moment let me find it okay so you have
like your week ahead and these are all
down here Badfinger I cut my finger up
last what I'm sorry
so the week ahead daily self-care
tracker so there's a one for physical
one for emotional one from a relational
one for spiritual so for an example for
a physical it's exercise for at least 10
to 15 minutes and you can ticket for
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday etc
took prescribe medication as directed
and you can ticket for emotional
practice self compassion engaged in
mindful breathing relational let go of
judgments of others spiritual order to
my values and beliefs use prayer or
meditation to help myself and then you
have this for every single day can you
see it's blurry is now there
can you see so basically you write down
the date skills practice so it's
mindfulness emotional regulation
distress tolerance and interpersonal
effectiveness then there's a little
thing thick write down three things that
you're thankful for three goals you've
worked towards and you're today's
shining moment and you've got nut days
sober or numbers of days since engaging
in a harmful or destructive behavior and
so you can keep tabs on like how long
you've gone without doing that and so
you do that all month and mimei means at
the end of the month bare with me guys
oh yeah yes the self-care assessment and
so you go through and you score yourself
so you for physical care emotional care
relational care and spiritual care and
you give yourself points per Section and
depending what points you'll get
excellent you're doing great you'll be
taking care of yourself in this area
you'll get very good identify and
address any gaps in self-care or no one
is perfect is this an area of growth for
you and it's a really good way of
cracking your recovery day by day month
by month and it's good that has got that
self-care assessment every month because
sometimes we don't think we've made any
changes and it's not until you go
through and actually you might have five
more points this month and last month
which shows progress it might be small
progress so you don't actually notice it
but that's a really good way of seeing
how you are progressing and not just how
you're progressing but what areas you're
progressing in so I would really really
recommend this book actually my part my
part was like
about us I know it's mine he thought I'm
gonna to start writing it okay but I
think like this is yeah absolutely
brilliant right so today I'm talking
about the brain and the brain in someone
with BPD I'm sitting down because I'm
feeling lazy and I'm gonna do the flip
chart so basically there are two
different areas of the brain I am going
to discuss with you the first one I got
to see you can see it yes limbic system
this is the most primitive part of our
brain is what we call our emotional
brain this part of our brain is fully
formed when we are born I'm gonna go
into that in a second so I'm going to
talk about the limbic system there's
actually three different parts because
there's actually more parts of the
limbic system but I'm only going to
touch on three of them and three will be
the can you beat that the meek
the hippo campus and the hypo and hyper
thalamus so these are the three areas
I'm gonna discuss today and they are all
part of the limbic system how can I go
before it-it's off the screen and I'm
also going to talk about the cortex I
know I kind of mentioned it to you
before bungler took bay in a bit more
detail I do have notes in front of me
because I would just be all over the
place otherwise so we're gonna start
with the limbic system and the amygdala
and basically the job of the amygdala is
it is like our emotion processor it
takes in data data is inputted and it
processes that data and decides what's
the relevant response so basically it
detects threats
so it might detect a threat it sounds
the alarm and it sets off another
process so for example a threat sphere
that sends that data to another area the
rain that sets off the fight-or-flight
response and we react like I said the
limbic system is fully formed at Birth
and animals have a limbic system it is
the survival area of our brain it is
commonly associated with emotions like
fear and anger and anxiety but I do
believe it's responsible for a lot more
but that is what is most associated with
the the limbic system as a whole is like
I said it is the survival part of our
brain and therefore it is also
responsible for different neuro
chemicals in our brain like dopamine
serotonin but I'm not really going to go
into that today I'm just gonna stick
with the different structures they the
limbic systems what motivates us and
drives us gives us to do things for our
survival so if it will let us know if
we're hungry
let us know very hungry and it sets of
chemicals that will push us to go
towards the goal of finding food because
we need food for survival and fear is
for survival and 200,000 years ago if
there was a big lion we would need to
feel scared so it could set off the
right emotional response which would be
run and get the hell out of there and
it's our limbic system that does that
and a little bit system it kind it with
it a little a little it acts
unconsciously so for example I remember
I was in Greece this is a few years ago
and I was sat at the bar and as a joke
someone behind had gone like this wasn't
something you might hear but I did I
didn't see them do that
I immediately like jumped off or
screaming because that was my limbic
like getting in saying there's something
gone into your ear get it the hell out
and I reacted I did not want my
prefrontal cortex which I'll discuss in
a minute but that's responsible for
thinking reasoning logic I didn't want
that overriding and going well hang on
calm down let's think this through first
I didn't want to think it through I
needed to get whatever went in my ear
out my ear and that's how I reacted so
without even being conscious of it I
just reacted I just did so right okay so
we've done the amygdala what I'll do
I'll go through the different brain
structures and then I'll go back through
and explain how they're different in
someone with borderline so I've
explained emotion processor right we
have the hippocampus the hippocampus is
responsible for taking short-term
memories and converting them into
long-term memories but when it converts
how memories it doesn't just take
something that's happened and store it
away it takes it with a emotional
response so for example just say when
you were a child you had a pet cat the
softest you had a pet cat and it was a
big fat ginger cat and it was lovely and
it's so nice and it for you so much to
eat when you're older and you might be
out walking down the road and you see a
big fat ginger cat without realising the
feeling of being nice and happy will
surface because you were safe associate
that ginger cat with happy times in
puddles and stroking it
so the memory of the cow is not just a
cat it doesn't come with no judgment
because we've got experience around it
and like I said the emotion as well as
the memory is stored together so h1 you
feel the emotion that was stored with
the memory if when you were little
there was a big ginger cat and it's much
you really balanced across the face and
you were scared and you were upset and
it hurt that memory and that emotion is
stored away by your hippocampus years
and years later you might be walking
down the road and see a big ginger cat
and horrid feeling will be bought up
because you're not even conscious of oh
I've just had this memory of this cat
it's just that feeling comes back and it
triggers that because that is the
emotion that was stored with that memory
so then we're moving on to the
hypothalamus and hypothalamus is what is
responsible for regulating our autonomic
nervous system that's it autonomic air
ALS awareness our ANS is responsible for
things like our blood pressure our
breathing and digestion our digestive
system and and basically if I got dry
skin all right if something happens you
get scared just say and old memory has
been triggered by this over time you
were fearful you get fearful the
hypothalamus that will set off our
fight-or-flight response
so do we stay and fight do we run away
and it lets the autonomic nervous system
know to do the fight-or-flight response
which will increase our heart rate
because we need more blood pumping
around our body in order to do that
breathing gets faster we and it will
suppress the digestive system we don't
want to be feeling hungry while we're
trying to run away and so that's what
that does and it's our autonomic nervous
system that releases the hormone
adrenaline adrenaline is known as the
fight or flight hormone which then leads
to a hormone the stress hormone cortisol
being released I'm going to write
cortisol here because that's going to be
important in a minute and you see that
line net in case you can hear baby
crying I'm not ignoring how my partner's
upstairs with her so that's that and
then we have our prefrontal cortex we
have this is kind of what differentiates
us from other animals humans have the
largest prefrontal cortex remember this
is what is responsible for thinking
reasoning logic and our reasonable mind
and like I said we have a bigger one
than other animals but our prefrontal
cortex we are not born with it fully
formed it is not fully formed until we
are in early adulthood say for example
let me think for an example you are
walking down the road and someone barges
past you
and get really angry you think I'm gonna
turn round I'm gonna punch him in the
face our prefrontal cortex will jump in
say mmm not probably not wise idea just
to punch someone in the face maybe they
didn't mean to do it you know it's a
busy street maybe someone bumped into
them if you punch them in the face there
will be consequences you might get
arrested down two down and your punch
them in the face because this has
overridden this happily frontal cortex
has overridden our limbic system like I
said there are times when the limbic
system will shut down the prefrontal
cortex like where I had a bug in my hair
because I did not need this I needed to
survive the bug in my ear and so that
stepped in and so now I'm going to
discuss with you these parts in the
brain of someone with borderline
personality disorder so first of all we
have the amygdala our emotion processor
in the brains of people with borderline
personality disorders scans and studies
have shown that this is smaller our
Mottola is actually smaller than that of
the brain of someone who doesn't have
BPD so what smaller means is actually it
is hyperactive overactive the thing they
don't know but do I say this now yeah
the thing they don't know is if our
amygdala is smaller from birth or if it
has degenerated a degenerative
deteriorated colleges over time
very much the chicken and the egg what
came first was the smaller amygdala
first or was it deteriorating what
what's my mean by that this is their
cortisol is a stress hormone and
cortisol is wonderful because sometimes
we need to feel that stress to react the
problem is if you are being pumped with
cortisol on a regular basis too much
we're actually a Rhodes parts of the
brain it literally eats away at them the
part it might eat away at the amygdala
hippocampus remember hippocampus is for
memories maybe if the quarto is eaten
where that that's why I hear all the
time people with borderline me myself
included can have really bad memories
like just don't remember things the
hypothalamus and also our prefrontal
cortex so when I say was that the
chicken in the egg
it was the amygdala small to start with
or because we've gone through stress
because as we know a lot of people with
BPD have either suffered with some kind
of trauma some kind of loss maybe abuse
maybe neglect in their life all those
things will cause cortisol to be
released so was it small to start with
or was it because of our environment
certain things happened they say away
and then we've got a smaller amygdala
our hippocampus basically constantly
misinterpret threats sends fooled
messages through the amygdala and I it
reminded me I remember in the news years
ago it's a story about a dog I'm not
comparing us to dogs but there was a
story it was about the nicest nicest dog
in the world and
savagely attacked a postman and people
saying the dog needs to be put down yeah
Texas postman but what they discovered
actually this dog had been a rescue dog
and its previous owner from when it was
a baby was really abusive would really
hit and beat dog and they worked in an
industry where they had this fluorescent
jacket on the postman was wearing a
fluorescent jacket so the dog it was
that memory thing that I've been talking
about it didn't just say oh another
fluorescent jacket it was that memory of
fear and the dog reacted and that's what
they hit our hippocampus does it relays
flawed messages so for example just say
a song a song when you were little there
was a song when you were little and your
mum or dad got really aggressive with
you and you were terrified well this
song is playing in the background so so
unconsciously without even realizing
that song and the memory of being scared
and frightened has been stored in later
life you might go out for a works do and
they play that that song comes on
immediately you detect a threat a threat
is detected because in your mind you
have stored it with the really fearful
things so immediately you go on alert
when actually it's a flawed threat
because there is no threat you're at a
work party you're having fun you're with
people you trust and it's a song playing
but your hippocampus has brought up this
old memory and put you on high alert
basically then we have the hypothalamus
and in someone with borderline
personality disorder the hypothalamus is
on constant a row
they have found in people with
borderline personality disorder there
are high amounts of cortisol in their
bloodstream which goes back to what I
was saying cortisol erodes certain parts
of the brain and then we have the
prefrontal cortex in someone with
borderline personality disorder this has
been shown to be in active inefficient
basically this will override this so we
get feeling we don't think of the
consequences I've explained this before
we don't think at so for example that
story where I say you're walking down
the road someone bumps into you we get
back our prefrontal cortex won't stop
didn't go well hang on a minute
maybe they got pushed into you you don't
want to punch them in the face you'll
get arrested none of that happens this
is not working
it isn't active and so we're just going
by this I think I have covered
everything like I said I haven't really
covered like the neurotransmitters the
neuro chemicals I'm not going to do that
today and just literally wanted to focus
on this I was going to actually draw a
nice picture with the brain for you but
realized my drawings published so I
didn't but I hope you got something from
this because it really does show because
people often say to me what causes every
day like I said there is no known cure
genetics is shown to play a big part if
for so for example if someone in your
family has had borderline you're at a
much higher risk of having it but then
also environment like socially as you
grow up the environment you grow up here
and that has an effect like I said if
you're in a stressful environment and
you haven't
which affects this so again
chicken-and-egg what came first
borderline or stress then caught soul
then borderline so we've got a pretty
bad deal really when you look at it but
I think it's amazing that studies are
now showing that actually the brain has
a weak part and there are brain
differences because so many times I have
people say my mum and dad just don't
believe in borderline personality they
say it's not thing and as we know there
is so much stigma attached to it and but
now studies are showing that actually
this is a real thing and actually
there's a physical thing going on in our
brain as well hopefully like obviously a
lot more studies need to be done but the
more that done maybe eventually they
will find a cure they wolf I know that
we can learn to manage it over time to
the point that it's not there but
actually to have an outright cure just
bond that would be amazing
so I'm going to leave that there guys I
hope you have a wonderful weekend like I
said I'm still down to one video a week
and that is because I'm literally
writing writing writing I've only got a
couple of months to finish so I get all
done on time so but I will be back next
Friday of your bag
This transcript was auto-generated and therefore may contain mistakes.

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