I remember that when I was 16, I clearly felt bad about myself and already had some suicidal thoughts… but “it’s part of the teenage crisis,” I thought to myself… and I continued on the path that was unfolding in front of me… almost 10 years later, I sat on this chair, not recognizing myself anymore, finding myself ugly and empty inside. The rest, I tell you in detail on the page “My path“. To make a long story short, I lost my job, a place in society, my friends… my world collapsed and I hit rock bottom. I then fought to get back on track and it took me almost 10 years to get out of it, to regain my self-esteem, a feeling of body weightlessness, a boost of energy and to come out of mental confusion. I was very lucky on my journey, I was well supported, guided, which allows me to be here today to share my experience.

I believe that getting out of mental suffering should not be a matter of luck. I therefore share here the essential part of what I have learned, understood, through my experience and my research in neuroscience, so that others do not lose their lives this way, eaten away by mental suffering, but that on the contrary they can fully enjoy the gift that is Life and enjoy the presence of their entire Being. Recognizing the signs of mental suffering, having the necessary tools to regain health or even to protect oneself from the illness… seem essential to me. Understanding how our brains work can help… Having a supportive network around us is clearly essential. Getting your hands on inspiring resources supports… So here I share all of these with you.

I cannot go on without saying that it is my own opinion that I share here. It has been shaped by my experiences and reflections. Of course, this only binds me and nobody else.

Signs of mental suffering

Mental suffering can be experienced to different degrees and the presence of only one of these signs should already worry us and set us on the road to regain health.

  • feeling uncomfortable in your skin
  • being inhabited by a feeling of uneasiness, guilt, shame…
  • having difficulty reaching out to others
  • poor memory
  • feeling inferior or superior to others
  • confusion, unclear ideas
  • decreases in attention, concentration
  • desire to leave this world, suicidal thoughts
  • tiredness
  • prolonged sadness
  • anger, persistent frustration
  • difficulty in doing any activities
  • loss of desire
  • prefer to hide, to isolate
  • high sensitivity to the remarks of others
  • vivid emotions
  • anxiety
  • feeling at the bottom of the hole, not seeing a way out of your situation
  • wanting to be different, not loving yourself the way you are
  • loss of sense
  • increased clumsiness
  • feeling of heaviness, body tension
  • feeling like you don’t recognize yourself
  • delusions, loss of connection with reality
  • altered sensory perceptions
  • light or disturbed sleep

Taking care of your mental health

Mental health is intrinsically linked to the functions of the nervous system (and the body), so it is important to understand how the nervous system works, its needs and what is harmful to it… Indeed, knowing what this tissue loves, what makes it alive, allows us to adopt the appropriate behaviours to preserve or heal it. Explanations or links between mental health and nervous system function will follow. For the time being, let’s limit ourselves to listing some supportive behaviours.

  • appropriate food ingested regularly, otherwise the brain lives on its reserves which necessarily makes it vulnerable
  • paying attention to the oxygen supply (importance of paying attention to your breathing; breathing clean air; benefits of gentle breathing techniques)
  • hydrating sufficiently
  • physical exercises (walking or soft sports; stimulates neuronal regeneration)
  • having new experiences and learning new things: break out of habits, coming out of your comfort zone, enriched readings/discussions (stimulate the formation of new neural connections)
  • experiencing moments of calm (meditation, sleep, quiet environment (sound, visual, electromagnetic…) gives the brain space to reorganize itself
  • sharing one’s experiences with a therapist (who enables this to be done in the most neutral way possible) or possibly with family and friends as long as the people around you are supportive
  • being alert to thoughts and emotions and reinforcing positive/sustaining thoughts and emotions
  • avoiding traumatic shocks (physical or emotional and positive or negative) but above all becoming aware of the increased needs of the brain at these particular times to avoid sequelae

In addition,

  • taking care of your soul, for example, by observing nature, the stars, the sunsets and sunrises, enables you to reconnect to something greater than yourself and take a step back
  • eliminating body tensions through massages, yoga, osteopathic care, ensures that the body supports the nervous system in its functions
  • eliminating, through energetic care, stagnant and accumulated charges can allow the brain to free itself from charges that are no longer used but that have nevertheless remained stuck there
  • being aware of the laws of the Universe also enables you to regain power over your life

Mental health and the nervous system

The principles mentioned above I myself have applied them, all of them, to heal myself from mental suffering. Now, as a former neurobiologist who based her research on brain plasticity, I understand why it has been so beneficial. So let me start by explaining why the health of the nervous system, its proper functioning, is so intrinsically linked to our mental health.

First of all, we must be aware that our Being interacts with our physical environment through our nervous system. We feel our environment, are aware of it and take concrete action thanks to it. You then understand that its integrity is crucial to us in order to be able to interact in the best possible way in this world.


If the nervous system is drastically affected, the consequences are dramatic. This is the case, for example, in comas. On the other hand, if neural circuits are simply poorly organized or dysfunctional, the consequences can be more or less subtle. This is the case with depression or other mental suffering. If our brains darken our reality, through negatively oriented neural connections, it will be very difficult to interact in a proper manner in the world. Our perception of reality will inevitably be altered and so will our actions. It is therefore easy to understand why a colleague’s remark is experienced as a trauma by a person when it has left the person next to him completely indifferent. And inevitably the reactions will be different. One may decide to quit his work when the second person has not even thought about it! This example shows the consequences that the state of health of our nervous system will have on our lives. And if we understand that the remark made by our colleague also depends on the health of his own nervous system… then we measure the impact that the health of our nervous system has on our society… promoting mental health, or health of the nervous system, clearly becomes a public health issue and crucial for the our society.

Function of the nervous system

To better understand what a healthy nervous system means and what needs to be done to keep it in this state, it may be necessary to recall what it is and how it works. I will try to do so here, very briefly and trying to simplify as much as possible, while making the link with the principles mentioned above.

The nervous system is the tissue of our body specialized in the conduction, transmission and processing of information. It is composed of neurons, endothelial cells and glial cells. Neurons form more or less long filaments, called neurites, that allow neurons to connect to each other through synapses. They are responsible for conducting, transmitting and processing information. The information is conducted as an electrical variation along the neuron membrane that is induced by the movement of charged molecules through the neuronal membrane. The nerve impulse is then transmitted from one neuron to another by chemical means through the synapses. Endothelial cells cover the inner surface of blood vessels, ensuring a good exchange between the blood and the other cells of the nervous tissue. Glial cells form the environment of neurons; they ensure their integrity, form an insulating sheath around certain neurites, ensure that homeostasis is maintained and participate in the nutrition of neurons and the elimination of waste. While it is mainly neurons that drive information from one place to another, some glial cells play a moderating role in this process. The neurons thus form a kind of electrical circuit (but of course much more evolved and above all alive). It is the quality and quantity of information to be processed and the channels used to do so (i.e. which circuit is being used) that determine the processing of the information and, therefore, the response generated.

The nervous system also has an incredible potential to form and then modify itself according to its use, even in adults. If a neural pathway is widely used, it will be reinforced by new connections while those that are rarely used are lost, this is the basic principle called neural plasticity, often called synaptic plasticity, and which is underlying learning. This means that according to our experiences, thoughts, emotions, words and actions, our brain changes. It should be noted that our thoughts alone are enough to permanently modify our nervous system if they are repeated. This process therefore reveals the importance of living fully to use the full potential of this tissue, otherwise our nervous system risks to atrophy like a muscle that we do not use. And hence the importance also in choosing the most supportive, enriching and stimulating experiences, emotions, thoughts, words and actions on which we wish to base our lives on. Indeed, our nervous system will reflect them. Knowing the principles of plasticity, one may therefore wonder, for example, what will be the impact that excessive video games, on top of it violent, will have on a young child once he becomes an adult… or the impact of repeating oneself or being constantly repeated “I am, you are stupid”… instead of a more positive sentence such as, “you can do it, you will succeed, have faith…”. Similarly, if a person experiences a major shock that will cause them to feel fear, or anger, it is very likely that their reaction to future events, even minor ones, will be fear (or anger). Unless, of course, they have taken care of their nervous system in the meantime…

Also, changes in gene expression, and therefore proteins, and structural changes within the neuronal circuitry, underlie neuronal plasticity. Depending on the conditions, it is even possible to see new neurons form. These changes occur over a period of time during which the tissue is probably more vulnerable because it is undergoing reorganization. It is therefore necessary to grant it periods to rest.

Finally, nerve activity is very demanding for cells; neurons therefore have an increased energy requirement which requires a continuous supply of glucose through the blood. Indeed, in humans, the brain corresponds only to about 2% of body weight, but it consumes 20% of the energy derived from glucose, so it is a major consumer of sugar. It is also the organ that consumes the most blood in the body. Indeed, its needs in oxygen are considerable and it is at the same time very vulnerable to its own waste and toxins that it produces during its activity. And the more active it is, the greater his needs are and the more waste has to be disposed of. Good blood circulation and oxygenation are therefore necessary. Also, the brain is 80% water, which is crucial to its balance. We then understand the importance of good hydration.

Neuroscience is a vast and rapidly expanding field of study. It is clear that the knowledge about it is now vast. I have only given here the fundamental basics, but I think these simple statements provide a good understanding of what should be done to take care of our nervous system, which was the purpose of my presentation.

The limits of science

I would now like to draw your attention to the limits of science and in particular in the world of biology.

Technologies and methodologies, which are constantly evolving, considerably limit the observations that would be possible. For example, due to these limitations, the ability of neurons to form new synapses in adulthood was not proven until the 1960s. And this fact has been debated for a long time by neuroscientists. Many had adopted the doctrine that when humans reach adulthood, no synapse could be created and that, on the contrary, when we reach a certain age, synpases could only be lost or eventually strengthened, but only at the functional level. It was only recently, in the 2000s, that this fondamental principle was sufficiently demonstrated to be finally adopted by the scientific community.

Also, biologists can only very rarely take the complexity of life into account in their experiments. For example, to study the effect of the sugar naturally present in fruits, called fructose, on the body, they use pure fructose, produced by the chemical industries, mixed with water… nothing to do with the effects of the natural sugar of fruits that could be obtained by crunching an apple for example… and yet, due to the observations made in these researches, the population is beginning to mistrust its consumption of fruits…

In biology, the study of the function of living organisms and organs is obviously difficult to carry out on humans. Animal models are of great help… but how are these animals raised? Do they really reflect a healthy body in its full potential? Animals are kept in cages since birth, rarely with new objects to explore, and raised with industrial food and moreover kept in a poorly ventilated and artificially lit environment… how can they reveal the full potential of their bodies under these conditions? Moreover, as soon as the experiment is over, they are killed to be able to analyze the results on which our theory of the living will be based, thus leaving aside the possibility for the disturbed body to regain its homeostasis, its balance, its health and thus to study this potential.

Finally, scientific research depends on financial funds and the system is based on the number of articles published. So you have to go fast, write a lot of articles and find the funding for your next experiments. And the more articles you have published, the more you become a reference in the field. Large or innovative experiences are therefore often set aside in favour of safer experiences. Moving forward, and providing truly new ideas and observations, under these conditions, is compromised.

It is clear that science provides a better understanding of how we function. However, we should not give science all our power. Let us keep a critical eye on what is being proposed and remain attentive to the knowledge derived from our own experiences and good judgment. How many more lives will be lost if we wait for science to prove the link between the health of the nervous system, psychological health and the principles behind taking care of our body… Let us be more vigilant and realize that, deep down, we know where the truth lies.

Inspiring resources

During my period of depression, I had the chance to discover some therapies, or books (not necessarily all read in full), or documentaries that helped me considerably on my way. I list them below in case it could speak to you and bring you comfort, open-mindedness, understanding, hope or simply practical tools to better take care of yourself and your mental health. Do not hesitate to add to this list with your own discoveries….

  • Individual sessions of psychoanalysis
  • Individual sessions in non-violent communication
  • Access bars sessions
  • Kyle Gray, books “How to See, Hear and Feel your Angels” and “Raise your Vibration”
  • Neale Donald Walsch, books “Conversations with God”
  • Dr. Joe Dispenza, books “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” and “Becoming Supernatural”
  • Anthony William, books “Medical Medium” and “Liver Rescue”
  • Kelly A. Turner, book “The 9 Keys to Remission”
  • The documentary “Heal”
  • The film “Concussion”
  • The movie “Black Swan”
  • “Manifestation Babe”, by Kathrin Zenkina, to be followed on the net
  • The documentary “The Secret”

Now, maybe you wish to be part of an inspiring and supportive community as you walk on the path towards inner well-being or wish to find a place where you could share your own resources… if so, contact me as I do intend to build such community.