Why does the mind create real symptoms in the absence of disease?

Dr. Suzanne O'Sullivan

The body can create a shocking array of symptoms, from paralysis to seizures, seemingly without any medical explanation. Is the brain responsible, and if so, why does it do it?

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From hallucinations to real physical pain, certain circumstances (such as stress) may trigger the brain to create a parallel world. When this happens, real physical symptoms cannot be explained by physical investigations. But why is the brain designed to create unnecessary pain?

Dr Suzanne O'Sullivan is a neurologist who has spent years delving into psychosomatic, or "functional", disorders - illnesses in which physical symptoms are caused by our own brains rather than by disease. Suzanne joins us in The Garden to explore the power of the mind to control the body, in ways you would never imagine.

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50 minutes


The Unconscious Mind

About the Fellow

Dr. Suzanne O'Sullivan

Suzanne O’Sullivan has been a consultant in neurology since 2004. She specialises in the investigation of complex epilepsy and also has an active interest in psychogenic disorders.

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The Unconscious Mind Collection

The unconscious mind is a vast unmapped territory of feelings, thoughts, urges and memories that sit just outside our awareness. Luckily, our intrepid Garden Fellows are at the forefront of exploring it, and they're taking you with them on the journey.

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