Biology of the Mind: The Endocrine System Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1285 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Anatomy

¶ … Biology of the Mind: The Endocrine System

The biology of the mind is complex, with several different systems impacting how the mind functions. One of those systems is the endocrine system. The endocrine system is made up of hormone-producing and secreting glands. Hormones are "chemical substances produced in the body that regulate the activity of cells or organs (Reiser and Kemp, p.1). Hormones are responsible for controlling a number of the body's activities, including growth, sexual development, sexual function, and reproduction. The glands release hormones into the bloodstream, where the hormones then interact with one or more organs to impact body functioning.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Biology of the Mind: The Endocrine System Assignment

I chose the endocrine system because I believe it is one of the more overlooked systems in the body. Given that hormones have such a significant impact on so many bodily functions; it seems as if their importance is often overlooked. Even after studying the endocrine system, I still did not truly understand how important it was to overall body functioning, including psychological functioning, until reading a friend's Facebook post the other night. This friend, an older woman in her late 30s, had experienced significant mental health issues from around the time that she hit puberty. She was diagnosed bipolar while she was in her late teens and had been on medication to stabilize her moods since that time. However, she had not had any significant symptom reduction from the medication. In addition to her mental health issues, she also had reproductive health issues, including polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, and other menstrual disorders. She was able to conceive but her daughter was born premature and, after the birth of her doctor, she suffered a pretty significant case of post-partum depression. While it did not reach the level of an official post-partum psychosis diagnosis, it was well outside of the range of normal "baby blues." She reported that the more medical professionals she saw for her various issues, the more they dismissed her complaints as part of her mental illness. Not until her early 30s did she find a doctor who sat down and listened to all of her symptoms and decided to test her thyroid. They found that her thyroid hormones were well-below average. After adjusting her thyroid, they discovered that she had been misdiagnosed as bipolar and took her off of the bipolar medication. Currently, she is on medication for depression and synthetic thyroid hormone and reports that she is functioning much better than she ever has in her life. Reading her story, and the comments to her post by her friends in an online thyroid support group, while trying to decide on a topic for this paper made me realize that I needed to write about the endocrine system. Who knows how many people out there have been wrongly diagnosed with mental disorders when the cause is hormonal? Perhaps more importantly, how many people are needlessly suffering when relief may be easily attainable?

Many people think of hormones in a strictly sexual sense, without realizing the critical role that hormones play in the regulation of many of the body's systems. The endocrine system is composed of the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, the thyroid, the parathyroids, the adrenal glands, the pineal body, the pancreas, and either ovaries or testes (Reiser and Kemp, p.1). In many ways the endocrine system is a self-regulating system. For example:

For the hormones that are regulated by the pituitary gland, a signal is sent from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland in the form of a "releasing hormone," which stimulates the pituitary to secrete a "stimulating hormone" into the circulation. The stimulating hormone then signals the target gland to secrete its hormone. As the level of this hormone rises in the circulation, the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland shut down secretion of the releasing hormone and the stimulating hormone, which in turn… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Biology of the Mind: The Endocrine System" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Biology of the Mind: The Endocrine System.  (2012, December 10).  Retrieved August 5, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Biology of the Mind: The Endocrine System."  10 December 2012.  Web.  5 August 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Biology of the Mind: The Endocrine System."  December 10, 2012.  Accessed August 5, 2021.