Thomas Insel: Toward a new understanding of mental illness

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Today, thanks to better early detection, there are 63% fewer deaths from heart disease than there were just a few decades ago. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, wonders: Could we do the same for depression and schizophrenia? The first step in this new avenue of research, he says, is a crucial reframing: for us to stop thinking about “mental disorders” and start understanding them as “brain disorders.” (Filmed at TEDxCaltech.) The Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas Insel supports research that will help us understand, treat and even prevent mental disorder.


  1. Anna Conradt's avatar
    Anna Conradt
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    Bravo, Bravo! it's about time Mental Health per se has new attitude and a refreshed make over. After conducting my own research and from my experience, mental health doesn't mean mental health to me any longer. It IS ENTIRELY A BRAIN THING. Lose every DSM MH nomenclature labels and only use neuro words that actually depict the brain dysfunction itself. Developmental issues get a bad rap because they aren't even included as being rehabilitated as are brain injuries and TBI's. Executive Function Disconnect syndrome would cover a lot and it deserves more attending to and be a focus of rehabilitation as well. There's a lot of neurotechnology out there now that can balance the brain with neurophysiological exercises/movement that reorganizes the missed developmental sequences to complete the nervous system or neuro-oscillations that uses sound to bring the brainwaves back to balance, bring right lobe up with the left lobe. War veterans with PTSD love it because it's not talk-therapy and the toxic stress is gone because the imbalance is gone. If there is anything considered mental health, it's considered a distortion of varying degrees all along the continuum of the words 'integrated coherence,' from literality and concrete at the lower end to abstract concepts that are either of tangential thinking or illusions of grandeur. I'm hoping that made sense, and not too far out there. Ha Ha no pun intended.
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