Thomas R. lnsel, M.D. is director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) charged with generating knowledge needed to understand, treat, and prevent mental disorders. Prior to his appointment as NIMH Director in 2002, Tom was professor of psychiatry at Emory University where he was founding director of the NSF Center for Behavioral Neuroscience and director of an NIH-funded Center for Autism Research. He has published over 250 scientific articles and four books and has served on numerous academic, scientific, and professional committees and boards. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and a recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from the U.S. Public Health Service and the 2010 La Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity Prize. No endorsement of this event by NIMH/NIH is intended.
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It's a pity that officials in charge of national psychiatry think like automechanics, attributing psychiatric disorders to "brain parts", or brain circuits. This is a mechanical regression of neuroscience back to phrenology (attributing psychological properties to bumps on the scalp), popular 100+ years ago. Dr. Insel puts down the idea of neurochemical imbalances - but his own profession, psychiatry, uses chemical, and not "circuits" means to treat psychiatric symptoms. Neurochemistry is still a young science, dealing with very complex fluid and diverse processes, so it is too early to put it down or downplay it. "Psychiatric" disorders is still a better concept than "brain disorders" as they result not only from disbalances within neurophysiological systems but also culture-sensitive. For example, impulsivity is more acceptable in USA and less in Japan, but OCD-like behavior it is vice versa.
There are so many ignorants commenting in favour of Psychiatry without the true knowledge of it. They probably have never seen a psychiatrist in their whole lives. I know the psychiatry because I have been labelled by it, and have been harmed by it. The truth is "there is no mental illness". Delusions, illusions are all part of one's mind they are not diseases. They are natural.
I can tell you for sure, my issues are endocrine regulation issues. I woke up every day since about 15-39 with suicidal thoughts. I started thyroid medication, I haven't had them since except when I got stubborn and stopped for 2 years. A week back on and I wake up o.k. Bipolar 2, A.D.D. Aspergers. All issues I have lived with. Massive depression. Self hatred. All symptoms diminish significantly with thyroid meds, excercise and for me regulating my norepinephrine.
Advice to all professionals in the field watching this video.... If you want to discuss this topic don't do it here, you'll only find people with opinions trying to prove why their opinion is more accurate that someone else's opinion.
If it is a "brain disorder" no one really has to care. Truth is, these conditions are a reflection of an unsupportive society and economy and If we realized that we would make a better world so NO one has to suffer to prop up the happiness of the rest. Simple no brainer so its no wonder why ameriKan psychiatry always gets this stuff wrong.
Some mental illness will undoubtedly have an underlying neurological disorder or disease. That is why organic and biological testing is the future. The subjective diagnostic method of psychiatry is insufficient and often inaccurate. MRI, CT-PET scans, blood tests etc maybe required for clinical depression and others.
People are wrongfully diagnosed and then are forever trapped in a system of oppression, exploitation, segregation and slander. Cultural hegemony is the blame, and psychiatry attacks victims and labels innocent superior minds as disabled simply because those that are intellectually perfect reject all authority and push for immediate justice. Society is radically about control, laziness, corruption, narratives and oppression. Psychiatry labels all freethinkers as ill, and uses their brainsastge template of abnormal.
Man himself has created mental disorder. We have created a society which is utterly disordered and that society produces people. We are all responsible for mental illness because we have all have created a society in disorder. We do not live in a healthy whole society. That is why I feel responsible for mental illness, because I am responsible for it. We have created specialists that work with individuals rather then the problem. I'm not concerned about fixing my depression, i'm concerned about fixing depression. Man kind can live healthily and wholly all he has to do is take responsibility for what he has created and not delegate it to "they". If everyone thought like I did then we would do something about it.
I Think a Exaggrated Perspective is a false assumptiom, Reality is
POLICE REGULARLY and BY ORDERS Shoot and Kill Mental Deranged People,
BECAUSE THEY HAVE ORDERS. If a PERSON DOES NOT COMPLY, The are to be
This is going on NOW and it is NOT BEING ADDRESSED!
THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT in USA is "If A SUSPECT Does NOT Comply after TWO VERBAL WARNINGS, Shoot To The HEAVY BODY TRUNK to Disable the person.
ANOTHER MURDER TACTIC OF POLICE OFFICERS is to CHOKE a person, YELLING: "STOP RESISTING" knowing that WHEN YOU CANNOT BREATHE YOU INSTINCTIVELY STRUGGLE- It is a PRIMAL ACTION. NO REASON INVOLVED, Cops KNOW this, and DELIBERATELY CHOKE MORE only to "MURDER" a Deranged Mental Patient.
Crazy People On The Streets are barely tolerated BUT if the ACT OUT & POLICE ARE CALLED; the CALLER is a PERPRETATOR of MURDER, like a Coward, FORCING THE POLICE TO KILL a HUMAN that they find OFFENSIVE!
Now in AMERICA this is so COMMON nobody gives a damn. RIGHT! I am 76 Years old, I KNOW what I Speak, As a famous philosopher said, "HOW CAN YOU LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR when Your KILLING THEM?"
I also attribute this Overwhealming Plauge of MASS MURDERING OF HOMELESS MENTAL PATIENTS to the JINGOISM MEDIA USES TO MAKE AMERICAN'S HATE Muslims and Mexicans who Come Here to Seek Work.
TELEVISION DURING OPERATION DESERT STORM and Geo. W Bush's SHOCK AND AWE was TELEVISED 24 HOURS A DAY, and CORPORATE ADVISERTISERS MADE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS from PRESENTING UNENDING MAYHEM and WARFARE to the American People.
A NATION FOUNDED UPON THE LARGEST GENOCIDAL HOLOCAUST---AMERICA!---100 Million Native People...
WE CAME, WE SAW, THEY DIED!--------America, Born from the BLOOD SACRIFICES of 100 MILLION HUMAN SACRIFICES to SATAN/ BAAL the GOD AGAINST WHOM ISRAEL fought .
FREEMASONRY was the RELIGION of ALL the FOUNDER FATHERS, and UNEDUCATED INDIANS were NOT HUMAN BEINGS, said the Great Statesmen.
So all these little talks are nothing but farting in the wind. There shall not now, nor shall there ever be and LACK OF TORTURE, MURDER, GENOCIDES against Mental Ill People, until the STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL SYSTEM is REINTRODUCED!
I SPENT 22 YEARS (1968-1990) In and Out of OLD SCHOOL MENTAL HOSPITALS, they are Remarkably Better than SLEEPING ON A SIDEWALK, where some AMERICAN POLICEMAN will come a MURDER YOU for ILLEGAL SLEEPING!
So many problems with this model. If all mental disorders are brain disorders then many brain disorders are just mental disorders or mindsets or mental states. The thing about mental states or mindsets (i.e. collections of cognitive patterns) is that they are not inherently static and neither is the underpinning physiology, that may change as they change.They may change under influence, circumstance, time and without medication. The only way the medical model makes sense is if mental states and mindsets are immutable and permanent. Most are not. For example , when you are looking at someone's brain immediately after being grief-stricken it looks like a traumatized brain or the brain of a person with severe depression. That doesn't mean it will stay that way or that they need to be pathologized. Resolution of grief happens at different rates for different people . What is normal, what is healthy? How arbitrary is that? One hundred and fifty years ago grief after the death of a spouse or family member was expected to continue for life, now if you're not over it in two weeks you're considered sick. Society cannot be the arbiter of what is good and healthy given how often social mores have been damaging and harmful to humanity. And simply looking at a person's brain at a specific point in time cannot be as definitive a thing as many would like to conveniently make it to be.
So are you categorically saying that no drug or device-based intervention can work? That is simply not true. I myself recently had rTMS to treat my OCD, and it helped me as it has been helping hundreds of people at the hospital I mentioned before. I want a yes or no, because otherwise it is too easy to evade the question.
I see your points, but must disagree. Labeling mental illness as brain disorders does not mean we need to re-label brain disorders as mental illness; in addition, the example that "brain disorders are permanent" is not looking at the full spectrum of brain disorders, only degenerative ones like Parkinson's or Frederick's Ataxia.
An example--what about a concussion? Here is a brain disorder--due to injury--that, even in a mild state, can cause memory loss, unconsciousness, headaches, dizziness, but also fatigue, depression and confusion. In fact, depression is a lingering effect of a concussion, but most people recover fully from this "brain disorder." How about a neurotoxic reaction to a drug? Many drugs cause central nervous system effects, from autonomic dysfunction to severe neuropsychiatric issues--but if you take the neurotoxin away, patients usually recover or at least improve. The brain disorder goes away.
There is more that psychiatric disorders have in common with brain disorders than not. But unfortunately, we seem to pool patients into one category or another, and many neurological issues are missed because of it.
If you want to read a really good book about a woman who had a brain disorder that caused her to go temporarily insane (but she recovered to tell the tale), then Susannah Cahalan's "Brain on Fire" is a must read.
We can philosophize all we want - but what actually works? This model is proving its efficacy in treating disorders that other models have failed to treat. rTMS, for instance, is a brain stimulation technology that is rapidly spreading as its stunning success in treating very tough cases of depression, OCD, eating disorders etc. is being shown again and again.
I suspect the reason we are hearing this at the moment is because no new psychiatric drugs have been developed for several decades and drug companies need new products to maintain profits. After a while drugs go out of patent and anyone can make them. New drugs make new money so new ways of understanding mental distress are needed to justify the new drugs.
The old way of understanding mental distress is being discredited more and more. In the UK clinical psychologists are pushing Formulation, a non medical alternative to diagnosis. Formulation means asking three simple questions:
1 what is your problem?
2 what do you think caused it?
3 how can we help you?
This is less stigmatising than diagnosis, often more effective and less likely to lead to drugs being prescribed for years and years.
Big Pharma needs to find a justification for developing and marketing new drugs. Insel is trying to find the justification for this. There are plenty of people who criticise his science, here is one of them https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/07/depression-schizophrenia-dsm-nimh/
Underdog Dave, No! I don't want to chill out! :D
This matter is important, there are a lot of people who suffer from, let's say, Schizophrenia who could potentially fall for baseless theory that Johnny Ecoman is talking about and in turn stop using the so much needed medication that keeps them stable and safe.
*facepalm* Do you understand how WRONG this comment of yours is? Do you understand that what you are saying is both WRONG and DANGEROUS, because some poor people prone to delusions and impressionability will buy into it and skip the so much needed treatment.
This was a great video a great presentation and THE ONLY correct way of looking at mental illnesses.
This comes from someone who has suffered from mental illnesses for decades and still has some problems from time to time, and who's life has been unequivocally saved by some of those meds that you are trashing so hard.
PLEASE think before you write something like that, otherwise I'll assume that you are one of the Shicophrenics themselves who is currently in the midst of some paranoid delusion AKA "Big pharma is after us, they all just want to kill us!".
Pharmaceutical industry has it's fair share of corruption JUST LIKE ANY OTHER INDUSTRY in the world, but that doesn't mean that it's all fraud and that it's there to destroy us. GOD BLESS Pharmaceutical industry and medical science in general!
Simbolia It could very well be, think about it for a second, when they put people with mental illnesses in hospitals/psychiatric institutions where they are in a horrible environnement because they are locked up in their rooms with nothing else to do, how to do want them to get better, feel better etc... Then of course they will say that social/environnement aspects dont help a mental health condition. & that only pills can help them. Its like if they make sure that the only possibility for improvement comes from taking drugs.
This is complete nonsense.
I was accused of ADD, then ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar I, Bipolar II, NOS Borderline Traits, NOS Narcissistic Traits, Paranoid Personality Disorder, and finally PTSD.
I was institutionalized for "thinking about suicide" when that was never the case, and the doctors and police lied all over my records.
My earlier records are filled with hundreds of lies and made up stories, and I was told being oppressed and scapegoated was a GOOD thing so that people that were "better than me" (meaning intellectually inferior people that use fallacies because they don't know what they are because they're oblivious, narcissistic and ignorant) could exploit me for their self-serving reasons.
Here is what I was told:
1.) Foster children are already genetically inferior and mentally ill
2.) Demanding fairness was irrational
3.) Being against abuse was insane
4.) Complaining about overdiagnosis was insane
5.) Having humility meant low self esteem and having confidence meant narcissism
And it just went on and on, as they threatened me. Dozens and dozens of people just beat me to a bloody pulp, segregated me, and taunted me telling me I was insane for not agreeing with them religiously or politically, especially when it came to their superiority complexes. I was then told they could put words in my mouth to punish me for questioning authority. At home, in the school system, and later in a desperate social service/psychiatric system that was suffering from cutbacks. Later my HMO and their associate company attacked me outright telling me I had no right to believe in human rights and that I was psychotic if I believed I was entitled to live an oppression-free, unlabeled, completely free life.
I was told I had to believe I was inherently inferior, that evidence wasn't needed, and I need to shut my mouth so I could be exploited for insurance and grant fraud.
I'm 33 and psychiatry raped my entire life from me, and there is no recovery from it and there never will be.
All of the above is absolutely factual, and backed with people's testimonies, medical paperwork, etc... stating I was unstable for resisting abuse and applied force.
Mental illness does not exist, all people who promote it are psychopathic narcissistic fascists whom believe dissenters are below then and inferior to them... because they, the fascists... use self-serving fallacies in ALL of their thought processes.
But if we have idealistic model of the brain of what we called "healthy brain", and let's say one day have the technology to early anticipate and modify the "unhealthy brain" by "reshaping" its structure to follow the desired model: isn't that mean we are forcing humankind to have just one idealistic brain and that would mean no more uniqueness or free will? When human behaviour would then be able to be modified like robots by tweaking their brain circuitry
Very informed response to the classic 'what is normal' criticism of models of mental health. People with diagnosed brain disorders like schizophrenia, depression, OCD, generalized anxiety etc. show very different patterns of brain function in certain areas than people who don't, and suffer because of it.
It is very easy to ask philosophical questions about what constitutes a healthy brain when you are not the one in misery because yours isn't healthy.
Only true in the extreme cases. They aren't talking about brain standardisation and behaviour modification. The average human brain....when measured under millions of parameters.....shows inherent similarities across huge sample sizes....We all have basically the same functions and processes and rates of degradation.
when affected by a brain disorder. ...A brain shows very different characteristics. For eg. The rate of degradation of a schizophrenic brain over 5 years from diagnosis IS NOT ACCEPTABLE NOR NORMAL NOR CONFORMIST....its a fact and these people can be helped....no matter what their opinions, preferences etc are.
my bones need to work the same way your bones do...if they work differently? it sorta hints I'm from a different SPECIES...
so our brain functions. ...by virtue of us all being HUMAN...out of necessity. ..needs to function in basically the same way. peace.
+Ben Watson Doctors should not refer to disorders as incurable disease, and rob any hope of relief from a person who is suffering, by saying that their current disorder can only be treated, not cured. Where many people do recover without treatment.
Please do not post opinions about mental illness if you do not have a loved one that suffers from it or personally know someone that has a mental illness. This illness completely robs an individual of everything there is to live for. In particular I am referring to Schizophrenia. My mother suffered from severe Schizophrenia. I cannot begin to put into words what it is like to live it, breathe it and be surrounded by it 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year from my birth until her death. Such a heart breaking and painful rememberance of everything this illness encompasses.
If the human connectome model of the brain is wrong, then modifying neuronal activit in the brain should not work *at all*, but technologies like rTMS and deep brain stimulation very clearly do, for many people who are subject to every one of the disorders he has listed.
fair enough. I went to a support group, read a book, did some exercises and saw a therapist. These are personal experiences. Your therapist could be talking rubbish, as could Dr Insel, as could my therapist. That they worked does not mean they are talking valid science. To really assess what works we would have to look at some outcome studies.
I don't know of any.
+Jake Miller Well, when you take someone from an unscientific discipline that is overempowered by law and the corrupt politicians that inhabit most of it, and add the usual circular reasoning peppered with the usual fear mongering that feeds this witchcraft this society as medicalized.
It might be even more appropriate to refer to mental disorders as physiological problems. The best medical research I've seen suggests fully that "disorders" like depression are due largely to lack of vigorous exercise and sunlight. It sounds simplistic, but be sure to read the research and/or just try it for yourself before you shit-can it. Other mental disorders have also showed positive results as well, but my comments are mostly referencing depression research because that is what I've read extensively about for years while researching it for family members.
Rather or not the sunlight component is Vitamin D production, or not, remains to be determined (as far as I know) but Vitamin D3 supplementation may also wind-up being a worthwhile addition, especially for those living in areas where they don't have access to good sunlight year round. Most people are deficient in vitamin D anyway, so it couldn't hardly hurt.
People are far too caught-up in believing the way they feel is because of terrible things which have happened in their lives, when in fact it is do largely to the health of their physical body. All primates require sunlight and regular physical activity. If you, or someone you know, is suffering from depression, look seriously at how much exercise and sunlight they get on a regular basis. As of yet, I have never met a person who said they suffered from depression who also claimed to get regular daily exercise and sunlight.
Plenty of people who get exercise and sunlight have depression. And anxiety, and OCD, and bipolar disorder...no, they are not cures. I get plenty of both, and I am a moody, anxious person who still struggles with suicidal ideation. There goes that theory, doc.
+Jilly Daines There's literally nothing in your comment which refutes anything I said, at all. Your reply would have been of great interest had you talked about your actual experience. For instance, you exercise avidly and routinely go outdoors, yet still suffer from severe depression. But you didn't say that, because you almost assuredly do not do those things. Instead you attempted to make a weak scientific argument implying that correlation in this example doesn't mean causation.
Are people suffering from depression seriously supposed to wait around, maybe for the rest of their lives, before a full-blown double-blind study involving thousands of patients is conducted?....because that will never happen. No large scale research will ever be conducted on non-patentable remedies for depression.
I guess people can always keep going to their psychiatrist for expensive weekly sessions, an endless supply of expensive pills, and an endless circle-jerk of group therapy sessions where they can sit around commiserating with each other about how bad they have it. Is that what you do, Jilly? Tell me honestly how that's working out for you.
Stop thinking about how you feel, get off your ass, go outside and get some exercise on a regular basis and then come back here and post a comment about your actual experience in a few months. What could you possibly lose by doing so?
this is bunk. I say no more. Mental distress is caused by haveing had a horrible life not brain problems. Hey ho. I expect loads of money will be spent and very little found out meanwhile the real causes of mental distress (violence, sexual assault, racism, poverty etc etco will, as usual, be ignored.
There's definitely a physiological "susceptibility" involved, but everybody is "wired" differently. Thus there is variation. The social stressors (violence, poverty, loss, etc.) also play an important role in some cases too. And the degree of stress from those events can "trigger" an onset of an illness. But, again, the degree (level) of stress and how well an individual copes and/or manages the stress plays an equally important role. It's not a one-dimensional cause. That's what makes it difficult to manage because there is a range within every factor and wide variation within everyone's physiological make-up. And probably even more importantly is that not enough is yet understood about the brain (pathways, biochemistry, mechanisms, functions, etc.). Thus the whole purpose of why the researcher presented this lecture. A lot more research is needed.
Ok then, how do you explain my case - someone who has had an EXCEPTIONALLY good life (situationally) yet have suffered from terrible mental symptoms most of my life??? BAM! there goes your theory.
Also most of the things you listed at the end of your comment are THE DIRECT CONSEQUENCE of untreated mental illnesses...
OMG...I'm really trying to respect the matter of different opinions, but I can't! I JUST CAN'T! Cause you are soooo wrong and you are imposing a DANGEROUS ideology!
PLEAAAAASE think things through before stating stuff like that.
I must also emphasize that many new treatments are appearing, including transcranial magnetic stimulation, transcranial pulsed current stimulation, electromagnetic field therapy, and more. Psychedelic drugs are also experiencing a resurgence in lab experimentation. We are learning, and we are seeing success.
Many people who have never experienced poor life conditions have been struck down with mental disorders. If, as Dr. Incel says, structural changes begin in the brain as early as ten years prior to diagnosis, and most pele are diagnosed in their teens, that argues for a strong genetic component, unless you are willing to ascribe all casualty of these disorders to what happens in the first ~5 years of life. Other people are triggered by infectious diseases such as strep throat, now known to be linked to OCD. Bad life conditions do can mental disorders in many people, but you are ignoring the millions for whom they do not by saying this. You are also ignoring the fact that the brain is an enormously complex organ that performs all of our cognitive functioning and to which things can go wrong just as they can go wrong with physical injuries - what is the difference?
What an informitive video. It would be great if more people would understand that mental ilness is not a joke and supporting them is the first step in trying to help them get well. I hope to see more videos like this.
I suffered abominably from low serotonin levels for 40 years. My psychiatrist had to DIE before I received proper treatment- a cure, in fact. It was my GP who stepped in, right after my psychiatrist died, and fixed the problem.
+Theodore A Hoppe
All of this stuff is populist nonsense. When was the last time you heard of someone going to a psychiatrist and being prescribed any of this? None of this is available to psychiatric patients in the mainstream, and even if it were, its uses are matters of study, not practical application.
"Patient treatment plans might include psychotherapy and medication as well as neurofeedback, a technique in which patients are trained to increase or decrease brain-wave activity in the parts of the brain related to their complaints. Another tool is transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive method of delivering pulses of energy to the head, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of depression. But almost always, Asif begins with a qEEG. It acts as a kind of map, helping him to identify a patient’s troublesome brain circuits, which he then targets with his various therapeutic techniques."
Just by co-inky-dink, Tom Clark did a spot on mental health on CTV's W5 this afternoon, in which he addressed the matter of how people suffering extreme duress because of mental illness, here in Canada, are 100% unable to get meaningful help from hospitals, anywhere in Canada. His story centred on the downward spiral of two teenage girls who committed suicide, despite repeated trips to emergency wards and repeated pleas for help from their parents.
There is still outright bigotry in the medical professions towards the mentally ill, coupled with what can only be described as systemic depraved indifference.
Tom Clark concluded that education and changes to hospital policy are key to turning things around, and certainly changes in hospital policy effectively block the bigots from messing things up for people suffering from mental illness. However, the bigotry is still there.
Dr. Insel utterly ignores environmental factors related to mental disorders. Stressful times in war that produce PTSD, anxiety from being rejected as gay, growing up poor, being laid off from work, having enormous student loan debt, having very little vacation time, getting divorced, etc. etc. I think Dr. Insel—urging psychotropic intervention—is hoping to paste a big smiley face over a world that has good reason to feel depressed and anxious.
+valinor100, I just wonder how such a low level of current being passed across the brain (tDCS) could have such wide-sweeping effects on everything from depression, to OCD, to memory, to motor control and many more applications. The whole endeavor smells of snake oil; However—I maybe wrong. I personally wouldn't want to do anything to my brain before there was scientific consensus about its safety and effectiveness. I do, however, understand where you're coming from. I suffer from ADHD and major depression—and it sucks. I've tried psychotropic drugs (disliked the effects). I've tried to "reason" my way out of depression by educating myself about the disorder and with psychotherapy. It's helped somewhat but not enough. I've definitely given up being a lab rat for researchers.
The clinical protocols are rigorous and placebo studies are easy to carry out, given that it is impossible for the patient to determine whether current is being applied to their brain or not. The knowledge that modern TDCS is based on is infinitely more precise than Galen's 100 AD eel shocks or the 200-year-old experiments, or even the 1960s experiments. All failed to become standardized because our knowledge of the brain was a fraction of what it is now. I think TDCS will be a standard clinical treatment in less than a decade (medical devices are cleared by the FDA much more quickly than drugs).
+valinor100, apparently, the basic design of tDCS—that you describe—has existed for over 100 years. I really hope it truly improves your medical condition—it's an old technology brought back into the modern clinical scene. The placebo effect is a pervasive phenomenon and has a funny way of manifesting with patient's subjective experience. I really hope you're right that tDCS is selectively targeting your condition without other effects on the body. Objectively measuring chemical changes in the brain would certainly be nice to reveal if tDCS is the magic bullet for certain mental disorders.
I'm not sure what you're trying to communicate here. That I would subject myself to a risky and untested treatment without careful forethought? Transcranial direct current stimulation is an established treatment now, with hundreds of studies to its credit, and very few side effects have ever been recorded. It has demonstrated results in many areas, including OCD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, chronic regional pain syndrome, Alzheimer's, focus and concentration, and cognitive enhancement. The field is expanding rapidly. The people doing the work are well are of the failings of medication regimes - as am I - and the devices they use are ever more sophisticated. The University of Waterloo is one of the most advanced research facilities in the world as far as the health sciences are concerned. Am I willing to spend the rest of my life dogged by OCD that I have expended extraordinary effort on external solutions - diet, exercise, meditation, yoga - that have all failed, or opt for cutting-edge treatments that are nothing like the treatment regimens of the past? This is a vast new area of study, but the benefits, for me and many other sufferers, the benefits far outweigh the risks, and I have lost whatever romantic notions I used to have about the 'right' way to approach health and well-being except purely pragmatic ones.
+valinor100 Transcranial electrical stimulation does not seem to be as destructive as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which commonly causes pronounced confusion and long lasting or permanent memory loss. I'm always amazed at patients who have so many bad experiences with so many different treatments (i.e. psychiatric medications), and still have buried in them optimism to reach out for yet another treatment. It's an unwavering faith by patients that researchers have finally come up with a treatment or cure for their illness. In a way, those with unwavering faith are the human test subjects that will generate safety and efficacy data, much like the men who grew breasts while taking Risperdal—or pregnant women who were prescribed Thalidomide, which caused malformation of the limbs of infants.
+valinor100 You touched the most important thing, in my opinion, that is, the integration of neuroscience and computing. Psychologists, psychiatrists and so on cannot grasp how complex networks function. Engineers know how these networks function but they don't have biological knowledge. The solution is to concentrate our efforts into developing a bachelor degree, which would combine neuroscience with electrical/mechanical engineering, and which could be named 'Neuroengineering', for instance. This can be achieved by the direct unification of medical, psychological and polytechnic schools into one specialized department in major universities.
We do have a long road, but perhaps not as long as we may think. Practical breakthroughs in medicine often happen a long time before we fully comprehend why - we know just enough, and more complete explanations come later. Witness the development of the smallpox vaccine 80 years before the germ theory of disease. Furthermore, a lot of this research is based on a foundation of computing power, and while I am no fan of Ray Kurzweil or his insane 'Singularity' ideas, he has a point about the extraordinary speed of the growth of medical science. For instance, the computer Watson, which defeated the Jeopardy contestants in 2010, is now being used for medical diagnostics. In 2010 it was the size of a room. Now it is the size of three stacked pizza boxes, and 24 times faster.
In 2013 both the United States and the European Union launched major brain initiatives, which would have been not just unthinkable but in practical terms impossible 10 years ago.
Health science is an exploding field - I live in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where some of the top researchers in the world are integrating neuroscience and computing in pioneering research. The Institute for Quantum Computing is located here, as is the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, both associated with the University of Waterloo, which is attended by 40,000 students. The city is basically the Silicon Valley of Canada and there is a huge emphasis on emerging medical technologies, especially those of the brain. I spoke to one grad student in neuroimaging who talked about how they are designing new methods of imaging that rely more on precision targeting arrays than brute force computing power, even while the computers continue to evolve.
If we even extrapolate the progress we have already made out by another 20 years, the results will be mind-boggling (no pun intended). But that is very likely an underestimate, as the tools that we used to get here from almost nothing 25 years ago have vastly improved.
+valinor100 I do agree that the mind and its disorders lie in the brain and that research is quite promising in that matter. My point is that brain pathways are so interrelated with all their complexities that, I think, is very difficult presently to isolate areas and connect them to behaviors. We have a long road ahead until we'll be able, with relative confidence, to create "brain profiles" for each disorder. But first, we have to come up with a valid classification of mental disorders, because the present mess hinders any true effort to create such profiles.
I'll venture to say that most of the inane comments on this video are from people who have never been through the hell of mental illness. Leave your personal philosophy at home when discussing people's lives. The only question that matters is, "Does this work?"
Deep Brain Stimulation:
This is just a quick scan of the vast amount of information out there that offers powerful supporting evidence for the efficacy of invasive and non-invasie methods of direct brain stimulation.
My question is, where does your criticism of the biological approach to mental disorders derive from? I have no issue whatsoever with psychological techniques to address mental health issues and addiction. The problem I see is that psychology has simply proved not powerful enough for many serious cases of both.
Is your criticism based on the abject failure of medication to truly address mental illness in the past ~50 years? I can understand that. But there is an obvious explanation: medication has failed because we did not understand the brain well at all when we started prescribing Lithium and Valium in the 60s, or even Prozac in the 80s. The fMRI did not even exist until 1992. Medication has improved slowly, however. It also seems that medication is simply not precise enough to rewire our brains, a medical fact, like prescribing the wrong kind of antibiotic for an infection simply doesn't work. Since the early 90s, our knowledge of the brain has increased vastly, and that is starting to cross over into psychiatry.
Is your criticism a philosophical one? Do you believe there is something inherently flawed about the biological approach? The only reason I can think of is if you believe in an immaterial consciousness or soul that exists independently of the brain, and therefore, direct brain interventions may only have limited value and the only 'real' changes can be to the immaterial soul. But even then, there can be no doubt that the brain obviously has a massive role in perception, given such obvious examples as how brain damage or addiction, known to create specific changes in the brain, can produce dramatic changes in mental health.
If you do not believe in a soul, then the only possible explanation is that the brain is the final arbiter of experience and the way it is wired is ultimately what counts, regardless of external circumstances. Psychology can rewire it, but so can direct brain stimulation.
Deep brain stimulation works along the same principles and has shown some extraordinary results. Plus, you cited one article. TMS is being used at my local hospital, successfully, for the treatment of depression, and has been shown to help stroke, accident and amnesia victims. You can't just isolate its success to motor functions, either, because these people are noticing changes in mood and memory.
TMS - causes siezures and not very effective.
Insel deluded in that he thinks mental distress is a brain disorder. In most cases it is not, it is the persons environment that needs attending to.
Time will tell if big money manages to fool people, as it so often does, or if the truth, that psychosocial problems cause people distress, will be accepted by the majority of the population.
Many people think this video is *not* dangerous rubbish. Who is right? Time will tell, but there is plenty of evidence to show that Dr. Insel is. The biological approach to mental illness is producing some truly stunning results with technologies like deep brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Promising treatments on the horizon include optogenetics and transcranial pulsed ultrasonic stimulation.
What, exactly (and please be as precise as possible) do you think that Dr. Insel is getting wrong?
This is the first good news I've heard about the possibility of early detection and early treatment of severe brain disorders in a long time. Thank you so much for posting! (And no, I do not want to fire you, Thomas Insel!)
I do not see them as positive. I think these people are being sadly mislead. Please do not dismiss my position.
Here is a post about the lack of evidence of any brain disease in psychiatric conditions http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/01/are-psychiatric-disorders-brain-diseases/
Actually what he's saying makes more sense that all the biological crap that's out there. Psychosis occurs when the conscious mind is overwhelmed by unconscious forces. If one sees the libido as psychological energy, then one could say that it is capable of blowing one's head. Debunk people like Breggin of Whitaker for me, please.
Haha, yeah, unfortunately there could be some issues with that ;D --Well, there needs to be some proper ethical guidelines to all this so that there isn't a violation of basic rights unless the situation truly is that desperate! ;D --But, if they figure out how to do brain-scan medical check-ups that reliably validly detect brain changes that lead to mental illness, then, that would be a great advancement if it can be done as simply as other medical check ups :) But yes, no "Brave New World" :D
One of his core themes is given in 2:34-2:36--early detection and early intervention [of brain/mind disorders and their contribution to suicide]. Lastly, he qualifies his statements more during 8:34 when he says we are barely making progress as a science in this, and at times 14:11-14:31 when makes clear that we have loads to learn. But, yes, it is scientific, not pseudoscientific ;)
... but he uses the lighter term "contributes" or that there is a "contribution" from such things. It certainly isn't the the suicide that causes the mental disorders, heh ;-D and, from one technical perspective, mental illness and suicide are dependent events--this does not mean that one directly causes the other, but in this case rather that the occurrence of a mental disorder affects the probability of suicide. Therefore, his use of the term "contribution" is quite qualified ;)
makes the transition from somatic diseases to mental illness because he is convinced that the mind is a function of a brain. So, the biomedical research is relevant to this area too. Suicide, he notes, is not a disease in itself, but he thinks the right way to look at the issue is as a troubled brain, as killing oneself is bound to be a decision stemming from problems such as severe depression or other emotional/perceptual abnormalities. He doesn't actually say that mental illness causes suicide
I disagree in saying that it is pseudoscience: it is a budding science, needing much refinement/progress, sure, but these new branches of psychology, medicine, and neuroscience are built upon peer-reviewed, published research that is guided with core scientific methods. The mortality rates are given under the context of the advances in biomedical research between the 25-30yrs from the two points in time they were measured. A proportion of 6,000 less deaths from some some diseases is given. He..
Almost everything is pseudoscience. The figures of his "mortality rates" are presented as hard evidence while no definition or context is provided. The jump from somatic diseases to mental illness is logically unsound. And a correlation between mental illness and suicide does not imply a causal relation, there could be other explanations for both events. Finally, neuropsychiatry is still theory and hypothetical rather than scientifically established.
This approach has and will lead to little. One of the assumptions is the idea that mental disorders are related to the brain alone. The brain is connected to the functioning of the entire body and can be influenced by problems originating in other areas. Another assumption is that the disorders are well defined entities. They are not. E.g., schizophrenia has various causes and needs different treatments. See William Walsh, PhD (2012) for some relevant research and treatment directions.
How - in standard ways. The brain will be studied, conclusions will be made and methods be developed. What might emerge, is impossible to say right now, but to give you an idea, it could be some kind of abstract-looking visual test with objects, colours, faces, and decisions that person would need to take, reaction measurements, eeg, neuroimaging.
Considering lack of symptoms, the treatment could probably be a harmless cognitive exercise.
Predicting future is unthankful though.
Sandy Hook is irrelevant, the guy already had a diagnosis; the tragedy is that he hasn't received sufficient help, and was apparently in such a distress as to decide to harm people. This is a common yet completely separate issue from the topic of this video, which is early diagnosis.
If early diagnosis is developed, you wouldn't grab people off the streets, you would offer people diagnosis and offer preventive help, like is done with many diseases now, improving general health of society.
All behavioural aspects, all observable effects of mental disorders are in the structural wiring - connections of neurons introduced by learning. Brain retains plasticity, the connections can be re-wired by learning again.
Whether chemical imbalance has triggered wrong wiring to develop in the first place (it is probably often, but not always, a contributor), and to what extent creating another chemical imbalance by meds can help fix it (it might), is a very involved subject.
I am not into pseudo-science. I'm still waiting for biopsychiatry to prove it's supposed - NOT! scientific opinion making them and Big Pharma money while harming millions of people and not caring. This "mental illness is a brain disorder" is just total crap - there, my response reflect the same absence of scientific proof that theirs does.
Using your logic, it would also be safe to say that a diagnosis of, let's say cancer, isn't equivalent to having cancer, or a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy isn't equivalent of having heart disease. What makes the diagnoses of mental/brain disorders any different from diagnoses of any other disorder from any other organ in the body?
Honey, as a behavioral/social scientist, I think Feynman really got it wrong and his argument/observation departed from what we have been doing. (I can't really find that video here, but only found one very short clip in which he claimed social science is a pseudoscience.) The very first thing that came into my mind when watching his clip was: please be humble if you don't really know what you are talking about.
They say this and yet just exactly how are they proposing to do this? You can't know that someone has the potential (in most cases to be violent) if they haven't acted out violently or spoken of it in the past. Wish this were true but I don't see evidence of this. Besides we have basic human rights when it comes to the mental health system (such as it is) that preclude just grabbing people off the street without good reason. Often that good reason can only be known in hindsight.
Interesting point. And I think they are shocked when we don't want to just believe them because they are supposed to be "important" and we are supposed to follow them. They cannot prove their claims in an honest and open way. They push psychiatric meds on people that they don't even know why might work if they work and most often they really hurt people and have killed people and that includes children whom they have not tested these meds on but prescribe to them anyway. Their "power" is abused.
I am not a scientist or a psychiatrist, not that either has any actual real proof for their opinions either - not the for sure really "known" kind of evidence. My evidence, is my life. My evidence is my own recovery from Borderline Personality. It was not anything structurally wrong in my brain. It was all that I didn't learn and the lack of bonding and nurture in childhood. I had excellent therapy and recovered in 1995. I never took psychiatric meds so what I know, I know first hand.
Yes, of course, but isn't that what is known about physical brain disease or disorders? Thinking that just blindly applies to the human mind, psyche, soul and spirit in the brokenness of psychological woundedness not only does not make sense it is junk science. No one can prove it, really, not for sure.
I suggest if you are interested -looking at papers on the dysregulation of the default network in major depression.It perhaps explains a subset of patients with MD using causal modeling (Frith).It is a partial understanding,but as in physics, all models are partial understandings (see move from Newtonian to Quantum physics)Time will tell but research in regulation/dysregulation of the default network seems to hold some promise and makes use of the better technology now available.
They are dehumanizing people with this junk science of "Mental Disorder" as "Brain Disorder" - There is way more they don't know than they know. Not everything comes down to brain wiring. Trying to medicalize psychological/emotional defies logic in that it fails to consider mind vs brain and the human spirit.
Those who think this is nonsense-
1.What have you done to be of help in this research?
2.Watch Feynman's excoriation of social science (on you tube) "till in the future the techniques improve"
3.Look at the TED on the "Human Connectome Project".
Not sure why I even respond to those who ignorantly denigrate the SLOW movement forward-but I suppose it is wired in me.
I can see lot of justifications for hatredness and retribution here, I am just curious what will happen when people know, that every experience of their existence originates from physicality, and this is the paradox, we think, that more we understand our human brain, more we will discover that our all hatredness and retributive tendencies are the result of brain, not something called as "free will", & we act equally immorally when we condemn people whose brains are already in an unbalanced mode.
I sure hope you are joking. What kind of an argument is that? In fact, what was "pseudo-scientific" about this speech? What claim was not qualified? ..."libido rise"?.... Is that some of your "Neo-Freudian" philosophy? Sounds like you are the pre-scientific/pseudo-scientific one around here.
Sadly, all the serotonin stuff is bullshit. It is pseudo-scientific, and a fraud. The only thing that happens is the libido rise from the crotch, up to the brain, along the spine. A medical doctor cannot say this, because he is such a bullshit full of shit, he is only saying shit, and nothing else, but shit, asshole.
When someone is crazy, we say they are nuts. Nuts stand for testicles, so if you are intelligent like me, you will understand. If you refuse to obey, you deserve to be shot.
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