Daniel Amen Ted Talk Comments

I watched a TED Talk by Daniel Amen which as I conclude in a comment is more of a marketing video for brain scans which Amen performs than it is an educational video. I responded to someone who quoted the comment, and there were a few replies to my comment that I responded to. In those replies although one is somewhat a reproduction of my original comment since months elasped before I received the reply, I make a fact based arguement that mental health problems are not random physiological occurances, but a product of circumstances, where in many cases even physiological abnormalities can be caused by circumstances. Most disorders are produced by circumstantial impositions, the questions of which I ask to a women who posted in the comments that she was bipolar, suffered from racing thoughts, and had an alcohol dependency.

Comment1: Fishing Treatment“Behavior is the expression of the problem, not the problem”. Daniel Amen.

Comment2: Orion SimerlBehavior is a product circumstances, that produce thoughts, feelings, and decision making. While the behavior is an expression of the problem, the problem begins with the enviornment, is expressed through behavior, and has a physiological signature, but typically doesn’t begin based on physiological abnormalities. It’s backwards, to observe the behavior, then observe the brain which shows the physiological effect of patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behavior, which is an effect of the enviornment.

Comment3: Martti SuomivuoriThat is wrong. You can have seriously bad thoughts and impulses but as long as you do not act on them there is no problem. If you hurt or kill somebody, that’s a problem. If you use your rent money to buy meth, that’s a problem. If you think you might but you do not, there is no problem. Your world is upside down. Sounding cool does not make you right.

Comment4: Orion Simerl@Martti Suomivuori I’m not sure if this comment is in response to my reply to this comment or a reply to the comment itself but in both cases I think you fail to understand the stated point. What the presenter was stating is that behavior, for example, as you mentioned “if you hurt or kill somebody that is the problem”, while clearly a problem, isn’t the cause of the behavior itself. He is saying, the problem is underlying brain abnormalities that are producing the behavior. The behavior wouldn’t exist without the disorders. The problem isn’t the behavior, the problem is what produces the behavior, that’s what needs to be addressed. What I’m saying is that the disorders and abnormalities are caused by people’s circumstances, which as Dr. Amen admits change the physiology of the brain. No one is saying that thoughts themselves are inherently bad, unless those thoughts cause the individual who has them to feel bad for having the thoughts, then the individual will either need to adjust their perspective on the thoughts or block the thoughts as they begin. You are right, in the point you stated though, that thoughts that are not acted on, are harmless so long as they don’t negatively impact the way the person feels who is thinking them.

Comment6: Andrew Barrett@Orion Simerl This is true, but is only true in a ‘healthy brain’ which does not otherwise have physical damage from physical trauma, a tumor, degenerative disease etc etc., since that can cause unexpected problems not otherwise caused by a person’s upbringing, teaching, life expreiences etc.

Comment7: Orion Simerl@Andrew Barrett I agree with that. What I’m contending is physical abnormalities are also the results of general circumstnaces. A John Hopkins study, I don’t remember the researcher but I can find the citation if need be, showed that children living in stressed households (measured by a survey of reported stress by the chlldren) had experienced physiological changes to their brain that impaired intellectual development. Circumstances can cause brain abnormalities, so while trauma and tumors may be the culprit for some behavioral issues, many behavioral issues that stem from physical abnormalities, can be prevented by addressing the circumstances. Amen implies that most issues are physiological, disingenuously, to advance his interest in brain scanning. He leaves the audience feeling that criminaity is a product of physical abnormalities, when criminality is caused by trapping circumstances measured through the correlation of income inequality to crime, but more causitively in the preincarceration income of inmates, and the probability of being incarcerated decreasing as the household income you’re born into increases. To promote his own interests he subtley misleads people away from the circumstantial causes of some physical abnormalities, but also implies that criminal behavior indicates the presence of a psychological disorder. This is more a marketing presentation than it is an educational presentation.

Comment 8: Colleen LazorukMR8 MR8 That’s true. But what about me? Diagnosed w/bipolar, racing thoughts in the morning, feel need for alcohol to ‘feel better’ but know it’s not the ANSWER😢

Comment 9: Orion Simerl@Colleen Lazoruk Just curious, what are you general circumstances? Do you like the work you do? How much time do you spend working versus how much free time do you have? Do you have enough money to do the things you want to do when you have free time? Do you have people to do things with that you like to do? Do you ever have to worry about paying bills or not having enough money for expenses?