--Original published at Jayln's Perspective
For this week’s first impression prompt, I chose to watch Thomas Insel’s, “towards a new understanding of mental illness.” This TED talk stuck out to me right away because there are so many people who struggle with mental illnesses, and I was interested to hear another perspective. Insel begins his TED talk by using positive statistics about how far science has come in the last decade. Leukemia, heart disease, AIDS, and strokes fatalities have all decreased because of the concept of early detection, early intervention. He then continues to redefine mental illnesses as brain disorders. The brain is such a complicated organ and scientists are now beginning to figure out its complexities. Insel says that science has a long way to go, but in order to really make a difference in decreasing the number of deaths that occur because of these brain disorders is to apply the same concept of early detection, early intervention. Usually, doctors wait until there is any sort of behavioral change to start treatment, but Insel warns against this. By using schizophrenia as an example, he reveals that before behavioral changes even occur, the brain exhibits signs of a brain disorder. If scientists discover a way to detect these changes in the brain, then we will not have to wait until it is too late to diagnose someone. After listening to this TED talk, I am looking forward to studying more types of brain disorders in class. Someday, I hope we are able to apply the concept of early detection, early intervention so people are able to get the help they need to recover.