via ted.com

Watch it, it’s only 7 minutes. I think you’ll find it unsurprising that most people have tagged it as ‘jaw-dropping’.

She makes an incredibly good point, and one that strikes very close to some ideas that have been whizzing around my brain recently. Why do we use physical manifestations to diagnose mental pathology?

We actually diagnose things like depression, ADHD and autism based on observed behaviour. No proof, no science, just… interpretation of physical manifestation. It’s crazy. It’s barbaric. It’s like using leeches to suck out your melancholia. It really makes no sense, when you think about it — as the speaker says in the video: we don’t diagnose a heart condition without first using the technology available! In fact, you’d probably get a medical malpractice suit if you did — yet psychiatrists continue to diagnose children with reckless abandon.

As you can see from the talk, we now have the technology to scan the brain and deduce any extant mental maladies with excellent accuracy. It’s safe, it’s quick and it’s non-invasive. Look at those happy children in the video! Marvel (or glumly gawp) at how many kids with autism, ADHD or any other learning disability might be suffering from something else — something that can be remedied with non-psychoactive drugs. 

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Sebastian

I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.

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