Saturday, 3 March 2018

10 TED Talks on Mental Health

After watching a bunch of inspiring, creative TED talks, which I wrote about recently, I decided that with twenty more talks to go, I should grab the bull by the horns and watch talks about something a lot more serious. Something more personal, something closer to home and therefore, potentially a little uncomfortable, a little harder to watch: talks about mental health.

I ended up watching a variety of talks, some about intervention and serious mental health issues, some about dealing with stress (and we all know that stress can lead to more serious health issues, so it's better to nip it in the bud at the start, right?)

So here goes. Ten TED talks about mental health.

Andres Lozano: Parkinson's depression, and the switch that might turn them off.
A talk about deep brain stimulation, a technique in which electrodes implanted in specific areas of the brain can be used to suppress or enhance that area's activity, leading to incredible physical and mental results.
I had no idea that deep brain stimulation even existed - it sounds like something out of science fiction - but the video clips and examples in this talk really showcase what the procedure can do.

What's so funny about mental illness? | Ruby Wax
A short and entertaining talk in which comedian Ruby Wax reveals her experiences with depression, and calls for an end to the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Robert Gupta: Music is medicine, music is sanity
Violinist Robert Gupta discusses what he learnt from giving a violin lesson to a talented schizophrenic musician. This talk really highlights the terrible results of bad 'treatment', and more importantly, the positive effect that music can have.

Healing spaces - the science of place and well-being: Esther Sternberg at TEDxTucson 2013
With plenty of examples and a few anecdotes, Dr Esther Sternberg discusses how our health and emotions are affected by our surroundings.

Break the silence around mentall illness: Delaney Ruston at TEDxRainier
Delaney Ruston reveals her personal experience with her father's schizophrenia, and how - in becoming a documentary maker - came to reconnect with her father, and go on to make further documentaries that highlight the issues and stigma that surround mental illness around the world.

Lift Depression With These 3 Presciptions-Without-Pills | Susan Heitler | TEDxWilmington
Psychologist Susan Heitler reveals three steps that anyone can take to treat situational depression, and how learning to deconstruct the issues making us angry or upset (and therefore depressed) can help us feel more empowered and better our mental health.

How to get stuff done when you are depressed | Jessica Gimeno | TEDxPilsenWomen
A talk by the incredible Jessica Gimeno, who lives with five illnesses including bipolar. Straight to the point, she explains methods she has used to help herself get things done whilst depressed, and calls for a wider discussion on mental health--that diagnosis isn't enough, as people have to learn to live with invisible illnesses like depression, too.

How to end stress, unhappiness and anxiety and live in a beautiful state | Preethaji | TEDxKC
Using storytelling and meditation, Preethaji talks about shifting our mindset from 'stressful state' to 'beautiful state'.

The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong | Amy Morin | TEDxOcala
Drawing on her own experiences, social worker and physchotherapist Amy Morin talks about the destructive beliefs that take away our mental strength, and creating good mental habits to help our mental strength grow.

Transforming stress into effortless living: Marina Pearson at TEDxIslingtonWomen
The title of this talk is pretty much self-explanatory! Marina Pearson encourages us to listen and trust our innate wisdom, and be mindful of bad thinking.

If one thing stands out from this batch of talks, it's that there still isn't enough dialogue about mental health. There's still a lot of stigma, and a lack of understanding.
Most of the talks in this post are pretty heavy-going, but nonetheless interesting. If you're going to watch them, I suggest just watching one or two at a time. The whole lot in one go might be a bit too much.

Having watched these, I am only 10 TED/TEDx talks away from achieving my goal of watching 100!
I set this goal for myself because although I was aware of TED talks, and had heard of some that sounded interesting, I never made an effort to watch any--even though they are freely available on YouTube.
Having started this goal, I've discovered that it's remarkably easy to get sucked into a Ted Talk Vortex: watch one interesting talk, and three hours later finding myself clicking on yet another one, sometimes about something completely unrelated, yet nonetheless fascinating!

So, ten more to go. They might be a 'mixed bag' of talks, as I still have so many to watch...

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