TED Conversations

Arjuna Nagendran


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What experiences have made you more comfortable with mental health disorders?

What things make you fearful of mental health disorders? And what experiences have made you more comfortable with it?

In the quest to dispell stigma, how can we help our society grow out of its fear?


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  • Oct 15 2012: Maybe I hang out with the wrong crowd but I have yet to find anyone that doesn't have one disorder or another.

    Then again its not that strange just look at the DSM ( Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) has nearly 400 entries now.

    I'm officially diagnosed with Dyslexie and attention deficit disorder but just for fun I paged trough the DSM tome and I can find myself in at least 20 more disorders and I'm sure a psychiatrists can find even more :)

    And in my opinion it's often the people with the obvious disorders that are the most fun and interesting to talk to. People that know they have a disorder are generally much more open minded about almost every topic.

    On a side note:

    I believe that because society doesn't see people as individuals and everything from education, work and social standards are defined by people that are unable or simple refuse to recognize that everyone is different.

    Because of this a lot of talented people are doing work well under their ability and are often publicly degraded while they are more often then not some of the most brilliant people around.

    Don't judge a person until you walked a mile in his or her shoes. That should be one of the key values in education from kindergarten to university.
    • Oct 24 2012: We can't walk a mile in someone elses shoes only our own.
      But we can walk with them, and maybe learn from ech others experience.
      We live in an age where science is god but what makes us human and a part of humanity?
      • Oct 24 2012: I have always doubted our definition of humanity.

        If you look deep down into it we are really not that far from machines. Our bodies may be of flesh and blood but our brains are basically computers and are run on electricity just as our technology.

        Just think,

        What is the one major flaw of a robot with an A.I.? It can't reproduce.

        Sure you can copy an A.I. but a copy is just an copy a single virus could wipe out an entire set. So in order to resolve this we do two simple things:

        - Add a maximum lifespan. You could do this by replacing metal by flesh for example.
        - The ability to take core "settings" or genes and share/mix them with another body. Then you basically have sex.

        And there you have it an machine race with a limit lifespan but with the ability to strengthen itself by reproducing. The strongest (read: most efficient in its environment) will reproduce more often creating a stronger offspring.

        It's a pretty good system. Ohh, right what makes us human? No clue :)

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