Why People Believe Falsehoods About the Brain and Mental Health

Each year billions of drug company dollars are spent on media campaigns that exploit the fact that most people don’t know how science works. These campaigns have been astonishingly successful at conveying a distorted picture of the relationship between the brain and mental health. The public consumes these ideas without being able to vet them, and then they become accepted, commonplace ways of thinking. The focus of the mental health field should be on developing and teaching methods for processing and transforming painful states of mind, not just on giving drugs and teaching coping skills. There’s way too much emphasis on “managing disease,” and too little on empowering people by giving them tools to hack into their own states of mind in order to make real change.