Podcast Episode 131
with our guest Dean Burnett

Psycho-Logical: Why Mental Health Goes Wrong with Dr. Dean Burnett


Dr. Dean Burnett is the author of Psycho-Logical: Why Mental Health Goes Wrong – and How to Make Sense of It. His new book releases February 4, 2021 and is available as an Audible exclusive. Dean is a neuroscientist, lecturer, blogger, podcaster, comedian, and pundit science communicator. He draws from nearly 20 years of working in the areas of neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry. Born in South Wales in the UK, he earned his B.S. and his Ph.D in Neuroscience from Cardiff University. He is currently an honorary research associate at Cardiff Psychology School and a full-time author of the international bestseller ‘The Idiot Brain’.

Dean revisits with us today to discuss the science behind mental health and its treatments. We talk about what causes or contributes to depression, the concept of toxic positivity, the significance of social norms, and how it determines what is and isn’t considered mentally healthy. We also dive deeply into the plasticity of the human brain and how symptoms cannot be treated the same way for both mental and physical unwellness.


“It turns out emotions is one of the most confusing, confounding, naughty, thorny, vague, and nebulous subjects in neuroscience.”

“This denial of reality is where it becomes toxic. Someone’s going through a very, very bad time, a very hard time and they’re sad about it, or they’re angry, or they’re depressed about it. But that is a logical reaction to what’s happened to them.”


Show Notes

This week on The School for Good Living:

  • What is mental health?
  • Comparing mental and physical health – is it useful?
  • Dean’s views on what causes or contributes to mental depression
  • The passing of Dean Burnett’s father
  • What is toxic positivity and how to avoid it
  • The Planning Fallacy
  • The impact of Robin Williams’ death
  • My own struggles with mental health
  • When homosexuality was considered a mental illness
  • The significance of social norms and why laws should not influence diagnosis
  • The role of stress in mental health
  • Dimensions of self-medication and the stress-cycle
  • The biopsychosocial approach to mental health

Watch the interview on YouTube.
Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Spotify!
Visit the Dean Burnett guest page right here on goodliving.com!

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