Brothers create funny and educational videos to raise awareness around psychological disorders

Some of our readers may have already heard of the ‘Vlog Brothers,’John and Hank Green, who became famous on the internet when they started making videos for each other and posting them on YouTube. John Green is also a popular young-adult novelist. Over the years, one aspect of the Vlog Brothers’ content became their Crash Course video series.

According to John and Hank the Crash Course videos are meant to be quick, funny, and educational, covering topics such as history, literature, biology, ecology, and chemistry. Within the Crash Course channel, the brothers created a series called Crash Course Psychology, encouraging their many enthusiastic fans to learn more about psychology, mental illness, and the people who have them, as well as offering an easy way to spread awareness.

The videos included in Crash Course Psychology aim to explore psychological disorders such as personality disorders, OCD and anxiety disorders, depressive and bipolar disorders, trauma and addiction, eating and body dysmorphic disorders, and many more.

In the video below, Hank Green introduces the Crash Course Psychology series, giving viewers an overview of psychological disorders in a historical context, current views and methods of diagnoses, existing misconceptions and stigmas, and the good sides and bad sides of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM-5.

Hank makes the argument that to grasp ideas such as mental health and psychological disorders, and the biological and environmental causes behind them, “We first have to find out how we came to understand the idea of mental health itself and build a science around studying, discussing, and caring for it,” and then attempts to do just that.

According to Hank, “Critics still worry about how the DSM might inadvertently promote the over or misdiagnosis and treatment of certain behaviors, others echo Rosenhan’s concerns that by slapping patients with labels we’re making them vulnerable to judgments and preconceptions that’ll affect how others perceive and treat them.” This is an issue that Disability Rights Washington, the publisher of Rooted in Rights, has discussed before in the critique of discriminatory questions included in the Washington State Bar exam.

By pointing out flaws in society’s current common methods of talking about and treating mental illness, such as the medical model of viewing disability, and cultural impacts of the DSM, Hank prompts the audience to consider where change and increased awareness are needed in the personal and social context of psychological disorders.

This video may begin with a commercial which was not chosen by or for the benefit of Rooted in Rights.

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.