The NFL and Social Media, Improving Mental Health Safety?

Guest Post By David Stephen

There is a recent paper, Association of Habitual Checking Behaviors on Social Media With Longitudinal Functional Brain Development, whose result suggested that, “habitual checking of social media in early adolescence may be longitudinally associated with changes in neural sensitivity to anticipation of social rewards and punishments, which could have implications for psychological adjustment.”

An author of the study said, “For youth who habitually check their social media, the brain is changing in a way that is becoming more and more sensitive to social feedback over time. And this is setting the stage for how the brain continues to develop into adulthood.”

The NFL and Social Media, Improving Mental Health Safety?

There is a report that around 1,200 parents in the United States are suing a number of social media companies, including Meta, Tiktok and Snap for not putting appropriate precautions in place against mental health problems for kids.

There is also a report that some NFL players have expressed a desire to have some upcoming games delayed after a Buffalo Bills player, Damar Hamlin, suffered a cardiac arrest while playing the Cincinnati Bengals. The NFL, the report said, sent a memo on available mental health resources to players.

One of the problems with mental health, so far, is that where it is, or comes from, has not been particularly established. Yes, it is the brain, but it is not directly structured in the brain—as the parts of the brain.

Mental health is based in the mind. The human mind is within the brain, but its function and structure are different.

The Mind

If the human mind were structured as the human brain, it would have been straightforward to fix psychiatric disorders since alterations to a part would be enough to cure conditions as attempts explored, to no resolve, in the last century.

The brain builds, constructs or structures the mind, but the brain—as it is known—is not the mind.

The brain outsources control of internal and external senses to the mind. It is the mind being in charge that something characteristic of mind [thought or emotion] can cause a physical sensation, or that makes a physical effect change an emotional state.

It is the mind that is known to be disturbed in mental illnesses. This means that the structure and function of the mind, not the brain, are disturbed. Disturbed is a varied set of affect of the components of mind. Not knowing the components of mind or its architecture has made solving mental illnesses tougher.

Psychotropic medications target brain molecules for some relieve [given by the mind], but side-effects are experienced because those brain molecules are responsible for numerous functions of mind, so their increase or decrease affects the mind’s regular equilibrium.

It is also the mind that people use illicit drugs for, not the brain. People do not use drugs for cells and molecules in the brain. Cells and molecules in the brain are not experienced. Experiences are built off the mind.

Dopamine is the brain. Craving, reward, delight or pleasure is the mind, because it is the mind that drives all experiences. How do drugs shape the mind for users and what alternatives are possible outside of drug use?

It is in the mind that all mental health is based, not economic, social, political or environmental issues. The mind determines mental health or problem, not the external situation. Some are OK with what is considered bad for others. Some are not OK with what is considered fine to others.

What is the structure of the human mind? What are components? What are the rules of of the mind? The answer, even conceptual, would result in preliminary understanding of mental health, illness and substance abuse, directly from the source, so that as a display, for moment-by-moment moves of the mind, individuals, loved ones and caregivers can understand more of what is within, to set up better care.

The mind is a construct or structure of two factors—quantities and properties. Quantities are relaying agents. Properties are locations or destinations. The properties of the mind are different from centers in the brain.

There can be several brain centers involved in similar functions. To the mind, those centers correspond to degrees with which properties can be acquired.

This means that a center may represent high, mild or low, for experiences given by the mind. Quantities have sequences [old and new]. They also have early-splits that go-before to expect or anticipate things before the rest follows, exceeding what is explained as predictive coding and processing.

Quantities can also be prioritized or pre-prioritized. Autonomic processes are mostly pre-prioritized, but can also be prioritized. Controlled processes are mostly prioritized but can also be pre-prioritized.

There are often fast and numerous interchanges between prioritized and pre-prioritized. Only one quantity is prioritized at any instance. Prioritized has full access to property locations.

Properties are destinations for all experiences. All memory, feelings, reactions, emotions, regulation, control and action are properties in the mind, across locations. Properties also include fear, hurt, depression, anxiety, panic, trauma, heaviness, moodiness, irritation, hate, eating problems or say disorders, suicidal ideation and so forth.

It is what properties, quantities acquire, plus how and when that determines what gets experienced. It is quantities and properties that depict all senses. There are neural correlates of all mind processes, but the mind is the utility of interactions with the world, while the brain is the builder.

Brain Science

In brain science, it is known that all sensory inputs converge at the thalamus, except for smell that converges at the olfactory bulb. It is where they are processed or integrated before relay to the cerebral cortex for interpretation.


It is theorized that sensory integration or processing is into a uniform quantity or identity. Or, the reason for sensory processing or integration when senses get to the brain is for uniformity or change into a new identity or quantity admissible into the mind.

This is how the brain generates the mind, via the emergence of a new quantity, unit, or identity when senses arrive.

It is theorized that the new unit, identity or quantity is thought or in the form of thought. This means that thoughts or their form, from the border or those already within, are the traveling packs or quantities.

They are what all senses become to the brain. The smell, taste, sight, touch and sound are in the form of thought to the brain. So, thoughts, as quantities are the version of senses. Whatever is not converted to the form of thought does not get in.

This is different from the ascribed filter of relay stations, because, without a health condition, all senses are converted, as much as possible with most becoming pre-prioritized, rather than getting filtered out.

It is thought that relays to the cerebral cortex for interpretation.


Interpretation in the cerebral cortex is theorized to be knowing, feeling and reaction. Knowing is memory, dominating this set of properties. Properties have a principal spot where one goes to have the most influence. Properties can be large or small. Small properties bear the smallest possible unique information on anything, while large ones group similarities between small ones. Mostly, it is the large properties that go to the principal spot.

Mental Health

The next step—for global mental health—is the structure of the mind in the brain, which neuroimaging does not show.

Displaying the architecture of the mind, conceptually, for quantities their sequences, splits and prioritization ranges, and degrees of their acquisition of properties would move the unknown appended with the mind away, towards a new direction for care.

The mind has its structure and mechanism [different from the structure and the function of the brain]. The brain remains, but death kicks in when the mind gives out. The mind determines everything, the brain is the builder of it.

Specifying this to mental health and illness would be important, and may find relevance to other situations, particularly against suicides as well.

There will be new therapies to design for the mind, maybe for a split, maybe for a sequence, maybe for prioritization. There will also be ways to adjust medication schedules, as well as redesign the biopsychosocial mechanism.

Mental health safety for social media will work with this mind structure, such that it pops up as a notification or easily found, where there are likes, shares or others, to give the displacement of the mind, for that post’s category, so that the mind can possibly be redirected from harmful properties.

The NFL can lead the sports world with adoption of mind structure, for mental health, for players on and off the field.

The mind cannot remains opaque to mostly have the brain’s biology conclude or to generally assume that an external situation solely determines mental health—or problem.

David Stephen does research in theoretical neuroscience. He was a visiting scholar in medical entomology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, UIUC. He did research in computer vision at Universitat Rovira i Virgili, URV, Tarragona. He blogs on conscious experiences at

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