The diagnostic system we use in the US for emotional problems isn't always helpful. Say, I am told that I have bipolar disorder or atypical depression. Nothing in the diagnosis tells me what I can do to fix the problem.

At BBH, we're beginning to work on an alternative way to help people who are dealing with mental health issues, by skipping the diagnoses and describing the modifiable root causes of the problem.

Wait for more from us, but to give you a sense of the difference . . .

The pre-BBH recommendations: You have generalized anxiety disorder and it would be good for you to exercise and sleep well, and be sure to socialize and not isolate. Take this anti-anxiety medication and come back in three months.

It might be comforting to have a diagnosis, but one that does not say what is going on in the brain is pretty limited in its helpfulness. For example, we don't know what is causing the problem, and if the brain is in stress, exercise and sleeping are going to be maladaptive.

The BBH explanation: Your set point is about 4, which means your brain feels comfortable in extreme emotions, such as anxiety. You have an anxiety circuit, a merging circuit, and an overeating circuit. Those circuits cause the brain's set point to go down. You can take all the medications you like, however, let's learn the tools to switch out of the 4 state, and settle into a small group to work together to raise your set point. Anxiety will fade and you'll make a clean sweep of your other stress symptoms.

This is new, different, and completely science-based. Instead of creating a diagnosis for labeling a person, let's as health professionals hold ourselves accountable for knowing the brain set point, rewiring specific circuits, and enjoying the pattern of shutting off stress by using the tools to knock the reptilian brain in the nose.

Emotional health issues? Ask your health professional to practice BBH. Map out your own brain circuits, join our community, and become involved in the mission!