Saturday, July 30, 2011


I started reading a paper, and immediately I had a problem with vocabulary. Proband is a word used when talking about families. It essentially means the patient in question. If a doctor is studying a disease, one person is the proband, the main subject, and relatives are the family of the proband.

I suppose if they are in a study, they aren't a patient for that purpose, so it makes sense to use another word.

The start of the blog

I live with mental illness. This is far from pleasant-one could even say it sucks.
I don't like it when I read things about people saying that mental illness isn't real, or should be dealt with alone, or that people like me aren't worth being around.

However, during a recent trip to the Amaz!ng Meeting, I realized that I don't know much about my illness or any others from a scientific perspective. I know my own experience, and that's really it. As a scientist (or skeptic), though not in a medical field, I do care to know the perspective from outside. What does the research say? I am but one subjective data point, so I wish to round that out, and perhaps it will help others as well.

The plan is to read real research on mental illness, mine specifically as well as possibly others. I will post about the papers I read and my thoughts on them. I want this to be about my journey in understanding mental illness better from a scientific perspective and as objectively as possible.

I anticipate that reading this sort of research will be difficult, so I will also post about my personal experience trying to make sense of things. It helps to write when I am upset so likely there will be some therapeutic posts as well.

I am not a medical doctor or medical researcher of any sort, and never will be, but I hope to write as much as possible about peer-reviewed research. I do hope that this blog will eventually become useful to others. I am not a great writer, so may not express myself perfectly at all times, but this blog is a process, and with luck will improve with time.