Monday, June 28, 2010
What sources do you go to for your information? she wanted to know.
Interesting question. Here’s the context:
Eleven years ago this month, I started a free email newsletter dedicated to depression and bipolar disorder. I was six months into my diagnosis. “I would write as I learned,” I explained in a piece dating from the time. “It would all be tied into my recovery.” Literally, “I was reclaiming my life, one article at a time.”
As I explained to Abigail, each week I religiously plowed through the medical and psychiatric literature and mainstream media for developments that I would summarize. Serendipitously, this served the needs of my readers at the time, plus my own. We were all learning as we went along.
Later, as I started connecting some of the dots, I was able to offer explanations as well as summaries. As the scope of my inquiry broadened, I found myself contending with a flood of information. I grew selective. I concentrated on certain issues. Of all things, depression and bipolar grew increasingly less relevant.
Diagnostic categories were useful to a point, but the brain science findings were pointing to new explanations into how we think and feel and behave, as was - ironically - a lot of the ancient psychiatry this present generation dismisses as unscientific. At the same time, our recovery began to focus on looking beyond the diagnosis. Predictably, I took to linking brain science to recovery.
A couple of years ago, I took a Sabbatical from my newsletter. Not having to wade through tons of information did wonders for my overtaxed psyche, and freed my mind for other projects.
So, how do I get my information these days?
Simple, I told Abigail. I’m doing it right now by having breakfast with you.
More to come ...