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Thread: Quite new to this. Suggestions? Guidance?

  1. #1
    I am a gerbil wrangler. lastdefense's Avatar
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    Quite new to this. Suggestions? Guidance?

    I have decided to work on a project about how mental health patients are treated by both psych and non-psych field doctors.

    I've put up a blog post (http://www.lhrich.com/therapyandfunc...hysical-world/) about my plans and asking anyone who felt comfortable to share their stories with me. I put that link on Twitter and Google Plus. I'll probably also post it up on Facebook.

    I've never written anything like this. I've never done interviews or compiled these sorts of notes. It's just that the topic is so important to me that I really think it should be done.

    Any suggestions or guidance?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    I'd go into Story Research and ask there for interviewees.

    I'd have a list of standard questions prepared for all interviews and be prepared for the interview not to conform to the standard questions.

    I'd check to see if this topic has been done before. You could ask that in Story Research also. But you should also check online, etc.

    Then, write up your story as best you can!

    Best of luck!

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  3. #3
    closed for repairs AW Moderator Kylabelle's Avatar
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    Good luck with this, it sounds like a great project. I don't have experience with this sort of thing, either, but Siri Kirpal's advice seems quite sound.

    You might also (if you haven't already) check out this thread: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...19#post7924419 where AW members who blog share their updates. Posting your link there might bring some responses on your blog.

  4. #4
    figuring it all out
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    How limited are you going to be in your definition of psych patients? Is this hospitalized patients in the psychiatric ward? Anyone who has ever had a mental health diagnosis? Only those who have psychosis?

    What is your goal? Are you hoping to spark an interest in improving the mental health field? Trying to change the stigma associated with mental illness? Perhaps you want to see more psychological education for medical doctors?

    I think the answers to these questions will guide you in developing your proposal and reaching the interviewees you need.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lastdefense View Post
    I have decided to work on a project about how mental health patients are treated by both psych and non-psych field doctors.

    I've put up a blog post (http://www.lhrich.com/therapyandfunc...hysical-world/) about my plans and asking anyone who felt comfortable to share their stories with me. I put that link on Twitter and Google Plus. I'll probably also post it up on Facebook.

    I've never written anything like this. I've never done interviews or compiled these sorts of notes. It's just that the topic is so important to me that I really think it should be done.

    Any suggestions or guidance?

    Thanks in advance
    I don't understand what you mean by a project - is this just for you to write an opinion piece and post it on your blog or what have you? That's fine; I'm just trying to figure out what you're doing and thus what way you should maybe go.

  6. #6
    I am a gerbil wrangler. lastdefense's Avatar
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    Siri Kirpal and Kylabelle - I will definitely check out those forums. And yeah, I need to get an interview template going!

    Hat Trick - I'm hoping to talk to anyone with mental health issues - who have been/are inpatient or out. In therapy or not. Meds or no. Anyone who has seen a medical doctor who is aware of their dx and has been treated poorly because of it (though as I said in my blog post I welcome positive stories as well).

    My main goal is awareness. I think if more people know that it's going on there's a better chance that something will be done about it.

    cornflake - by "project" I mean my most recent undertaking. I would like it to end up in book/e-book form. I will definitely update my blog with progress, but I won't publish there.

    Thank you all, very much!! I appreciate it

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lastdefense View Post
    Siri Kirpal and Kylabelle - I will definitely check out those forums. And yeah, I need to get an interview template going!

    Hat Trick - I'm hoping to talk to anyone with mental health issues - who have been/are inpatient or out. In therapy or not. Meds or no. Anyone who has seen a medical doctor who is aware of their dx and has been treated poorly because of it (though as I said in my blog post I welcome positive stories as well).

    My main goal is awareness. I think if more people know that it's going on there's a better chance that something will be done about it.

    cornflake - by "project" I mean my most recent undertaking. I would like it to end up in book/e-book form. I will definitely update my blog with progress, but I won't publish there.

    Thank you all, very much!! I appreciate it
    This sounds like you want to write an opinion piece about how you feel psych patients are treated - why not do that?

    You kind of clearly believe there's a particular, bad way they are, so why not just explain your view. Research for an actual book is quite an undertaking and may not turn out the way you want after a lot of work.

  8. #8
    I am a gerbil wrangler. lastdefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornflake View Post
    This sounds like you want to write an opinion piece about how you feel psych patients are treated - why not do that?

    You kind of clearly believe there's a particular, bad way they are, so why not just explain your view. Research for an actual book is quite an undertaking and may not turn out the way you want after a lot of work.
    That's a possibility. Where would an opinion piece go? (sorry if that's a dumb question)

  9. #9
    closed for repairs AW Moderator Kylabelle's Avatar
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    Interesting, when I read your blog post I assumed this was for an eventual book. I'm not sure how else you would raise awareness other than also publishing articles and/or publishing in your blog.

    I agree that choosing a venue will help you direct your efforts. You can always change that later on if the material wants to go somewhere else, but I believe it will help you organize at the beginning to work toward a specific format.

    As for where to offer an article about this, one place that comes immediately to my mind is Elephant Journal: http://www.elephantjournal.com/ They publish a wide range of good content on similar subjects. I'm sure there are other places too that this type of article would suit.

  10. #10
    I am a gerbil wrangler. lastdefense's Avatar
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    My original intentiontion was (and still is) for this to be a book. I am am seeing where it might reach a larger audience as something much smaller in length (and put out by the right places)

    I agree with you - I need to choose my direction with the thought that it is always changeable.

    And thank you so much for the link!

  11. #11
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I am wondering what the market would be for such a book. It would describe a problem and give examples, but is that in itself something people would want to buy?

  12. #12
    Just the facts, please
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    If you are collecting stories about medical treatment - especially mental health treatment - you will absolutely, positively want to get copies of your subjects' medical records that back up the tales you're hearing. Otherwise, you could be handed a line of hooey.

    Pick up a basic book on journalism - Creative Interviewing is a great one. Read it cover to cover. Map out your questions. Be skeptical. Talk with relatives. Get the subjects to sign waivers allowing you to see medical records at the doctors they're complaining about. Check everything twice.

  13. #13
    Nerdy Budgie Literateparakeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    I am wondering what the market would be for such a book. It would describe a problem and give examples, but is that in itself something people would want to buy?
    I was wondering about that as well. I think that if you consider this early in the project you could "spin" it (for lack of a better word). What I mean is the topic as stated left me wondering what the audience would be. But what if the project were directed to patients and their families to warn them of potential pit falls (problems other people have experienced) and suggestions of how to have a more helpful experience (I have no idea what the answer to that is, LOL).

    You could also direct it to medical people with the aim of helping them treat people with mental illness better...but in order to get their attention, I would guess you would need some medical training yourself?

    Those are my thoughts...good luck with your project.

  14. #14
    Om Shanti Om SharonRose's Avatar
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    As far as mechanics, you might consider recording the interviews to refer to later and having them transcribed. It would save you time and be there to refer to later. I've been looking into podcasting and doing a quick check of Elance found two contractors - one in Thailand and one in Mumbai - who'll do transcriptions for $5 per hour.

    Good luck! It sounds like a worthy project.

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW
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    Eventually psychiatry will be viewed similarly to asbestos, which was also hunky dory at the time.

    It's not just psychiatry, it's almost all of conventional medicine.

    http://jrsm.rsmjournals.com/content/106/1/1.full

    Quote: "Publication bias and concealing unfavourable trial data are ancient undercurrents that are rising like a modern tidal wave. The dam of complicity that protects profits, bolsters careers and keeps patients from the best treatments is about to burst."
    If you think Amazon vs Giants is bad, do you think that Amazon vs Self-publishers would be better?

  16. #16
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    You think the entire field of brain-behavior medicine is equivalent to a toxin? I am not seeing the equivalence.

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