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Proposal: Mind

Based on the example questions, it feels to me like this proposal is currently trying to cover two topics that may have some overlapping users, but aren't that natural to lump together.

  1. Mood management and the science of happiness. This is a legit scientific topic, with a ton of real data and knowledge related to how one can manage stress levels and approach situations in different ways to improve outlook, mood, etc, but it doesn't address DSM-V psychiatric disorders, including depression.
  2. Clinical depression (MDD), or other mental pathology. While it's reasonable to think that people suffering from mood disorders may tend to also be students of mood management, the underlying problem in these illnesses is less like an extreme form of sadness than it is like a medical disease that presents symptoms consistent with extreme sadness.

My concern is this - the way you manage "not getting into a prolonged funk" is fundamentally different from the way you treat clinical depression, bipolar disorder, etc.

As a result, a site that is mostly about "normal" mood management isn't a great place to handle clinical depression, because what you'll be constantly dealing with is two situations that sound very similar, but want for fundamentally different approaches.

It seems like the core of the topic is on how to keep a healthy brain in shape, how to stay happy, and how to manage sadness. But how to treat a medical condition like clinical depression, despite seeming so fundamentally mood-related, just seems to require a completely different knowledge and expert base.

There are advantages - and, let's be honest: some very real pitfalls - to both of these, but in order to address them you must first pick one to focus your efforts on and decide what you want this site to be about.

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I think this site if it's going to happen should be focused on the science of happiness exclusively. I've asked the question Is it right to have non-professionals answering questions on mental health? to try and address it. I don't think anyone should be able to answer on questions of mental problems.

When you're dealing with someone looking for help, finding the wrong person can do more harm than good, and having an online site makes that even worse because there's room for interpretation, there's no guarantee that a high ranking user is a professional over someone that writes popular answers.

This site could be awesome if it had methods of boosting mental capacity though. Techniques for memorising multiple decks of cards, rapid mathematics or ways to boost IQ. I know that chess, music and second languages are factors that correlate with a higher IQ, but how does that practically translate?

is IQ even a good measure of brain power, and if not, what is? can we boost that? Perhaps answers on the types of intelligence would be useful.

I think there's more than enough great information in that focus to build a good Q/A site and attract the masses, boosting mental capacity is a huge topic, and great for browsing!

  • Magnific answer! Magnific point of view! – Dennis Braga Mar 11 '14 at 17:04
  • Thanks Dennis :) – Alexander Troup Mar 11 '14 at 17:05

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