Seek greater understanding.
Simply Gray Matters is a non-profit organization devoted to providing information about neurological conditions to patients and loved ones in a manner that does not require them to have a medical or scientific background. It is intended as a “first line” resource for individuals who are attempting to understand a neurological or psychiatric diagnosis. It focuses on explaining basic concepts and terminology in order to enable individuals to have productive conversations with their doctors and empower them to participate in a meaningful way in their care decisions and treatment plans.
Simply Gray Matters was created to address a problem. Many patients and their loved ones are nearly paralyzed with fear and helplessness when they are confronted with a serious neurological or neuropsychiatric diagnosis. Because they do not really understand what their doctors are trying to tell them, they do not even know what to be afraid of. They feel that they must blindly throw themselves on the mercy of medical professionals who they just hope are as smart as they need them to be. If there are complications or side effects of a treatment, a parent or spouse may be consumed with guilt, believing that, if only they had understood better what the doctors were telling them or had sought a second opinion, things would have turned out better. This thinking is almost always wrong.
At Simply Gray Matters we know that as a layman, you cannot be expected to understand brain science on the same level as your doctor. However you do not need to. If you have a general understanding a few basic concepts and know some basic terminology, your doctor can explain things to you and clarify areas of confusion or misunderstanding. It is, however, very difficult for your doctor to communicate effectively with you if he or she has to explain absolutely everything. It is also difficult for you to absorb all of that information in one short conversation when you are worried and nervous about what the future holds. The material that we provide is intended to help prepare you for these conversations.
All information on the Simply Gray Matters website is free and is copyrighted under a creative commons non-commercial share and share alike license. You are encouraged to download and share this information with anyone that you believe will find it useful. You just cannot sell it.
The information on this site has been written by neuroscientists, medical doctors, therapists, and medical or graduate students. But it has not been written to the level of accuracy of a textbook. Whenever possible, we have tried to direct readers to websites that can provide more complete and detailed information about the topic being discussed and/or to support groups who may be able to help you navigate the medical system.
Donations are gratefully accepted. All donations will be used to support this website and create new content. Or you can support us by subscribing to one of our occasional “crowd-sourcing” fund raising events.