Letters to the Editor

'Mood disorders can kill'

Most people with mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder are scared and lonely. Because of the stigma attached to mental illness, only 20% of people seek treatment.

A local chapter of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is starting. There will be a meeting from 6:30-7:30 p.m. April 25 at Norseman Elementary School, 4636 E. Weldon Ave.

Mood disorders can kill. Depression is the leading cause of suicide in more than two-thirds of the reported U.S. suicides per year. These statistics include children and adolescents.

Benefits of a DBSA support group include increased treatment adherence; mutual understanding, acceptance and self discovery; knowing that mood disorders do not define who you are; and giving people the benefit of experiences of those "who have been there."

A mood disorder is a very subjective experience. It truly does take one who has "been there" to offer unique help to those who need it. The support group meetings are not a pity party, but a place to get needed tools and rediscover humor and joy of life.

Our group is in the process of affiliation with DBSA. The Web site is www.dbsalliance.org.

Zarina Venturi

Chapter Leader

DBSA Fresno/Clovis