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."
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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.