Living with Support: Groups and Other Resources

supportIt’s sometimes hard to figure out the answers to questions about moods and how they influence our lives. Family and friends can be a resource, but they may not understand us. Professionals (a therapist or psychiatrist) may help, but they are not available all the time, and there are some things that you want to talk about with a peer rather than a professional. And it is still true that stigma makes it hard to easily find others with similar problems.

Support groups seem like a good resource. In person support groups and online ones have pluses and minuses. But the biggest factor that determines the usefulness of a group are the members, and the moderator, if there is one. So you may have to visit a few before you find one that “fits”.

In person support groups include ones related to –

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Which is the largest national organization, and of course the quality of local programs varies depending on the folks who run them.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness. Which does actually have some programs for people who are not schizophrenic.

Alcoholics Anonymous. And of course many other twelve step programs.

Online support programs are even harder to keep up with, and your comments here would be very helpful. We know of a few that people have found helpful.

Yahoo Groups. Probably the largest set of groups available on the internet. There seems to be a group for everything.

MedHelp. They have online tools and moderated and unmoderated forums.

Patients Like Me. A social networking tool that also tries to gather the “collective wisdom” of people with similar problems. Interesting but we aren’t sure how well it works yet.

Facebook. Facebook has groups but it is a bit hard to find them.