Bipolar Disorder Support Groups
2013 Bipolar Update
To find out about Bipolar Disorder Support Groups within your area, begin by speaking with your physician, hospital and/or clinic. They are in touch with a wide network of health-related organizations and associations, and can guide you in the right direction.
Some support groups are free of charge and others require paid membership. Bipolar disorder support groups aim to provide you with information and often arrange group therapy sessions. Similar to other medical support groups, members will meet on a regular basis to discuss and share, with a licensed counselor or medical professional acting as a facilitator.
Times and schedules of the meetings vary from group to group. Furthermore, many groups will have separate sessions for people with mood disorders and for their affected family and friends. In many cases, where there is a doctor’s referral, the group membership meetings will be covered by the insurance provider. Without insurance, one can still attend a meeting but it will not be covered.
The internet is another place to research. Here you can find out about a support groups in various states and also internationally. Moreover, there are many support groups in the internet that operate purely online or in conjunction with organizations on the ground. With the online support groups, one must join their membership, which are usually free but some charge a small fee.
Some online support groups operate ‘live’ meetings at scheduled times, just the same way you would with a ground-based association. Meetings can last 30 minutes to an hour and are open to any member.
Many online bipolar disorder support groups also operate as forums where members can post blogs and messages on a regular basis. Other online societies are structured as primarily informational platforms containing lists of local support groups which can be searched for by state or zip code. They are rich sources of material in the form of brochures, e-books and other downloadable data that is useful for bipolar sufferers, their family and friends. These informational websites are often part of ground-based support groups or are linked to public health departments or private medical providers.
Examples of national organizations which you can contact for support group information in the U.S. are:
NAMI – National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. They have lists of affiliate local chapters.
U.S. Department of Health and Social Services – Mental Health Services Administration
Depressive Bipolar Support Alliance
National Mental Health Association
International Bipolar Support Groups
International Society for Bipolar Disorders
Manic Depression Fellowship, United Kingdom
New Zealand Manic Depressive Network
Dutch Association of Manic Depressives
German Society for Bipolar Disorder
Canada Mental Health Association
Online Bipolar Support Groups
DBSA – Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Bipolar disorder support Groups are also an invaluable source of information and assistance for many socio-economic challenges faced by people with mood disorders. Support groups guide you on state and federal benefits, income support, disability benefits, financial assistance for medical procedures and prescription drugs, educational assistance and employment insurance, just to name a few.
Bipolar disorder support groups can be a valuable aid in keeping the condition under control. This is for the most part because you are meeting with other individuals who have a bipolar disorder. Many times it is nice to have the comfort and support of people you know understand exactly what you are going through and it what way they can best help you.
Our site has a wealth of information of bipolar disorders, their symptoms and treatment.