Bipolar support groups can be found in virtually every state in the United States. Because Bipolar Disorder affects more than two million adults in America, this should not be a surprise. However, it may be a little more difficult to find a support group in your city, or somewhere close to you. In this case, it may be easier for you to find a bipolar support group on-line, or to participate in an on-going bipolar chat room on the Internet.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) claims a network of over one thousand chapters and support groups across the country. They currently have bipolar support groups in every state in the United States except North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming.
DBSA even has a chapter in Hawaii! They also have chapters in Canada and other non-USA locations. These chapters are all listed on the Internet, or you can call DBSA directly at: 1-800-826-3632, to find the closest DBSA support group to you.
Bipolar4lifesupport is a forum-based support group where sufferers of bipolar, as well as, depression, and anxiety can gather to share their struggles and their triumphs with each other. Visit www.bipolar4lifesupport.net
Community bipolar support groups provide a caring environment in which you don’t have to feel alone—supportive surroundings for people to come together and discuss their common problems and day-to-day challenges of living with Bipolar Disorder.
Since confidentiality is a high priority in all support groups, it makes it easier to open up and share personal thoughts and feelings.
Bipolar support groups are not a group therapy session, although by sharing common problems with each other, sometimes people provide answers for each other’s questions. The support group provides a forum for mutual understanding and self-discovery where people gain encouragement from each other.
We all need support from people who have been there and who understand our journey. Knowing that everyone in the support group has also been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and is going through the same problems helps to pull down that wall of fear, and helps even the most reluctant person to open up to the group.
Bipolar support groups are usually peer-run (volunteer), although sometimes there may be guest speakers such as mental health professionals from the community. They may have information, tips, techniques, and even self-experience to share with you to help you manage your own disorder.
Some chapters offer services in addition to their support groups, such as educational sessions, newsletters, lending libraries and special events. Some offer information on mental health professionals in your area for referrals, or upcoming mental health events that you might be interested in attending.
Support groups for Bipolar Disorder, whether in-person or on-line, are not a substitute for professional care, but they do provide the kind of sharing and encouragement necessary to help in traveling down this sometimes lonely and frightening road of Bipolar Disorder recovery.