Though there are many different types of depressions, what is common is that they usually occur in all ages. Of all the types, major depression and bipolar disorder are the ones that are highlighted more. NIMH says that 5.7 million people are afflicted in the U.S alone. Wikipedia cites a research study that says bipolar disorder is possibly the most costly category of mental disorders in the United States.
The good news is that these classes of depression are treatable. The doctors form the first line of defense always. And if you are looking for extra information and education, the web forms the second. Always consult a medical practitioner, but look up these five websites for any information on depression and bipolar disorder.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is a government body overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The website is an authoritative resource on the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. It also highlights the latest clinical research in the area of mental health. Mental health topics get specific pages like the one for depression or bipolar disorder. The well organized list of contents takes the reader through the stages from symptoms and treatment to how to find help.
You can also download detailed information booklets as free PDF files. The video and audios on the page talk about different areas of treatment and breakthroughs. NIMH also has a YouTube channel. If you are in the U.S, you can use NIMH’s Outreach Program to connect with the organization and interact firsthand with health advisors.
The DBSA is an online support group for bipolar disorder and depression. Participation is limited to 12 per group and it is strictly on first come first served basis with a free sign-up to the online chat. DBSA also runs more than 1000 peer-run support groups around the U.S. The community based support groups also have professional caregivers for education and treatment advice.
There’s also the online discussion board that you can actively take part in. If you are trying to search out psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals in your area, the Find a Pro service is a more than useful search engine. Also check out the nicely laid out Facing Us Clubhouse and there’s quite a nice list of free PDF eBooks and eBrochures on bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder doesn’t discriminate when it comes to age. It does rear its head in childhood and adolescence. It becomes vital for parents to recognize and seek remedies in time. This website tailored for the young age group addresses these facts. Parents can connect to the online support groups on the site.
Then there are the forums and chat rooms to connect to other guardians and caregivers. You can watch out for upcoming expert chats given by doctors and mental health experts. Uniquely, transcripts of old chats are also freely available. Flipswitch is the podcast section and though it seems to have ended, you can still catch the old ones.
This is a well compiled resource by John McManamy, an award-winning mental health journalist and author of Living Well with Depression and Bipolar Disorder. His insights come from being a sufferer of bipolar disorder for the last 11 years. Apart from the website, his blog is also a worthwhile read.
As he explains in his blog, he started it all as a means of coping with his own disorder. Initially, it was meant to be a platform for his own self education as he plowed through medical and psychiatric literature that was available on the subject. Lately, it has moved beyond medical diagnosis into brain and behavioral science. A section on the famous people from history who suffered from this ailment makes a revealing browse.
We have been U.S centric so far, but let’s check out this UK based charity that tries to tackle depression. If you are a first timer go over to their new section –.
The website brings an online discussion forum, a nationwide network of self help groups, a quarterly magazine, and a matched pen friend confidential service. There’s also a small section where you can showcase any creative work (a story, a poem, an artwork etc).
When it comes to these ailments, there’s so much more to talk about. The positive thing is that the web is a great enabler when it comes to support and advice. Though it cannot replace a face to face conversation with a qualified doctor, it can prove to be a valuable tool for information and education. Do you agree? Point us to any other resources you know of.
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