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support group

Thinking of Creating A Support Group? You Can Do It! Part 1

During the past year I received wonderful online support from bipolar-themed social media contacts and bloggers.  As fulfilling as their encouragement was, I also craved real life support, connection and friendships with people diagnosed with bipolar disorder. 

A peer-to-peer support group is a great place to do just that! 

Drop-In Peer Centers for Behavioral Health: An Exploding Trend

One of the reasons I am glad that I moved to Florida is that it led me to a peer run drop in center near my house called Rebel’s Drop In. In my small county, Broward, between Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, we have 5 of these centers. Peer run drop in centers average 5 per state, see the links below to find one near you. 

Group Therapy Provides Hope

I recently joined a bipolar support group. My doctor and therapist have been encouraging me for months to join the group. They believed it would help me "normalize" some of my feelings by being around others who might have the same experiences. 

I put off going to the group because 1) I was either too sick (manic or depressed) to feel like going or, 2) Feeling well again and not wanting to talk about or deal with this bipolar illness. 

But, after struggling though episode after episode, I decided to go and see what I could learn from others. 

The Give and the Take - Mental Health Group Support

Recently, I went to my first mental health support group meeting. I must admit I was nervous. What would people talk about? What would people think of me? Would I have to talk? If so, what would I say? Though I've never been afraid to speak my mind, this was different. I was actually nervous to tell my story. That is, until I started hearing the other stories. I quickly realized that there are a lot of people right here in my community who live with bigger challenges than mine.