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Friday, December 9, 2011

Jeff's Top Bipolar Sites

Today I give you my favorite bipolar disorder web sites. I went through my bookmarks and scouted additional sites for this post, but I'm sure there are many excellent sites I missed.

To make it easier for me I selected only one site from each of the following seven categories: personal, educational, government, research, support, reference, and psychology.. Each site has some unique content, an educational component, and added value for bipolar information consumers (you).

I didn't include sites that are for bipolar news feeds, blogs, pharmaceuticals, chat/discussion rooms, clinicians, activists, or mental health professionals. I did not include search engines, which are valuable in and of themselves for locating bipolar disorder information.  And I tried to stay away from sites with heavy advertising or a strong commercial bent. - Personal.  Award winning site written by a fellow with over 30 years experience living with bipolar disorder type I.  It is focused on surviving acute bipolar episodes written purely from a personal perspective, appropriate for the newly diagnosed and those of us striving for stability. Consists mostly of a series of short articles peppered with helpful reference links supporting the author's viewpoint. The site is easily navigated, contains well thought out content, and has good sections on recommended books, online guides, and web sites.

LivingManicDepressive - Educational.  An award winning website maintained by a bipolar type II individual since 1997.  The site is very thorough in subject matter.   It includes everything from dealing with medication to how to handle a relationship with a depressed partner.  It is good for the "newbie" bipolars and seasoned veterans alike.  The great part is the tone of the site.  It's not written in dry medical terms, but in the living, daily grind of our lives, from someone who has suffered from bipolar disorder.

National Institute on Mental Health - Government.  The best government (U.S.) site for your average, everyday bipolar sufferor.  While focused on research, the site's bipolar area also provides good base of information for consumers including statistics.  Site uses video, audio, podcasts, news feeds, e-newsletters, blog, booklets, brochures, and fact sheets.  All material is free and downloadable.  Authoritative source.

PubMed - Research.  A massive repository of high quality scientific articles related to bipolar disorder and other medical issues.  Site has information on research, studies, analysis, clinical trials, and medical perspectives.  Good site for researching meds and bipolar disorder phenomenon.  Articles are usually highly technical but are of a peer reviewed journal quality.  Abstracts to articles somewhat comprehensible by non-scientists.  Some articles available free.

National Alliance on Mental Illness - Support.  NAMI is the U.S.'s largest grassroots mental health organization.  It is dedicated to building better lives for Americans affected by mental illness.  Easy-to-understand information in a variety of formats (articles, videos, magazine, e-newsletter, blog) about mental illnesses, health care, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.  NAMI operates quality programs, support groups, discussion/focus groups, and advocates strongly for its community.  Non-profit web site run by mental health professionals.

WebMD Bipolar Disorder Health Center - Reference.  A plethora of easily understood information on bipolar disorder diagnosis, medications, therapies, and treatments.  Information is available in a variety of formats: video, articles, slideshows, news feed, newsletters, discussion groups, tips, tools, support communities, and complimentary website resources. It is run by a for-profit company so it has some advertising.

Psych Central - Psychology.  The internet's largest and oldest independent mental health network and psychology web site.  Good organization and indexing of information and resources.  It has articles, dozens of blogs, robust medication library, e-books, direct advice from experts, support groups, timely news, clinical trials research, and recommended outside resources.  Reliable, relevent, and trusted source of a lot of psychology related information devoted to the general consumer.  It is run by mental health professionals, not affiliated with a company. Has advertising.

Do you frequently use any of these websites?  Maybe you have some favorites of your own you can tell us about.  Or maybe you have a site(s) from a category not covered here that you are dying to let people know about.

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