Austin: Seeking quality ongoing manic-depression / bipolar support group
July 16, 2013 2:50 AM   Subscribe

I spoke last week with a close friend who recently found out -- in an interesting way -- that she has this manic depression illness, aka bipolar disorder. Knowing that I've dealt with it myself over the years, she asked me if I have found any helpful F2F support groups here in Austin. My answer -- I have not. She's looking for a group to join, a place to meet, talk with, support and gain support from a community of people suffering this thing but willing to do the work to kick free, such as they are able to. She's open to starting a group herself, and/or even hosting it in her South Austin home, if there are not currently any good meetups available.

Do you know of a good F2F ongoing support group in Austin for people suffering this manic depression illness?

I've only tried to find F2F support for manic depression a few times, and found that the people attending were pretty much lost, unwilling and/or unable to dig deeply for information and/or resources to find out how to help themselves. And hey, that's all well and good, but it wasn't for me.

I found instead a great online support community, found what I've needed and/or wanted there.

So I've not looked for any F2F support groups in many years. For all I know Austin is bursting with them nowadays, it could be that Austin is internationally known as *the* place for F2F bipolar support. Probably there is a spectacularly helpful manic depression support group meeting every night of the year on every other block, with party hats and party favors and sacks full of psych meds stuffed into a big, brightly colored piƱata hung from a tree out back, or maybe they're being handed out in Pez dispensers as door prizes by wise yet festive shrinks wearing loud yet fashionable clothing, and who knows what all else, right?

I'd like to hope that there are groups like that, here in Austin. But if there are, I don't know about them.

Do you?

Any help appreciated.

posted by dancestoblue to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If she begins her own group - in my opinion, hosting a support group in her home is a bad idea. It would be well worth the effort to find a public meeting space.

This is because a support group is meant to be very inclusive - including people you may not want in your house, or even knowing where you live.
posted by thelonius at 2:57 AM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Sorry, what is F2F? (I swear, I googled it, but the search results gave a few possible answers that would fit in the context here.)
posted by decathecting at 8:47 AM on July 16, 2013

Best answer: It's not bipolar specific, but NAMI has a weekly peer-to-peer group that will start next Thursday, July 25 at 6:30 pm:
A free 10 week class that provides a holistic approach to recovery for people living with serious mental illness. The course is offered in a confidential setting and taught by two trained peer mentors who are successfully managing their own mental health.
It's held at the Austin Travis County Integral Care Training Room, Building 1, Suite 102, 1700 S Lamar (78704). The directions specify to turn on Collier and park at the back of the building that is about a block down on the left side of the street.

More information here. It sounds like a really valuable experience; it seems likely that she could be trained as a peer-to-peer coordinator.

If she's looking for something less 'official,' there's also an Austin Bipolar Support Meetup group.
posted by divined by radio at 8:47 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

For decathecting: F2F = Face to Face
posted by Talullah at 4:17 PM on July 16, 2013

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