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In the February OCA newsletter, I wrote about NAMI AIR, a phone application support group for individuals or families.  My article was ill timed for NAMI AIR has been replaced with Discussion Groups. These can be found by going to nami.org website, signing in, clicking on support at the top of the page then picking out a discussion group (on the left-hand side of the page) with which you would like to be connected.

 

While on vacation in Texas earlier this month, my 21-year-old great nephew told me he had recently received a bi-polar disorder diagnosis. His grandparents who are closely aligned with him did not know about this new diagnosis.  After talking with his Great Aunt, Nurse Judy, he spent the night with us at his grandparents.  He kept them up until 1:30 am in the morning talking about his symptoms and other issues. It was an important conversation. His grandparents are very supportive.

 

Much later the next morning, I shared with him the NAMI Discussion Group for those suffering from bi-polar disorder.  I signed myself in and we explored how to participate.  I am still receiving e-mails from this discussion group and am learning a great deal from peers.  I want to share one that came through this morning.  To participate, one uses a “handle” so that anonymity is maintained, yet you can correspond directly with each other which was one of the major complaints about NAMI AIR.

 

“Some practical tips that help reduce bipolar symptoms:  exercise, meditation, yoga, massage, tai-chi-depression, get a pet for a dog will help reduce stress and be a diversion to your symptoms, keep a mood journal to help measure your progress in controlling your symptoms, watch television without the news, do things when you are feeling up to it, to relieve stress let your phone calls go to voicemail, buy a light box from amazon-depression, google stress management programs in your city and state, aromatherapy as lavender helps to reduce anxiety like a Glade plug in for anxiety and worrying, routine structure, put together your treatment program based on your needs. Excessive stress is a poison for people with bipolar disorder and more than likely be the reason for putting people in a rut which few people understand.  Hope this helps.” This was the end of one participant’s advice which I thought was great.

 

There are 21 discussion groups: General Discussion, ADHP, Anxiety Disorders, Autism, Bi Polar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Disassociate Disorder, Dual Diagnosis, Early Psychosis, Psychosis, Eating Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizophrenia Affective Disorder, Caregivers of Adults with Mental Health Conditions, College and Young Adults, Faith and Spirituality, Members Only, and Parents and Caregivers. The Discussion Groups are protected, secure, safe NAMI space to share and learn.

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