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Frequently Asked Questions


What are DBSA online support groups?
DBSA online support groups provide people living with depression and bipolar disorder a place to share experiences, discuss coping skills, and offer hope to one another. Meetings are conducted via computers and the internet - they are a combination of a conference call and a web meeting.

DBSA online support group meetings are peer-based, self-help groups. In the DBSA context, a peer is a person with a mood disorder. Another distinction of peer is that we are not professionals — physicians and other mental health providers. We are here to assist, encourage, and enable each other in helping ourselves.

DBSA groups are not professional help. We are not degreed or credentialed professionals, and do not diagnose or provide treatment. We do not do what the professionals do. We are also not an alternative to professional care or a 12-step program. While there are some similarities to such programs we have no steps, program, or official guide book.
   
Who facilitates DBSA online support groups?
DBSA support groups are peer-led, meaning they are facilitated by someone living with a mood disorder.
   
What if I don't feel like talking or sharing?
There is never any pressure to talk or share. At check-in, you can simply say your first name (or any name you choose to remain anonymous) and indicate that you don't want to speak. One of our guidelines is that "it is okay not to share; much can be gained by just listening."
   
Will my comments be kept confidential?
Absolutely. When you join a meeting, you specifically type in the name you’d like to use in that meeting so you can remain totally anonymous. We will not release any of your information or any comments you make in a meeting.
   
Will my participation in a meeting be anonymous?
Yes! We use only first names in meetings - no other identifying information is shared. You can also optionally add a nickname for yourself in your profile, so that participants in the meetings will only know you by your nickname.
   
Do I have to have a webcam?
No, you do not need a webcam. You can listen through your computer’s speakers and speak via VOIP headset or microphone, or by phone.
   
Can I join more than one meeting a week?
Absolutely! Some meetings cover specialized topics, but you are able to join as many or as few as you wish each week.
   
Will others be able to see me?
No one will be able to see you unless you choose to turn on your webcam by clicking the camera icon. If you do not wish to be seen, please make sure that your computer’s camera has been turned off.
   


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