O U R M E E T I N G S
Prepare for a great experience. Our mission is to make you feel comfortable & to answer your concerns on the same day you attend our meeting.
We ask $5 per person and $8 per family. Our large meeting consists of about 40 people.
After our announcements, we break into our small groups – Bipolar Groups, Depression groups, and a Family Member Group, all led by trained leaders.
ATTENTION FAMILY MEMBERS! No meeting is complete without Family Members. Greg and Carole Hodges run our Family Member Group.
Also, two area groups provide superb information on the difficult situation of living with a family member with a mental illness. Check out NAMI’s Family to Family Program, and Edie Mannion and her TEC Family Service Program.
The Family-to-Family Program is run out of the Bucks County NAMI. For info, call 866- 399- 6264
NAMI Main Line’s Excellent Resource List – includes info about disability, Medicare and Medicaid, Crisis
Watch Ruth Z Deming, MGPGP, director of New Directions, on YouTube for her Comcast CN8 interview. She mentions she no longer has bipolar disorder as it often resolves itself later in life.
Ruth is available as a psychotherapist. Call her at 215-659-2142. Read her BIPOLAR BLOG here.
D I V E R S I F Y
Yes, yes, we’ve got a mental illness but let’s not forget to get on with our lives. Follow your interests & hobbies and develop new healthy neurons in your brain. Who knows? Some day maybe the healthy neurons will free you from your illness. Find interesting events to stimulate your mind in The Philadelphia Inquirer – Bucks County Alive – Doylestown Alive.
K N O W Y O U R I L L N E S S
Click for info re Anxiety Disorders.
Click for info re Borderline Personality Disorder.
Click for new NIMH guidelines on Mental Illness in Children.
Click for all-important info about psychotherapy. New Directions offers a Top Doc and Top Therapist List available when you attend our meeting. We advise you to see someone highly recommended.
MOST OF THE ABOVE INFO is provided by NIMH, the Natl Institute of Mental Health, and offers the best definitions and info for brain disorders. You can also order FREE brochures on bipolar, depression, anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia from NIMH by calling tollfree 866-615-6464 or ordering online.
BE A SAFETY WATCHDOG and report SIDE EFFECTS to the FDA.
And, please, do not say “I’m bipolar.” Instead say, “I have bipolar disorder.” We are NOT our illness & have so much to offer.
Click on Tami’s site for Borderline Personality Disorder.
New hypothesis on Addiction
C R I S I S
Montgomery County Emergency Service – 610-279-6100. Excellent crisis workers – including help for suicidal people – take calls from patients and family members 24 hours a day.
HORSHAM CLINIC CRISIS 24 hours a day. Call 800- 237- 4447.
SUICIDE HOTLINES: Natl Suicide Prevention – 800-273-TALK (8255) – 800-SUICIDE (2433)
OR see John P O’Reardon, MD, of Penn. Call 866-301-4724 – he’ll see you for a consult.
Treatment Advocacy Center has good resources for help with emergencies.
Have you thought about ECT – electroconvulsive therapy – for severe unremitting depression? Read this Mayo Clinic report. Psychiatrist John Worthington spoke to us about ECT plus other somatic treatments you should consider such as Vagus Nerve Stimulation.
Mediterranean Diet linked to Lower Depression Rates – eat more olive oil, whole grains, nuts, fresh fruits & vegetables. More of the same.
Brown rice diet helps combat diabetes
EXERCISE improves mental health! You know it, now do it!
Patients Like Me.com – Great online support and info
FREE OR LO-COST CLINICS
FREE HEALTHCARE FOR THE WORKING UNINSURED: HealthLink of Southampton, PA
Other great resources for healthcare
M O R E LO-COST CLINICS: Bucks Co Health Improvement Project Free Adult Clinic, 2560 Knights Road, Bensalem PA. Call 215-633-8397
Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic of Doylestown Hospital, 595 W State St., Doylestown, PA. Call 215-345-2260.
Abington Ambulatory Clinic at Abington Memorial Hospital. Call 215-481-2180.
Quakertown – Volunteer Doctors Care Upper Bucks Clinic, Government Services Center, 261 California Road, Q-town, call 215-538-4774
Children’s Dental Care, Bucks Co Health Improvement Partnership, call 800-347-6880. (BCHIP)
K N O W Y O U R M E D S
Psychotherapy should be tried first before going on medication. By the time people get to a support group, they are already on the medication merry-go-round.
Read this informative website by Peter R Breggin, psychiatrist, who has devoted his career to sounding the alarm about the harm caused by psychiatric drugs. Be sure to watch his videos.
‘Discontinuation Syndromes’ – particularly from Paxil, Luvox, and Effexor – shortest half life – quickly wear off with a single missed daily dosage, says David Brandsford MD on his blog.
H E L P P A Y I N G F O R Y O U R M E D S
Drug companies offer a Patient Assistance Program to help with the high cost of meds. Your psychiatrist will send the drug company a letter to get you drugs for free or at a reduced cost. Here’s the page for Lilly, makers of Zyprexa, Cymbalta, Prozac. And the page for Abbott Labs, makers of Depakote.
Click here for help with drug costs, courtesy of Philly Health Info.
FREE Drug Program for eligible Americans. Click.
FREE for all eligible Pennsylvanians. Click.
Paul Bright writes How to get Bipolar Meds for free.
Citizens of PA can apply for help paying for your MEDS if you have a diagnosis of schizoaffective or schizophrenia. Go to this website, go to Mental Health; click More; select Special Pharm. Benefits Program, Mental Health. For info, call 877-356-5355.
Abington Pharmacy is open till midnite every day of the year except Xmas & Turkey Day. Find them at 1460 Old York Road across from Target, Abington, PA 19001. Call 215-884-2767
W O R K
Goodwill Industries of Fort Washington, PA, offer 2 employment programs – one for seniors 55 and older, the other for people w/disabilities. Click here. Call 215-653-7095.
Office of Vocational-Rehab will help you find a career! (but, slowly)
US government unveils site on Disability.
New Directions is seeking a vocational counselor to work with our members, all of whom are either in the workforce or do meaningful volunteer work.
Some of our members have found jobs through Internet sites such as INDEED. COM – MONSTER – CAREER BUILDER – SIMPLY HIRED – CRAIGSLIST – OR Your Local Library (Wissahickon, Abington, Northeast Regional)
C O L L E G E
Depression and bipolar disorder often enter our lives in our late teens or when we go away to college. Don’t despair. Who says you must finish college when you’re 22? Take your time. Relax. Don’t take a full courseload. Take the pressure off yourself.
Some folks decide to get an online degree. A librarian at the Glenside Library received her graduate degree online. “Not that expensive,” she says.
V O L U N T E E R – A Stepping-stone to Employment
ARE YOU A PEACENIK? Get involved with fun-lovin’ activists. Attend their events
to put meaning in your life.
VOLUNTEER & JOB OPPRS for the over-fifty set. Coming of Age.
OTHER VOLUNTEER OPPs include the Undeniable Challenge of Our Time, the Saving of our Planet from Pollution. Click on PBS show NOVA: The Dimming of the Sun. Read Times article on Energy Efficiency.
IF YOU ENJOY working with seniors you can stop in at the Abington Meals on Wheels. Call them at 215-886-2206.
Social Security is open 24/7.
Or speak to Denis Hazam of Mental Health Assn. 267-507-3893.
ANNOUNCEMENTS INCLUDING READING MATERIAL
Facing Bipolar: The Young Adult’s Guide to Dealing with Bipolar Disorder by Russ Federman, Ph.D. and J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., MD, New Harbinger Publications, 2010, 160 pages
Origins of bipolar brain: enter Michael Meaney in search engine. He’s done groundbreaking research with rats which give clues to why we get it, and how we can prevent it in our children.
SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER is a serious form of depression. Brighten your home w/ incandescent light bulbs, 100 watts, daylight, full spectrum. Stay in well-lit rooms or near windows during daylite hours. Sleep in total darkness at nite to stimulate the brain chemical melatonin to help you sleep. Don’t forget the importance of walking – and exercise – to tire you out before bedtime. Avoid caffeine after 3 pm.
MED QUESTIONS? Call retired pharmacist Larry DiBello at 610-543-2966.
EAT RIGHT, LIVE LONGER! Click on Jane Brody’s article in the Times focusing on cardiac health. Home-cooked meals are best as they avoid sodium, processed foods, artery-clogging fats. Eat fish, whole grains, nuts, fresh fruit & veggies. New study reveals heavy meat-eaters die sooner.
IDEA! In the dimming light of fall and winter, cheer up your home with Flowers such as cyclamen. They bloom indoors. Place them prominently in your living room near a window. Get them at Produce Junction which sells many flowers at great prices. Would you believe $2.50 per plant? Buy 4 and give one as a gift.
TAKE YOUR MEDS with water, not juice. Click on NY Times article.
AH-CHOO! If you have an allergy or the common cold, make sure your psych meds are not affected by your allergy or cold medicine. Research this before swallowing!
P R I V A T E T R E A T M E N T C E N T E R S I N C L U D E
Psychological Services & Human Development, Ft Washington – 215-540-5860
Southampton Psychiatric Associates, Call 215-355-2011
Beck Institute on Cognitive Therapy, Bala Cynwyd, PA, 610-664-3020
Growth Opportunity Center, Huntingdon Valley, PA, 215-947-8654
Council for Relationships, 14 locations, 215-382-6680
SRI Psychological Services, Jenkintown & Philadelphia, 215-885-3337
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 800-879-2467, World renowned care for kids
Holy Redeemer Counseling Center, adjustable fees, also take a free screening test to see if you have a mood disorder, 521 Moredon Rd, Hunt Valley, PA 19006, Call 215-938-1130.
Crystal Group Associates, Wyndmoor, PA, 215-233-3999
C O M M U N I T Y M E N T A L H E A L T H C E N T E R S (Public) – For free or lo-cost treatment
Bucks County Dept. of Mental Health 215-442-0760, ext. 0- scroll down for listings on:
Penn Foundation in Sellersville, 215-257-6551
Lenape Foundation in Doylestown, 215-345-5300
Penndel MH Center in Penndel, 215-752-1541
Montgomery County Dept. of Behavioral Health 610-278-3642 –
Creekwood (serves Willow Grove and Eastern Montco), call 215 830 8966 Central (serves Norristown & Central Montco inc. Plymouth Mtg, Bryn Mawr) call 610 277 9420
Creative Health Services (Pottstown and Western Montco), call 610 326 2767 – Penn Foundation of Sellersville, call 215 257 6551
NHS of Lansdale, call 215 368 2022 –
Lower Merion Counseling Center of Bryn Mawr call 610 649 6512
P S Y C H H O S P I T A L S IN B U C K S & M O N T C O
Brooke Glen Beh’l Health Hospital, Fort Washington, PA, 215-641-5300
Friends Hospital, Northeast Philadelphia, 215-831-4600
Lower Bucks Hospital, Bristol, PA 215-785-9521
Bryn Mawr Hospital, Bryn Mawr, PA 484-337-3000
H O U S I N G
NOTE: The Community Mental Health Center in your area — see above — is a good starting point for info about Group Housing.
Project Transition. Call 215-997-9959
Greystone residential housing on grounds of Friends Hospital for severely ill.
Vika Home in Ambler, PA. Superb care for the most severely ill. 215-646-3853.
Parents! For help with your mentally ill loved one after you are gone, check out PLAN of PA. They help w/case mgmt, trust fund mgmt.
Residential Living Options, Chester & Delaware counties
Temp. care – Griswold Special Care, Erdenheim, PA
Gheel House, Spring City, PA 19475
Homeless shelters in the Philadelphia area & suburbs. Click here.
There are numerous residential healing places for mental illness. These are very expensive but may be helpful. Use your search engine to find them.
C L I C K Excellent videos of famous people w/mood disorders: Mike Wallace and Jane Pauley, sponsored by the smart people at NARSAD. And DO NOT MISS this video of a law professor w/schizophrenia. Go Elyn Saks go!C L I C K Resources galore for folks with mood disorders & their families from Philly’s Own College of Physicians.
Extra extra! Ruth Deming featured in NY Times. 2008: Raising Rates w/o Losing Clients. 2009: Revisiting Entrepreneurs who Ride the Economic Waves.
Jane Alexander cured herself from bipolar w/voices
Read her amazing website
John McManamy, award-winning infomaniac.
Yes, people can ENTIRELY RECOVER from mental illness and be off meds for good! Consider these Recovery Stories from Power2U.
The MacGuffin factual reports on all things psychiatric including Big Farma
Dr. Dan Carlat Psychiatry Blog promoting Honesty in Psychiatry
Treatment Advocacy Center, speaking out for the most vulnerable among us
Furious Seasons, award-winning site by Philip Dawdy
Job Opps thru The Private Sector – Hello John & Chris!
Washington Post story Healing a Troubled Mind
NY Times videos of 9 men & women with bipolar disorder, July 16, 2008.
ERIC WILSON ACCEPTS & EXTOLS HIS MELANCHOLIA. Click here.
ANDREW WEIL, MD, loves healthy foods for a healthy mind & body.
Knowledge is Power
Work 20 hrs at Starbucks and get full healthcare pkg
EXCELLENT INFO B E S T B U Y D R U G S.
Photos from our Abington Library Display Case for April is Poetry Month. Did you know that many of us with mood disorders have The Artist’s Condition?
F I R S T G E N O M E S T U D Y O N B I P O L A R from National Institute of Mental Health. Click here to learn about the combined, small effects of variations in many different genes in the brain, none of which is powerful enough to cause the disease by itself. Study published in Molecular Psychiatry, May 8, 2007.
Purchase HEALTH INSURANCE from this Award-winning Website.
Click here. Uninsured & between the ages of 19 – 64 w/pre-existing conditions? Contact Uninsured Hotline for Pennsylvanians at 800-234-1317 or click here.
We encourage our members to remain in the workforce. However, if you are unable to work, here’s a website on How to Get Disability. Written by an attorney near Lansing, Michigan, she says your best bet is to have your psychiatrist vouch for you. Click here on her excellent website.
Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (a merge of PA Protection & Advocacy and the Disabilities Law Project) in Harrisburg hosts helpful info about disability. Click here.
Patronize our talented people & family members:
For many people in Our Crowd, such as Nick Breslin, below, owning one’s own business is both pleasurable & profitable.
* Landscaping by Ginny. Call 215-438-3313.
* Ron Abrams is an attorney whose concentration is on helping people get back on their feet again after being injured in an accident. Feel free to email him at [email protected] or call him at 215-627-1012.
* Nick Breslin Builds a Better Deck
Breslin Decks & Awning
* Our Robert B. Cuddy
ComforTan, Inc. of Warrington, PA
Bob & wife Lynn’s business was featured on the Jay Leno Show on 3-13-07. Click here. The Cuddys had a vision and stuck to it!
* Our Bob’s Blog: Brilliance on the Rampage – our first webmaster & the man who told us, “Privacy no longer exists.”
The Bendesky Family Website
Great interview with the late writer William Styron (1925-2006) who discusses his depression, as does his wife, Rose. Styron didn’t suffer his first depression until the age of 60, and his second episode 20 years later. His best-selling memoir “Darkness Visible” chronicles his illness while describing the importance of a loving family, particularly his wife Rose; fellowship with others who understand the illness; and hospitalization as a safe haven. Click here to read.
Yes, You Can Change, but only If You Wish – It Takes Immense Courage to Face the Truth About Yourself – Read About “Schema Therapy” developed by Jeffrey E. Young, PhD, of Columbia University. Some of our members have had parents with borderline personality disorder and come from enmeshed families.
“Worst Pills, Best Pills”: Group co-founded in ’71 by Ralph Nader and Sidney Wolfe, MD. Remember, just because a drug is over-the-counter doesn’t mean it’s safe. Take the lowest possible dose.
Best Pills, Worst Pills
Reading material, courtesy of:
Families for Depression Awareness: Click on their A+ Website, then read their list on:
General books on Mood Disorders
Books for Family Members
What’s the Best Therapy? W-O-R-K !!!!! Read below.
Click here for Jobs in Pennsylvania. Click here for Jobs for People with Disabilities. Also Your Ticket to Work.
Housing problems? Contact Fair Housing Rights in Jenkintown, PA.
Story about Ruth Z Deming in Jewish Exponent 9-15-05.