Education and Resources

Mental illness is a national crisis and our treatment of the mentally ill is a national disgrace.
-Senator Edward M. Kennedy

The path to mental health begins with knowledge. In the U.S. alone, mental illness impacts 1 in 4 families. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, or severe depression affect 12 to 16 million Americans. In the United States, mental illness is the second leading cause of disability and premature mortality, and the cost of mental health problems is estimated to be a staggering $20 billion per year.

Stigma and fear compound the already difficult and complex problems faced by people who are ill and those who support them-their families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and service providers. Stigma, attitudes of fear, and discrimination against those with psychiatric disabilities have their roots in lack of information and lack of understanding. This is why we so desperately need to educate ourselves so we can educate others.

Depression and bipolar disorder, once known as depression and manic depression, are two of the best-known conditions within the spectrum of mood disorders. But mood disorders can take other forms, too, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety and co-occurring mental disorders. These mental health conditions often go hand in hand with physical health concerns.

The first step to recovery is to understand your illness and to educate yourself about the things you can do to get effective treatment and ultimately mental wellness. For more information visit the following websites:



Some people think that only people with mental illnesses have to pay attention to their mental health. But the truth is that your emotions, thoughts and attitudes affect your energy, productivity and overall health.

These proven tools can help you feel stronger and more hopeful. 

  • Connect with others
  • Stay connected 
  • Stay positive
  • Get physically active
  • Help others
  • Get enough sleep
  • Create joy and satisfactionl
  • Eat well
  • Take care of your spirit
  • Deal better with hard times
  • Get professional help if you need it

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The path to mental health begins with knowledge

People who have mood disorders can more readily achieve wellness when they recognize the symptoms and understand the issues related to this spectrum of conditions. 

Use the links below to further educate yourself about mood disorders.

Learn About Research Studies

  • Why participate in research?  
  • Types of Research
  • Protecting Your Rights as a Research Participant

Research is essential to increasing our understanding of mood disorders, developing new treatments, and deciding which treatments work best for which people. At DBSA, we support research that shares in our mission to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders.

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Descriptions of Mood disorders:

  • Major depression is the most common type of depression. It tends to be episodic, but can persistently recur. 
  • Dysthymia, which is a chronic, unremitting depression. A dysthymia diagnosis requires fewer symptoms than major depression. 
  • Bipolar disorder  is depression alternating with elated or irritable moods and increased energy.

Read more links


Click on the image to take a Depression or Bipolar Test