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Mental health bloggers trust websites more than therapists

Mental health bloggers trust websites more than therapists

Bloggers on mental health sites feel more comfortable discussing their conditions online than with professional therapists, according to a survey by WebTribesInc.com, which operates MySpace-type sites for depression, anxiety and addiction.

In the survey, conducted in April, members were asked, “Where do you feel most comfortable expressing your issues?” 68% said “an online community”; 23% said “my therapist”; and 9% said “family and friends.”

“Although a number of celebrities including Brooke Shields and Tipper Gore have shared their stories of coping with depression, there is still a very large stigma attached to seeking formal treatment for mental health conditions,” said Ryan FitzGerald, president of WebTribesInc.com.

FitzGerald said many of his sites’ members have reported avoiding professional help because they are afraid of being diagnosed as depressed or anxious and are worried the information will be shared with their employer or health insurer.

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WebTribesInc.com operates four MySpace-type sites: DepressionTribe.org, OCDTribe.com, AnxietyTribe.com and AddictionTribe.com.

View Comments (3)
  • Many peers I know who’ve been proactive in seeking out professionals seem to come back with the same ‘horror stories’ of both misdiagnosis or professionals denying a patients illness…from the same professionals.

    Too often local physicians attaining a certain level of business are being found to give ‘shoot from the hip’ answers that contradict prior maintenance paths that reflected stability for some time, compared to a patients patterns that were to the point they realized it was time to get help.

    Once a patient becomes proactive and invests in pursuing and maintaining upward growth in their mental health, they’re not about to lose that valued ground to someone who states what they’ve been doing is pointless.

    If you argue or state publicly a doctor’s in the above category, it’s really easy for a ‘professional’ and ‘learned person’ to label you as ‘in denial’.

    Doctors and physicians in the real world get paid by insurance companies. Websites don’t. Websites have to provide support, service, and value.

    If they don’t, they fold. Doctors and physicians in the real world using predominantly Medicaid patients…that’s guaranteed income.

    Course, I’m just a layman. Never had stability for 20 years with both chemical and behavior problems. When I sought out what peers were doing, I started learning where to go for help to improve my stability.

    Not to the local quack who claims he’s got the cure for crack cocaine and refuses to treat mental health patients looking for services until he screens them to send to his business away from service providers he ‘moonlights’ for.

    If you’re serious about investing in your own psychological health, take the time to find a local support group you can drop in from. NAMI.org is a good starter, or contact local mental health clinics. Ask for the point of contact who facilitates these groups, who isn’t employed by service providers and is Certified Peer Specialist (CPS).

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