Meeting Notes – August 11, 2010

by Clara on August 12, 2010

Our summer meetings are going well with continuing good attendance by longtime members as well as newcomers.

Katherine started the meeting by reading the point-by-point summary of the DBSA support group guidelines.

  • Share the air
  • One person speaks at a time
  • What is said here stays here
  • Differences of opinion are o.k.
  • We are all equal
  • Use “I” language
  • It’s o.k. not to share
  • It’s everyone’s responsibility to make the discussion groups a safe place to share

You can read a more detailed discussion of these guidelines on our Guidelines page.

Next we went around the circle to introduce ourselves by answering the following questions.

  • Your first name
  • Your diagnosis
  • Your mood on a scale of 1 to 10 (bad to good)
  • What do you do to take care of yourself


Someone asked about writing for Bipolar Magazine and Esperanza. Both magazines accept submissions from professional writers. Be sure to follow the writer guidelines. Esperanza also accepts short personal essays for their Esperanza’s Hope page.

The New York Times reported on a new study of ketamine as a treatment for resistant bipolar depression. Ketamine is a veterinary and human aenesthetic that was popular in the 1990’s a a “party drug.” We’ve gathered some information to help you evaluate the significance of this study.

Someone recommended Beth Schaefer’s Monday afternoon writing group at the Stanford Psychiatry Department. Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer, the author or Creative Writing for People with Mood Disorders. Many of our members attend currently or have participated in the past. The writing class is free. Contact Beth at emschaefer@​ to register.

Next, we broke into four small groups to discuss two questions. 1) What brings you or keeps you coming to this support group? and 2) What is a concern you would like to discuss?

We gathered again in the large group to discuss the topics from the Question Bag.

The subjects brought up included:

  • How to overcome your reluctance to socialize?
  • Do we conceal our depression as well as we think we do?
  • The importance of having a support person.

The meeting ended with the usual going around the circle to tell one good or neutral thing that happened for you this week. It is OK to pass and say nothing.

Recommended Resources:

Entertainment: Norah Jones at the Greek Theater at UC Berkeley on August 27.

Entertainment:Monterey Jazz Festival, September 17-19

DBSA California Conference Flyer Event: “Hooray for Recovery – Celebrating 20 Years” DBSA California Annual Conference, October 15-16 at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario. Conference Price $129.

Next Meeting

We meet the first three Wednesdays of the month. Our next meeting will be August 18, 6:30 pm – 8:30.

Tags: question bag, writing, drug, conference, magazine