Studies show up to 50 percent of people with Bipolar disorder will attempt suicide at some point in their life and as many as 20 percent will succeed. That's one of the reasons behind establishing the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of the Chattahoochee Valley.
Ben Overby of Fortson was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder less than two years ago. He's the director of the new local non profit group. Hearing the diagnosis was difficult for him.
"It took me a long time to accept the diagnosis, I lived it for several months."
Overby was initially diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was suffering from stress, insomnia, and irritability. But six months later, he was diagnosed with depression.
"Unfortunately if you treat a Bipolar person for depression, you can really create substantial problems because the anti-depressant can create a manic episode. That's what my situation was for several months. It was just that super euphoric sense followed by bouts of depression."
Overby says he feels there are people in this area who have many questions about bipolar and depression and he wants to provide a place where they can all get together and help each other. Overbuy says Georgia is leading the rest of the country in utilizing peer specialists to support the recovery of individuals with mental illness. According to the DBSA, evidence shows that people can recover and get their lives back and peer support plays a key role in that recovery.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance-Chattahoochee Valley group will meet Tuesday, July 23rd, at 7:30 p.m. at the Highland Community Church. The church is located at 3408 5th Ave. - Columbus, GA 31904. For more information you can call 706.457.3479. It is open to those who have been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder, their family,and friends.