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DBSA Princeton, Mercer County

We are a mood-disorder self-help support group affiliated with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). The mission of DBSA is to improve the lives of people living with a mood disorder, and their loved ones.

People who are living with depression or bipolar disorder (manic depression), and their families and friends, are welcome. Our goal is to help our support group participants towards wellness.

Our Princeton group meetings are held every Tuesday from 7:30 pm to 9:15 pm in classrooms 1 and 2 of the Education Building at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP).

We also meet in Hamilton Township on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 11:00 am to 12:45 pm at the Reach Out/ Speak Out Community Wellness Center.

NOTE: As of September 2, 2017 we have suspended our meetings for teens and young adults. See our news article of September 1 for additional information.

See our directions page for more information about our locations.

Group Meetings

Princeton
When: Every Tuesday from 7:30 pm to 9:15 pm
Where: University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, Education Center, Classroom 1 & 2, One Plainsboro Rd (at US 1), Plainsboro, NJ 08536

Hamilton
When: 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the Month from 11:00 am to 12:45 pm.
Where: Reach Out/Speak Out Community Wellness Center
2100 E. State Street Extension (at Sculptors Way)
Hamilton, NJ 08619
.
Helpful Information: Directions | View Map | Princeton News & Events | Archives

No pre-registration required. Please see our brochures (PDF files) for Princeton and Hamilton.

About Our Peer Support Meetings

We start with a “check-in” where members are free to share, or not, how they are doing and raise topics for discussion. Other than giving your first name, you are not required to say anything. We then discuss the topics that were introduced. The discussion is confidential to that particular meeting.

Meetings are led by trained facilitators who run the meeting and participate in the discussion just like any other member. We’ve been averaging a dozen attendees at our meeting.

At our meetings, members help each other by sharing their knowledge and experiences. You may or may not feel your issues are addressed at the meeting, but you can still benefit by knowing there are others in similar situations, and from the support of others at the group.

Our groups and meetings are:

  • led by trained facilitators who are peers, that is, individuals with a mood disorder
  • open to family and friends with or without the person living with a disorder
  • intended for persons 18 years or older (if under 18, at least 16 if with a responsible adult)
  • an empowering experience that is free of charge with no pre-registration required
  • NOT a therapy group ; we do NOT give professional advice, but we DO share mutual experiences to educate and support each other.

DBSA Support Group Guidelines

Share the air
Everyone who wishes to share has an opportunity to do so. No one person should monopolize the group time.

One person speaks at a time
Each person should be allowed to speak without interruption or side conversations.

What is said here stays here
This is the essential principle of confidentiality; it must be respected by everyone.

Differences of opinion are o.k.
We are all entitled to our own point of view.

We are all equal
We accept cultural, linguistic, social, racial, and all other differences and we promote their acceptance.

Use “I” language
Because we don’t participate in discussion groups as credentialed professionals, we can’t instruct. We can, however, share from our own personal experiences. For example, instead of saying “you should do X,” say “when I was faced with a similar problem, I . . .” We should always frame our comments in the context of our own experiences.

It’s o.k. not to share
People don’t have to share if they don’t want to.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to make the discussion groups a safe place to share
We respect confidentiality, treat each other with respect and kindness, and show compassion.

There is hope. People living with a mood disorder can be helped by medication and/or therapy. Many people so affected lead normal lives, and participate in our support group to help others. Support groups help during recovery. “You are not alone, we can help”.

About Depression & Mania

  • Common possible symptoms of depression include:
    • Decreased or increased sleeping
    • Loss of energy and motivation
    • Exaggerated feelings of guilt
    • Unexplained aches and pains or ailments
    • Inappropriate or exaggerated feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, impending disaster or doom
  • Common possible symptoms of mania include:
    • Impaired judgment
    • High energy level and increased activity/talking
    • Significant decrease in sleeping
    • Inflated self esteem (grandiosity)
    • Extreme irritability and/or restlessness
  • Other symptoms are possible. No one symptom determines the disorder. A psychiatrist or psycho pharmacologist should be consulted for an evaluation.
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