CU DBSA Mission

Urbana Champaign

Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance


DBSA provides hope, help, support, and education to improve people whose lives are affected by mood disorders. This includes family and friends. DBSA of Urbana-Champaign is a peer-run support group for those individuals dealing with mood disorders.

  • Gives you the opportunity to reach out to others and benefit from the experience of those who have been there.
  • Motivates you to follow your treatment plan.
  • Helps you understand that a mood disorder does not define who you are.
  • Helps you rediscover strengths and humor you may have thought you had lost.
  • Provides a forum for mutual acceptance, understanding, and self-discovery.

What is Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) is a treatable illness marked by extreme changes in mood, thought, energy and behavior. It is not a character flaw or a sign of personal weakness. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression because a person's mood can alternate between the "poles" of mania (highs) and depression (lows). These changes in mood, or "mood swings," can last for hours, days, weeks or months.

Signs of Depression

  • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
  • Significant changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Irritability, anger, worry, agitation, anxiety
  • Pessimism, indifference
  • Loss of energy, persistent lethargy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness
  • Inability to concentrate, indecisiveness
  • Inability to take pleasure in former interests, social withdrawal
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
  • Loss of interest in sexual activity

Signs of Mania

  • Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism and self-confidence
  • Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior
  • Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue
  • Grandiose thoughts, inflated sense of self-importance
  • Racing speech, racing thoughts, flight of ideas
  • Impulsiveness, poor judgment, easily distracted
  • Reckless behavior
  • In the most severe cases, delusions and hallucinations
  • Increased sexual activity

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