While searching for remedies for mental illnesses, I came across PsychCentral website located at www.psychcentral.com. PsychCentral is a website that is designed to benefit people experiencing neurological problems. The website gives them treatments that help them with their mental illnesses. The founder of this website is Dr. John Grohol. Dr. Grohol has a doctorate in psychology. Also, he is an author, researcher, and an expert of mental health illnesses. After he graduated with Ph.D., he created the PsychCentral website in 1995. The reason behind establishing this site is that his best friend was suicidal. Robby was Grohol’s childhood best friend, and he committed suicide because he was suffering from untreated depression. As a reason, Dr. Grohol decided to create and publish this site to provide helpful resources to prevent tragedies like Robby’s. He wanted to make it easier for people with such disorders. Most importantly, he wanted to reduce the stigma associated with these disorders.
On the site, Dr. Grohol provides mental information which guides patients to the most useful online resources for mental health. As stated in the website, it is considered as the internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health social website. The website provides many treatments and symptoms of mental disorders. There is information about almost every disorder that is associated with the mind and the mood. For instance, it has information about depression and it has treatments for depression that involve psychotherapy and medication. The information on the website are only provided to educate patients that suffer from mental issues. In other words, the website is not meant to be used for professionals to diagnose an illness.
The website is affiliated with the PsychCentral community. This community is responsible for organizing fund drives for individual members that are in need for help. They also offer many services. For instance, they have neurological support groups, therapists, and professionals offering reliable and trusted information. As for these neurological groups, they offer something called “Neuro talk” where you can access discussions about a variety of topics involving mental illnesses. In order to access these discussions, you must be a member of the community. Joining the PsychCentral community is free. Members in this community have access to post their stories regarding their mental and life issues. They gain support and answers to their questions from professionals and other members that went through similar experiences. It also has therapists that give advice on treatments for illnesses and provide lifestyle changes to help them cope with their disorders gradually.
Gathering health information from the internet could be difficult sometimes because the information is exposed to a lot of manipulations. Before using any information from any website, it is important to check its accuracy and reliability. In fact, contact on this website is constituent and it is supervised by mental health professionals who create and oversee everything that is published on the site. Everything that is posted on the site is reviewed, attributed, and sourced by these professionals. Dr. Grohol is an expert in the field and he is providing the most accurate and unbiased information about psychological issues; therefore, each article that is given on the website includes scientific information followed by references to support it. to add to that, the articles are edited for clarity and grammar errors.
As I was looking through the website, I had the chance to read one of its posted articles which is the “Natural and Herbal Supplements for Common Mental Disorders” The article was published by Jane Collingwood in 2016. It provided information on studies that were made to improve mental illness through natural remedies. The article is based on sound medical information. Undoubtedly, it states that “many experts believe that nutrition has the potential to affect the symptoms and severity of depression. Supplements including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and E, and folate have been investigated” (Collingwood, 2016). I was looking at another professional government website to verify the information. The website located at www.womenshealth.gov provided the same information but worded differently. It states that “Some vitamins and minerals may help with the symptoms of depression. Experts are looking into how a lack of some nutrients — including folate, vitamin B12, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, and omega-3” (“Mental health”, 2010). While comparing both websites, the PsychCentral website explains that the lack of supplemental nutrients like omega 3, vitamin C and folate has an effect on depression. Womenshealth website informs that omega 3, folate and vitamin C may help with symptoms of depression. basically, both websites give similar meanings and explanations!
I used another website called MedlinePlus.gov to further verify the information. MedlinePlus provides information about fluvoxamine which is an antidepressant that reduces the symptoms of Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) which is a mental anxiety disorder. The website shows that “Fluvoxamine is in a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.” Comparing this information to PsychCentral, it is noticeable that they are pretty similar. PsychCentral also demonstrates that OCD can be treated with antidepressants. As it states, “People with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) often benefit from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), so the nutrients that increase serotonin levels are likely to reduce symptoms”. While comparing the content on PsychCentral to Womenshealth and MedlinePlus websites I came to a conclusion that PsychCentral is providing trusted and qualified data. Another thing is that the article posted on PsychCentral has references to back up the information. The references included in the article are peer reviewed journal articles and they are established on evidence based content.
The website as a whole is well navigated and organized. The main page of the site is clear and easy to use. What’s more, the main page has a variety of icons located at the top of the page. These icons make it easier to find information. Each icon provides specific help and make the information easier to reach. For example, the website offers an icon called “Conditions”. Through that icon, users can obtain access to any mental condition such as depression, autism, and bipolar. The main page also provides a look at the trending articles and research. Trending articles are updated on a regular basis. The website contains a date on the bottom of the main page which shows when the site was last updated. The navigation through the website is well attained, so you can flexibly go back and forth between articles without any complications. The links on the website work well and they do not require any downloading. The website is not a heavily commercial website. It has a few ads; however, it is not filled with ads. These ads are on the side of the website. They do not pop up in the middle of the computer screen so basically you can do anything without the distraction of the ads.
In my opinion, the website has a well-qualified contact, it is a good and convenient way to gain knowledge about mental illnesses. As I looked over the website, I liked how it was organized in drop down menus, and I thought it was well navigated. I also trusted their content because every article has studies that are based on scientific resources and references to back up given information. I liked how it has information about almost everything that is associated with mental illness. Overall, what drew my attention the most was the purpose of the website especially the story behind creating it and how the death of Grohol’s best friend inspired him to benefit people experiencing the same issues. People who are going through mental illness need such a support that the website is providing. It is a very good website for those how are in need