SOURCE: WebTribesInc.com

June 05, 2007 09:30 ET

Mental Health Bloggers Trust Websites More Than Therapists

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - June 5, 2007) - Bloggers on mental health sites feel more comfortable discussing their conditions online than with professional therapists, according to a survey by WebTribesInc.com, which operates MySpace-type sites for depression, anxiety and addiction.

In the survey, conducted in April, members were asked, "Where do you feel most comfortable expressing your issues?"

--68% said "an online community";
--23% said "my therapist";
--9% said "family and friends";
"Although a number of celebrities including Brooke Shields and Tipper Gore have shared their stories of coping with depression, there is still a very large stigma attached to seeking formal treatment for mental health conditions," said Ryan FitzGerald, president of WebTribesInc.com.

FitzGerald said many of his sites' members have reported avoiding professional help because they are afraid of being diagnosed as depressed or anxious and are worried the information will be shared with their employer or health insurer.

WebTribesInc.com operates four MySpace-type sites: DepressionTribe.org, OCDTribe.com, AnxietyTribe.com and AddictionTribe.com.

"A safe online mental health community site offers anonymity and sharing in a nonjudgmental atmosphere. Journaling about troubling thoughts and feelings has been shown to be therapeutic. Online communities are also a welcome option for individuals who can't afford professional treatment or live in remote areas," said FitzGerald.

The survey was made available to 1,600 members of three online mental health websites in April 2007. Five percent of members responded to the questionnaire.

WebTribesInc.com, founded in 2006, now has over 8,100 registered members on its four sites and recently recorded its one-millionth unique visitor. Visitors record an average of 28 page views per day, which compares favorably with many high-traffic sites, such as eBay (33 pages per day per visitor).

For more information on the WebTribesInc.com sites, see http://webtribesinc.com/testimonials.html

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