Patients with access to the Internet can tap into a nearly limitless sea of information. Since an individual with a modicum of technological expertise can post on the Web whatever information, assertion of opinion he or she wishes, the Web reader must be prepared to be cautious and skeptical. While truth overwhelms falsehood and error in the long-run, in the short-run the Internet browser must beware. We cannot vouch for the accuracy of all of the information on many sites listed, either at the time of the writing or when this list is read. Still, we believe that the following sites will be found to be useful and, in the main, trustworthy. The sites for patients are organized by mental disorder and categories. The clinician is urged to visit a site before recommending it to a patient.
Sites Providing Broad Access or Information Suited to Clinicians
Mental Health Net
An online encyclopedia concerning the most common mental disorders and the most commonly prescribed psychotropic drugs. The information about treatments reflects the biases of the psychiatric author. The site's Mental Health Magazine contains news from other Internet newspapers and magazines and online booklets from professional organizations and support groups.
Sites that can be Recommended to Patients
Mental Health (General)
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Attention Deficit Disorder
Nonparaphilic Sexual Disorders
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Usenet is an international and extremely large, decentralized information utility. It hosts well over 1200 newsgroups, and several thousand pages of new technical articles, news and discussion are added daily. Because of this daily volume, the messages cannot be kept idenfinitely for online access and expire after a time. The information in Usenet groups has not been filtered or verified for accuracy by experts or professionals. It simply represents the opinions of the infividuals who post the information and should not be relied upon as if it were professional medical advice.
Usenet groups can be 'unmoderated' (i.e., anyone can post a message) or 'moderated' (i.e., submissions are automatically directed to a moderator, who edits and then posts the results). Some newsgroups have parallel mailing lists for Internet users with no netnews access; the postings to the e-mail list and vice versa. More than anything else, Usenet is an electronic comminity. A patient can browse through a news group or search it using one of the search engines.
The following newsgroups may be of interest to patients with particular conditions or to their significant others.
Attention Deficit Disorder:
Body Dysmorphic Disorder:
Clutters Anonymous :
Nonparaphilic Sexual Disorders: