Talk To Someone Online About Depression
In this blog, we will try to answer the question Can you talk to someone online about depression?, with a list of online platforms where you can talk to someone online about depression. In addition, we will also look at what is online counseling and its pros and cons.
How To Talk To Someone With Depression
Talking to someone with depression can be a delicate process. You want to help, yet you are afraid of saying the wrong thing or not knowing what to say at all.
Fortunately, there are a couple of things that you can do to make sure that they feel supported.
Listen To Understand
These days, people have a tendency to listen to respond. You know what this means: while you listen to someone else, youre already thinking about what youre going to say back.
This does some things that make communication difficult and ineffective particularly when youre trying to help someone dealing with depression.
The first is that it actually limits your understanding of the other person. We tend to think that were pretty good at multitasking, but the human brain is actually really negative at it. When youre listening to respond, youre both listening and planning your response meaning that your brain is directing energy that could be spent focusing on the other person toward planning your response.
That brings us to the other bad thing that listening to respond does: it makes the conversation about you when it should be about the other person. Emotionally speaking, the focus should be on the person that youre talking to. Practically, if your brain is focusing on you and your response, youre less likely to give a response that is going to be helpful and supportive to the other person.
What Are You Listening For?
But what are you listening to?
What To Say
To Keep In Mind When Helping A Depressed Person
When helping someone with depression, it can be useful to understand how depression changes thought processes. Depressed people usually suffer from what psychologists call cognitive distortions. It means that depressed people see things in a negative light. For example, if a work project is put on hold because of budget cuts, a depressed employee may assume its because she wasnt good enough at her job. If you need to cancel dinner plans with a depressed person, he may immediately assume its because you dont enjoy spending time with him. So, the depressed person may instinctively distort what you are saying, making communication more difficult. When talking to a depressed person, you need to be extra careful to make sure there are no misunderstandings. Dont make room for fantasies or interpretations. Keep this in mind as you read the rest of the article. The next section will give you general advice on how to help someone with depression. Later on, youll be presented with practical tips on how to behave in a conversation with a depressed friend, partner or relative and what to do when your help is rejected.
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Can You Talk To Someone Online About Depression
Yes, you can talk to someone online about depression. Depression chat rooms can help if you are feeling depressed and need to talk to someone who understands just what it is that you are going through. You can find a safe place to express yourself and get support from others who are also experiencing depression.
Here is a list of places where you can talk to someone online about depression. These are various online chatrooms for depression in the UK.
My Black Dog:
My Black Dog is a mental helath charity that allows people to talk to volunteers about their mental health. It was founded on the motto talk to someone who gets it. Their goal is to put people in touch with others who have lived experiences of struggling with mental health because those people completely understand what you are going through.
Association for Post Natal Illness:
020 7386 0868
To advise and support women suffering from postnatal illness. Running a network of volunteers to support sufferers throughout the UK.
Aware Defeat Depression:
Support, information or a listening ear for all those affected by depressive illnesses.
Advice and information for people with manic depression and their families, carers and mental health professionals. Supply a range of information leaflets, books and tapes. The network of self-help groups for people with manic depression, relatives, and friends. Self-management training program.
How Can I Help A Loved One Who Is Depressed
Its important to remember that a person with depression cannot simply “snap out of it.” It is also important to know that he may not recognize his symptoms and may not want to get professional treatment.
If you think someone has depression, you can support him by helping him find a doctor or mental health professional and then helping him make an appointment. Even men who have trouble recognizing that they are depressed may agree to seek help for physical symptoms, such as feeling tired or run down. They may be willing to talk with their regular health professional about a new difficulty they are having at work or losing interest in doing things they usually enjoy. Talking with a primary care provider may be a good first step toward learning about and treating possible depression.
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How To Talk To Someone About Depression
Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to someone about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries the person will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.
If you dont know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. You dont have to try to fix your friend or family member you just have to be a good listener. Often, the simple act of talking face to face can be an enormous help to someone suffering from depression. Encourage the depressed person to talk about their feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment.
Dont expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.
Talking To Someone About Your Depression
If you need to talk to someone about your depression then you must know that this is a positive sign in itself since talking to someone you trust about how youre feeling may be the first step toward feeling better.Its hard to express or put into words what your experience with depression is like. Sharing something so intimate with someone else, particularly someone dear to you, can be frightening. However, talking to someone you trust about how youre feeling may be the first step toward feeling better.
Begin with your doctor or a trusted counsellor, teacher, or spiritual guide if youre not confident about speaking to friends or family. The most important thing is to tell someone how youre feeling just expressing it out loud may provide some relief. There are several helplines and chat rooms accessible, where people are willing to talk, if you dont feel you have somebody in your life with whom you can comfortably talk about your depression, or if youd want to remain anonymous.
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How To Show You Care
What do you say to someone whos depressed? All too often, its the wrong thing.
People still have such a cloudy idea of what mental illness is, Kathleen Brannon, of Herndon, Virginia, tells Health.
Sometimes people will say, Oh, youre depressed? Yeah, Ive been depressed, and you realize just the way they say it that, nooo, its not quite the same thing. Its not just that Im feeling sad or blue.
Below is a list of helpful things to tell someone battling depression, followed by what not to saycourtesy of the Depression Alliance, a national organization that campaigns to end the stigma of depression, provides information on depression treatment options, and raises awareness of what it means to live with the depression.
Tips For Overcoming Depression
Depression can feel impossible. You donât have to give in to depression and think that things wonât get better. Instead, use these tips to improve your outlook:
- Get help from a mental health professional.
- Maintain activities that you once enjoyed.
- Keep up with friends and family members by talking regularly.
- Get some exercise, even if you just go for a short walk.
- Keep a routine of getting enough sleep and maintaining a healthy diet.
- Adjust your expectations so you can cope with depression.
- Donât drink or do drugs as a way of treating your depression.â
- Search for local depression resources.
Read Also: Dealing With Depression On Your Own
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression In Men
Different men have different symptoms, but some common depression symptoms include:
- Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
- Feeling anxious, restless, or on the edge
- Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities
- Problems with sexual desire and performance
- Feeling sad, “empty,” flat, or hopeless
- Not being able to concentrate or remember details
- Feeling very tired, not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
- Physical aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
- Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- A need for alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing from family and friends or becoming isolated
Not every man who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some men experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many.
What Can I Do To Help Today
Depression often causes fatigue, trouble sleeping, and a lack of motivation. Sometimes just getting out of bed can be hard.
Asking what you can do can really help them through their day.
Maybe theyre not eating well and you can pick up dinner. Maybe they need a morning call or text to ensure they get to work on time.
Sometimes you just need to listen. Helping doesnt have to be a huge, drastic effort. It can be as simple as picking up a phone, sharing a meal, or driving them to an appointment.
what Not to say
Just remember: Advice isnt the same as asking for help. If they ask for your advice, give it if you so choose. But dont offer them helpful solutions or statements that seem like a cure for their depression. This can feel judgmental or not empathetic.
- Just think happy thoughts. I dont understand what you have to be so sad about.
- Everything will be OK, I promise.
- I cut out sugar and I was cured! You should try it.
- You just need to snap out of this.
- So many people out there are worse off than you.
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How Can Talking To Someone Online About Depression Be Helpful
The simple answer is, yes, if you cannot visit a professional online or in person, talking to someone online about depression is always an option rather than just ignoring symptoms and letting these negative feelings fester.
This is certainly a low-stress alternative to going to a doctor and discussing symptoms face-to-face. Throughout the world, particularly in Western culture, there is a tendency to avoid admitting feelings of depression, since they may be associated with weakness or, for men, a lack of masculinity.
Some people may avoid going to get professional help because they figure treatment will require taking anti-depressant drugs or may involve months of intensive psychotherapy.
Indeed, talking to someone online about depression is the safer alternative, at least in theory. A 2012 study revealed that even an online support group for a depression chat room fared far better than a control group. Within 6-12 months, the regular online participators showed a greater reduction in depressive symptoms.
Who To Talk To
Talking to friends and family about your depression can be a very positive experience. Ideally, theyll respond with encouragement and support. Think about people in your life who are thoughtful and caring the good listeners, the people you feel close to, comfortable with, and know you can trust.
If youre not sure about talking to friends or family, start with your doctor or a trusted counselor, teacher, or spiritual advisor. The important thing is to talk to someone about how you feel just saying it out loud might give you some relief.
If you dont feel you have someone in your life you can safely talk to or youd prefer to be anonymous, there are many helplines available with people ready to talk or text. Many helplines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Find more information in our Support Center.
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Who Can I Talk To About Depression
Figuring out how to tell someone you’re depressed can be daunting, however, once you open up, you may start to feel a little better. It helps to talk to someone about what youre going through, but dont feel as though you have to tell everyone, at least not straightaway.
Try to reach out to someone who is a good listener, discreet, trustworthy, reliable, non-judgemental and supportive, so they can offer a different perspective. If possible, it can also be very helpful to speak to somebody who has gone through something similar, as its likely that they will be able to empathise with you and provide tips on how to cope with depression.
With regards to working life, inform those that need to know so they can support you effectively in the work environment. HR, occupational health and immediate line managers are top of the list on this. Some people have reservations about speaking up at work as they fear that they may be judged, their competence may be questioned or that they may be gossiped about. In the modern world, this is rarely the case – youre far more likely to be met with support and understanding.
How Can I Help Myself If I Am Depressed
Other things that may help include:
- Spending time with other people and talking with a friend or relative about your feelings
- Increasing your level of physical activity. Regular exercise can help people with mild to moderate depression and may be one part of a treatment plan for those with severe depression. Talk with your health care professional about what kind of exercise is right for you.
- Breaking up large tasks into small ones, and tackling what you can as you can. Don’t try to do too many things at once
- Delaying important decisions until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well.
- Keeping stable daily routines. For example, eating and going to bed at the same time every day.
- Avoiding alcohol
As you continue treatment, gradually you will start to feel better. Remember that if you are taking an antidepressant, it may take several weeks for it to start working. Try to do things that you used to enjoy before you had depression. Go easy on yourself.
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Providing A Safe Place To Seek Support
Aron Janssen, MD is board certified in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry and is the vice chair of child and adolescent psychiatry Northwestern University.
Verywell / Bailey Mariner
Depression chat rooms can help if you are feeling depressed and need to talk to someone who understands just what it is that you are going through. You can find a safe place to express yourself and get support from others who are also experiencing depression.
Do You Want To Talk About It Im Here When Youre Ready
You cant force someone to talk, but knowing youre available can really help them feel supported.
If they havent been forward with you about their depression, you may want to mention youve noticed theyre having a hard time and youre there if they want to talk. If you simply ask Are you OK? they may be used to pretending and reply Im fine.
If theyre not ready to talk now, remind them youre here for them when theyre ready. When theyre having a hard time and need someone to talk to, they may remember your offer and come to you.
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What Not To Say And Why
I know exactly how you feel.Why? Because no one knows exactly how anyone else feels. This is not a helpful way to make someone feel understood when their depression has become overwhelming.
Everyone gets depressed sometimes.Why? Because it sounds dismissive and its not true. Everyone gets sad sometimes or has a bad day. Everyone does not get depressed.
You have no reason to be depressed.Why? Because it can make people feel guilty, ashamed, or like their feelings dont count. Life events can sometimes play a role, but depression often has no specific reason, trigger, or cause.
Hang in there. It will pass.Why? Because its unhelpful and untrue. Chances are, theyve been feeling this way for some time, and it hasnt gotten better and thats why theyre asking for support.
Dont be so negative. Think happy thoughts.Why? Because if it was that simple, depression wouldnt exist. This statement implies that depression is a choice which is false. You cant just will or wish it away.