This article will discuss what are good support groups for people with depression in the city of Seattle. For that, the article will explain what depression is, and how helpful support groups can be for people coping with depression.
Depression support groups in Seattle
Support groups for people with depression have become more and more common. In Seattle, there are some of them such as the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance which was founded in 1972, when it was called National DMDA.
They are a non-profit organization that holds support groups for people with depression and bipolar disorder twice a month that has been online since the COVID-19 pandemic. They happen every second and fourth Thursday of the month, between 7 and 9 pm.
Aside from that, they also offer support to family members and loved ones of people that are depressed, or have bipolar disorder. To take part in their support group you should enter their website (https://dbsagreaterseattle.wordpress.com) and select the group you want to take part in. From that, a link will be sent to your email with the information so you can join the group when it is time.
Another possibility is joining a self-help group that is coordinated by NAMI Seattle (https://namiseattle.org/get-support/). This organization was created to expand the possibilities of treatment for people dealing with mental health conditions.
They offer many support groups, including one that is called the Connection group, which is recommended for anyone experiencing mental illness. This one happens every Tuesday, from 6:30-8 pm, and people can join through their website.
NAMI also offers support groups for family members of people dealing with mental illness. But let’s understand some more about depression, before discussing how support groups can help people with depression.
What is depression?
Depression is a mental health condition that causes the person to experience intense sadness. Not only that, it can cause the person to lose their sense of purpose, along with their interest even in things they used to love.
It causes people to be isolated, and feel more irritable, guilty, and ashamed. Their sense of self-worth and self-esteem usually goes down, and their sleeping and eating patterns can change. But not only that, but depression can also cause people to feel fatigued, and have less energy.
It affects their ability to focus, and it can take longer for them to do things than before. People with depression can come to consider harming themselves, thinking of death or even having suicidal thoughts.
For a person to be considered depressed, they need to experience its symptoms intensely for more than 2 weeks. And although these are the most common symptoms of depression, it is important to know that people can experience them in different intensities, and not everyone will experience all of them.
The causes of depression are still under study, but it is known that it has a genetic factor, meaning that if a person has a family history of depression, they may have a higher chance of developing it.
The condition can also be caused by a chemical imbalance in the person’s brain. Or by an external matter, meaning that when a person is going through a traumatic event, be it the loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, or even a financial or legal problem, they can develop depression.
And even though there are many ways to cope with and treat depression, many people have been taking part in support groups. Let’s discuss how they can help people with depression.
What are the benefits of support groups when coping with depression?
There are many forms of support groups, they can be created to offer help to a specific population. It can be for people with anxiety, then there may be another group for people with depression.
And all of them are usually organized in one of these manners: they can be peer-to-peer groups, which means that they don’t have facilitators, but the participants join in to share their experiences.
There can be support groups in which there is a facilitator that is not a mental health professional but is someone that was trained to help this population. And other groups can come to be organized and run by mental health professionals.
In all of them, one thing stays the same, that being in a support group is a chance for the participants to be in touch with people that are going through the same thing they are. This sense of identity can be extremely beneficial.
It can give the participants a sense of belonging, and it may even help them feel more integrated. Since depression often causes people to isolate themselves, having this space where they can openly talk about how they feel, and not only be accepted but also receive support can make them feel less alone.
A support group is also a chance for the participants to trade experiences and help each other in creating new strategies to navigate depression. And support groups nowadays are not only for the person going through depression.
There have been a lot of groups that are focused on helping the loved ones of the person that is going through depression. This will help them understand the condition better, and learn ways to be more supportive to the person that is depressed.
But as with all the other forms of treatment, it is not a rule that everyone will benefit from support groups when they are depressed. Some people may have a hard time opening up and saying how they feel.
They can be afraid of being judged, or even invalidated for their suffering. And if that is the case, if you have realized that support groups are not your cup of tea, it is okay. The most important thing is to not give up on looking for help, and on getting better. Find the best treatment that suits you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What are good depression support groups in Seattle?
Does depression have a cure?
No, depression doesn’t have a cure. Instead, mental health professionals would rather say that depression goes into remission. This is because depression has a genetic factor to it, which is impossible to alter through treatment.
And even though this may seem discouraging to people that are depressed, or that is just getting better from it. It is important to keep in mind that when it goes into remission you will be able to feel like yourself again. You can experience joy, and your interest in things will return.
What is important to keep in mind is that, even though you are feeling better, taking care of yourself, physically as well as emotionally, are important ways to maybe prevent you from experiencing another depressive episode.
How can I help my wife who is depressed?
Having a family member with depression can be an intense experience. The first thing you can do is be open and present. Let her know you are willing to listen to her in a supportive and caring way. It may be hard to listen to how much pain she is in, but keep in mind that listening, and not offering a quick fix is extremely important.
The kind of help you can offer is the help she may need on her day-to-day. You can help her with eating healthy and caring for her hygiene. You can help them look for treatment, but not impose yourself on them. Understand that the quick fix attitude can make things even harder, causing her to isolate herself even more.
What are ways to treat depression?
Depending on the type of depression the person has, the treatment will change. But they are usually done with the association of therapy and going to a psychiatrist. The therapist will allow the person, through talking, to get a better understanding of their emotions.
Not only that, it will allow the person to learn how to navigate depression better, and maybe even discover its roots. A psychiatrist is a doctor that specializes in mental health care. They can prescribe medications that may be helpful so your symptoms of depression can become less intense.
Aside from that, depression may also improve by making a combination of professional treatment, and lifestyle changes. You may want to try and keep a healthy eating and sleeping pattern, even though depression can make it harder. That will allow you to have more energy, and feel less fatigued.
Exercising is also extremely important for people with depression. It doesn’t need to be a big workout, but having a small walk around your neighborhood can be a good idea. It will not only get you out of the house, but it will put you in touch with people. Aside from that, the endorphins released once you finish the exercise will improve your mood.
Having people around that love you is also important. It is not only a chance for you to vent, but it also allows you to distract yourself from those negative thoughts depression brings, and let you see yourself a little through their loving eyes.
What is suicidal thought?
Suicidal thoughts, or suicidal ideation, are thoughts a person can have about killing themselves. It can happen in two ways, one is a more passive and fleeting thought. In it, the person may consider dying, but there is no concrete plan around it.
As for the other form of suicidal thought, it is a more active one. In that, the person may have thought of how they would end their lives, where, and when. In these cases, it is important that the person is not left alone, and doesn’t have anything in their reach that they can use to harm themselves.
What are the forms of depression?
Depression is divided into mild, moderate, major, and persistent depression. In mild depression, the symptoms are not intense and only last a little. To treat it, it is often suggested that the person changes their lifestyle.
The symptoms of moderate depression are a little stronger and can cause some disturbance in the person’s life. To treat people may prefer to do a combination of therapy and medication. Major depression is the one with the most intense symptoms.
In it, the person doesn’t have the common symptoms of depression. They can develop hallucinations, be delusional, and even develop psychotic episodes. For people with major depression, the treatment must involve a combination of medication and therapy.
Persistent depression is an episode that can go on for around 5 years. In it, the person’s condition can swing between a mild depressive episode and a major depressive episode.
This article discussed what are good support groups for people with depression in Seattle. For that, the article explained what depression is, and how support groups can help people cope with depression.
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