5 sites for depression support
In this blog we present to you some of the best online sites for depression support groups.
We will also discuss the benefits and risks of engaging in online sites for depression support as well as what are some of the things that you can do to be safe when using an online site for depression support .
What are online depression support groups?
Online sites for depression support groups are online sites that provide a safe space for people with depression to express themselves, connect with others, and gain social support from people who also struggle with the same condition.
These sites also provide information and resources and are often created by organisations who moderate the sites for people who come into the chatrooms to seek assistance and support for their struggle with depression.
These sites/ chat rooms are often moderated by a volunteer who is part of the organisation that has created the chat room by making sure that all users are following the rules of etiquette within these rooms and also provide crucial information for people who are struggling with severe depression.
In these sites, most people who use it come for support and advice related to how they can manage their mental health conditions, it is not a substitute for therapy and professional treatment for depression.
There are usually two kinds of online sites for depression:
- Asynchronous support groups that are not scheduled and they usually follow a message board format where users share and comment on other’s posts at any time. These sites have 24 access and may or may not have appointed moderators for the site.
- Synchronous online support groups are similar to group meetings and are usually scheduled and timed. For these sites, users have the option of joining a video chat platform to have group sessions that are held weekly or bi-weekly and can last 1 to 2 hours.
Best Online sites for depression Support groups
Mental Health America
This particular support site hosts both online forms and support groups for 20 mental health conditions including depression.
This site also offers anonymous chat available for privacy along with informative webinars that users can use to educate themselves on mental health.
People can use the site to learn about mental health, post and chat with other anonymously as well as show support by the functions provided on the site.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
This particular site provides discussion forums and support groups, support for anxiety and depression that are both in-person and virtual support.
It also provides services that protect the privacy of its users as well as some timed group support however this is limited.
While this site does not provide crisis support, it does provide the option of in-person and virtual support groups for people in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
This online site offers virtual and in person individual and family support groups that are scheduled weekly for various mental health conditions.
The site offers the unique option of peer led support groups that occur on a weekly as well as bi-weekly basis to encourage each other, offer support, and employ individuals to share their own stories and experiences related to mental health conditions such as depression.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is an organisation that offers an online support forum that is peer-led. These online chat rooms function as an online support group for people with depression and bipolar disorder.
Within this space, people share their experiences as well as share their coping skills and ways to manage their conditions and in this, they cultivate hope and support for each other.
Depression Chat Rooms
Depression Chat Rooms is moderated by an organisation with the same name.
These chatrooms have been created with the aim to connect people who share the same problem related to depression and anxiety along with other conditions such as bipolar disorder and eating disorders.
The chatrooms are moderated by volunteers and are free for use, however, there are some guidelines and rules to be followed while using this chatroom.
Depression Forums is an online forum that has a wide reach to more than 70000 members. These forums provide moderated safe spaces for people to connect and discuss topics related to anxiety and depression.
The forums also provide a space for people to discuss recovery, the process of developing coping skills, emotional and social support, and the user experience of medication and therapy.
Depression Sanctuary provides Depression sanctuary chat rooms that have been created by Depression sanctuary, a nonprofit organisation.
These chatrooms have been created to provide a safe space for people with depression so that they can learn from each other, give and gain support, and express themselves.
This chat room participation is not free and requires membership and the chat room is moderated at specific times.
Depression Understood is another depression chat room that provides an informal space to discuss depression, share their experiences as well as share their coping skills and ways to manage their conditions and in this, they cultivate hope and support for each other.
What are the benefits and risks of online sites for depression support?
Here are some benefits or pros for the case of depression sites and chatrooms:
- Autonomy is ensured as the platforms do not require real names and identifying details, you do not have to show your face, share your addresses, or any other personal details.
- You might feel more at ease since you can do it in the comfort of your own home and there is no stress of having to meet people face to face as in the case of group therapy.
- It’s fairly inexpensive- in most cases these forums and chat rooms are free compared to traditional face to face in person therapy.
- It can help you manage temporary or minor distress and help you sort out emotional turmoil by sharing and learning from other people who also have depression and help you develop strategies to cope and steps to take to manage your own mental well-being.
In spite of its benefits, depression sites and chat rooms does have it risks and challenges such as:
- There is a lack of professional intervention and the constant access can make it difficult to draw healthy boundaries between you and the other members.
- Not all platforms are completely secure meaning that your details may be at risk of being leaked,
- Most of these platforms may not have licensed practitioners or any professional that can help build interventions like that in group therapy and interventions- so it becomes impossible to get effective interventions like medical care, pharmacological treatment for depression other than social support. .
- The delay of the messages can make it feel frustrating and cause distress. This is why depression chat rooms are not recommended for crisis interventions.
- Threads and messages can’t convey tone or body language which can cause a huge disruption in communication of emotions behind one’s words.
How can one be safe when using an online site for depression support?
Some of the best ways you can be safe when using online chat rooms include:
- Do not share your Identifying details
- Consider using a fake username
- Take advice from other members with a grain of salt and always fact check
- Avoid sending across photos or videos
- Use respectful language
- Think logically and trust your gut-if something feels off, avoid it.
- Make sure that you think things through when they suggest meeting face to face. If meetings are a must, choose a very public space like a cafe in a mall. If you are a minor, bring an adult or parent along.
- Do not disclose information you do not want others to know like school name, community name, locality or state where you live.
- Use the block option when you feel unsafe
- If you are struggling with suicidal intent, get professional help immediately- chat rooms are not advised for cirsis interventions like for suicide.
In this blog we presented to you some of the best online sites for depression support groups.
We also discussed the benefits and risks of engaging in online sites for depression support as well as what are some of the things that you can do to be safe when using an online site for depression support .
FAQ related to sites for depression support
What is the person called that helps with depression?
Professionals that help individuals manage and treat depression include a large team of mental health professionals that consist of a psychiatrist, a psychiatric social worker, clinical psychologists, and psychological counsellors.
What is the most effective form of treatment for depression?
Combined treatment of psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals have been found to be more effective than either stand-alone treatments for Major Depressive disorder.
How does psychotherapy help depression?
Psychotherapy also known as talk therapy involves effective treatment where a person with disorder speaks to a trained therapist to help them identify and cope with their condition.
Psychotherapy has many forms and techniques, which might take some time for a person with disorders to figure out what is best for them, However evidence suggests that CBT is one of the most effective treatments for depression.
How does a support group help with depression?
Support groups provide space for the experience of emotional support first hand within these communities and over time help you learn how to manage your challenges by learning from each other.
By joining a group that is open, empathetic, and growing towards healing, you and your experiences can be an excellent sense of support to someone else who is also in their early part of their journey.
Is depression a disability?
For most countries, depression is considered a psychiatric disability and is usually covered under the Disabilities Act of the state or nations law.
It is considered a disability because it is a significant disorder that can interfere with an individual’s abilities to go about their day to day lives and impact their ability to work.
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Chat Room Safety Tips. SafeKids. Retrieved on 28th March 2022. . https://www.safekids.com/chat-room-safety/
Depression Chat Room – How to help depression? Talk with a Stranger! Retrieved on128th March 2022. . https://talkwithstranger.com/free-chat-rooms/depression-chat-room
The 6 Best Online Support Groups for Depression in 2022. Healthline. Retrieved on 28th March 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/online-depression-support-groups