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 it’s pros and cons.
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: (the area served N.Ireland)
Support, information or a listening ear for all those affected by depressive illnesses.
0333 323 3880
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.
0800 83 85 87 (Area served SCOTLAND)
Breathing Space is a free, confidential phone line for people in Scotland who are experiencing low mood or depression. Breathing Space is available to the public every day of the year, 24 hours at weekends (6 pm Friday–6am Monday) and 6 pm-2 am (Monday-Thursday).
CALL Community Advice and Listening Line (Wales):
Mental health helpline for Wales providing confidential listening support service.
National 0800 585858
Campaign Against Living Miserably. Help and support for young men aged 15-35 on issues which include depression and suicide
Wide self-help organisation made up of individual members and groups which meet locally on a regular basis for mutual support. £10 yearly membership (reductions for those who cannot afford that amount).
Health in Mind (Scotland)
0131 225 8508
Promotes positive mental health and well being in Scotland. Provides a wide range of services including support, respite, befriending, day services, counselling/talking therapies, face to face and on the telephone.
0808 808 8000
For anyone in north Ireland who is in distress or despair. Immediate help on phone 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Face to face counselling can be arranged, also befriending, mentoring. Issues dealt with include suicide prevention, self-harm, abuse, trauma, depression, anxiety.
The Maytree: 020 7263 7070
Sanctuary for the suicidal offering befriending and support (based in N.London).
Mind (National Association for Mental Health):
0300 123 3393
Provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem
The Mix (formerly Get Connected)
0808 808 4994
Essential support for under 25s. Phone, Email, Web support and Counselling.
Helpline: 0161 832 3736
National Helpline and online support providing free and confidential information, advice and support to people with mood disorders, family, friends and health and social care professionals. Also, one to one, support groups, workshops at the Centre in Manchester.
Muslim Youth Helpline:
0808 808 2008 (Area served London)
Helpline providing culturally sensitive support to Muslim youth under the age of 25. Outreach services including family mediation, face to face counselling and befriending.
Helpline: 116 123 (free of charge from a landline or mobile)
Online support to help people with depression, anxiety and other mental health diosrders
Anxious, Worried, Stressed, get 24/7 help from a crisis volunteer.
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.
What to Expect from a Chatroom for the Depressed?
If you have never talked to someone online about depression, you will be relieved to know that the online option does not require talking to anyone on the phone or filling out a lengthy personal application detailing your life and medical history. On the contrary, when you talk to someone online about depression, it can make you feel at ease. You get to type your honest thoughts without fear of judgment or ridicule. You can reduce stress by admitting your feelings and getting an objective opinion from someone qualified to guide you through this process.
It’s important to note that chat operators are usually licensed therapists and counselors who do not know your story and cannot possibly know your true feelings beyond what you type. A depression chatroom “agent” is going to want to know:
- How safe you are (how extreme your thoughts of self-harm might be)
- Your emotional state
- Your thoughts
- How severe the depression and mania/hypomania maybe
- What other means of support you have (parents, friends, spouse, children, etc.)
- Whether suicidal thoughts constantly plague you or are passing in nature
Give them as much information as possible about your condition. If you are thinking rationally, let them know that you are not a threat to yourself or the others around you. This will help them focus on what is essential.
Does online counseling exist?
Yes, online counseling as a mode of therapy has gained quite a good momentum given the outbreak of coronavirus.
Online counseling is a new way of delivering counseling via the Internet. It’s just like face-to-face therapy except you communicate with your therapist via your personal computer. This service is also known as webcam counseling, online therapy, e-therapy, distance therapy, internet therapy, and web therapy. It can prove as effective as its face-to-face alternative for some clients
Although it might have gained momentum recently, online therapy is not a new concept. Sigmund Freud utilized letters extensively to communicate with his clients. Self-help groups began emerging on the internet as early as 1982. Today, there are numerous sites offering mental health information as well as private e-therapy clinics.
Advantages of Online counseling
Let’s explore some of the biggest advantages of online counseling.
- Good Option for Remote Areas: Online therapy offers access to mental health information and treatment to people in rural or remote areas. Those who live in such areas simply might not have access to any other form of mental health treatment because there are limited or no mental health practices in their geographic area.
- Accessibility for People With Physical Limitations: Online therapy provides accessibility to individuals who are disabled or housebound. Mobility can be a big issue when it comes to accessing mental health care. Individuals who are unable to leave their homes for various reasons, such as physical or mental illness, may find online therapy a useful alternative to traditional psychotherapy settings.
- Convenience and Affordability: Online therapy is usually fairly affordable and convenient. Since you will be attending therapy sessions online in the comfort of your own home, you can often schedule your therapy sessions for times that are the most convenient for you. Therapists who only treat patients online likely have fewer overhead costs such as renting office space. Online therapists, therefore, offer more affordable treatment options for those who are not covered by health insurance
- Treatment Is More Accessible: The Internet makes mental health treatment more accessible. People may feel comfortable talking to friends and family about physical health care issues but may not feel the same discussing mental health concerns that are just as important. Online access makes it easier to overcome the stigma that has historically been attached to mental health issues.
Disadvantages of Online counseling
While online therapy can potentially be very helpful for people in certain situations, at this point in time, it does not come without some risks or disadvantages over traditional therapy options.
- Confidentiality, Privacy, and Unreliable Technology: Keeping your personal information private is a major concern in psychotherapy, but online treatment adds a layer of complexity. Confidentiality is just as important in online therapy as it is in more traditional forms of treatment delivery. Since information is being transmitted online, the situation makes privacy leaks and hacks more of a concern. Technology problems can also make it difficult to access treatment when you really need it.
- Lack of Response to Crisis Situations: Since online therapists are distant from the client, it is difficult to respond quickly and effectively when a crisis happens. If a client is experiencing suicidal thoughts or has suffered a personal tragedy, it can be difficult or even impossible for the therapist to provide direct assistance.
- Not Appropriate for Serious Psychiatric Illnesses: E-therapy can be useful for a variety of situations, but not when it comes to people that require close and direct treatment or in-person intervention.
- Overlooks Body Language: In many cases, online therapists cannot see facial expressions, vocal signals, or body language. These signals can often be quite telling and give the therapist a clearer picture of your feelings, thoughts, moods, and behaviors.
- Ethical and Legal Concerns: Online therapy eliminates geographic restraints, making the enforcement of legal and ethical codes difficult. Therapists can treat clients from anywhere in the world, and many states have different licensing requirements and treatment guidelines.
In this blog, we have tried 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 have also looked at what is online counseling and it’s pros and cons.
FAQs: Talk to someone online about depression
Can I chat with a therapist online?
Yes, you can chat with your therapist online. Online therapy is a way to communicate with a licensed mental health professional over the phone or computer via messages, email, video calls, etc.
Why is therapy so expensive?
In order to receive a license; therapists have to go through a lot of training and years before they can actually work. Moreover, a therapist is treating you for your emotional issues. This takes in more effort and strength than one can imagine. Furthermore, it is important to remember that going to a therapist is not like going to a general physician. You do not go and come back out in 15 minutes. A therapy session lasts for at least 45mins to 1 hour.
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.