7 Online Resources To Help Those Who Are Depressed & Suicidal

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depression resourcesEven though I am the Managing Editor of MakeUseOf, I have a huge disability in my life which is clinical depression. It started back in 2002, as a depression related to stress in my job, and it exploded in 2003 resulting in a mental breakdown and suicidal clinical depression.  It was a very dark period in my life back then, and I wouldn’t have wished those symptoms and feelings on my worst enemies. Suicide was a constant thought and I credit my wife for being the one who convinced me that the ultimate solution was not the solution.

Clinical depression is, in essence, a brutal torture of the mind, a chemical imbalance in your brain, and because it is so silent and featureless from the outside, many healthy onlookers dismiss clinically depressed people as malingerers and lazy.  I got my fair share of “pull yourself together” and “for God’s sake, put a damn smile on your face” throughout my illness, but thankfully I had a strong understanding support network around me and as a result, I got through the worst of it by mid-2004.  I still have clinical depression but with the help of a good psychiatrist, and some good Happy Sweeties (as I call my medication), I can more or less get through life, and function as a nearly normal human being.

Since many depressed people are inclined to stay indoors and shun the outside world, the computer and the Internet instantly become their very best non-judgmental friend.  Therefore compiling a list of online resources for depressed people (or indeed anyone with a mental health issue) becomes extremely important.  Especially since it has been estimated that, in the US alone, 7% of the population has depression, with even Twitter users becoming depressed.

Here are 7 resources that I have found that I think are extremely good for those with depression.

Disabled Online Users Association

depression resources

When I was sick, I still needed money for rent, food and bills.  Even though I was getting sickness benefits from the government, I still felt the need to earn a little bit extra, if only for the sake of my pride and feeling of worth. That was when I found the Disabled Online Users Association.  The DOUA helps disabled people (and people with depression DO qualify as disabled) set up their own businesses on eBay and help them as much as possible with setting up auctions.

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If necessary, you are assigned a DOUA member as a mentor to help you out.  I was a mentor for quite a while and I made some good lasting friends from it.  Which is what I needed at the time.  The founder Marjie Smith, is disabled herself, but a lovely sweet lady with a big heart.  You would be assured of a warm welcome.  The DOUA has a great forum / chatroom (at least they did when I was last a member back in 2004-2005) so you can communicate with other disabled people who will understand you.  Membership is free.

Depression Alliance

depression websitesDepression Alliance is a charity based in the United Kingdom, looking out for the best interests of people with depression.  They do this with the help of support groups, a penfriend scheme (so depressed people can get letters from a fellow sufferer who understands what they are going through), lobbying the government for better healthcare laws, and more.

This page gives a full list of what DA offers.  They provide a lot of up-to-date medical research information on depression, as well as a recommended Amazon booklist.

The charity is supported by the famous British TV personality Stephen Fry, who himself has serious clinical depression, but these days, still manages to work.  In fact, he is an inspiration to me as a writer, that he can accept depression into his life and still function successfully as a busy high-profile public figure.

WebMD

depression websites

Ah the good old WebMD.  The site that everyone goes to when they have awkward itches down below or an unsightly blemish on the end of their nose.  As you can expect, they also have a huge section on depression, and after telling them what kind of depression you have, it then shows you what is likely to help.

There’s loads of information here, including your treatment options, the different kinds of medication, other forms of treatment (such as therapy – which I personally have come to hate, but some people get something out of it) and “natural” treatments such as St Johns Wort.

Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance

depression websites

There are countless advocacy and lobbying groups online that deal in mental health issues, and most of them won’t have real practical use to the day-to-day sufferer.  However, it’s worth mentioning for a minute the Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance.  They have support groups for sufferers, both online and offline, as well as numerous educational materials to read and download.

NHS Direct

sites for depression

Coming back to the United Kingdom again, the National Health Service’s NHS Direct has a good section on depression, including a self-assessment test to see if you really do have depression (although the final diagnosis should always be done by a proper doctor, face-to-face, but this test would give you an initial result to work on).  Plus all the usual information on symptoms, treatments, causes, and living with someone who has depression (which should never be underestimated).

sites for depression

But what I think makes NHS Direct great is that it links to a great Answers site (similar to our own MakeUseOf Answers, but instead for depression).  Free to join, free to use.

The NHS also has a YouTube channel, which includes videos on depression.  Here’s one of them –

YouTube

sites for depression

Turning to YouTube, there are countless videos on the subject, including a lot of self-made ones from sufferers (mileage on those will vary).  But there are also some good educational videos, in channels such as Depression Advisor and Depression & Bipolar Info.

Depression Haven

depression resources

For those who want a forum community to join, and lean on for support, then Depression Haven came very highly recommended to me.  It looks to be updated on a very regular basis, with entries showing for today.

Conclusion

If you were to type “depression” into a search engine, or Twitter, or YouTube, wherever, you are likely to be overwhelmed with so many sites.  A lot of these sites will duplicate a lot of information, so you have to see if any site offers something unique, such as a forum, a chatroom, or other support such as counselling.

Hopefully these 7 depression resources will serve as a good starting point, and if you know of anything else, please let us know in the comments, so we can keep the list going.

Image Credit: Kalex Anderson

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Comments (86)
  • Christopher Wetmore

    Thank you, Mark. And best wishes to you. For anyone who’s reading this and think they might have a depression problem, please look into it.

    You may not be suicidal.

    You may not be “sad”.

    You may find, in those moments alone with yourself, that you don’t think much of yourself, or your ability to change your environment (including yourself).

    Please, just ask someone trained, OK?

    We like having you around.

  • Randy

    Thank you for putting together this resource. There are some outside the box suggestions here, which is useful when it comes to combating depression. I’d like to suggest two more. The first is http://www.counselinginsite.com which is a newer site that offers free online mental health counseling resources. It’s like a directory of sorts. The second is http://www.7cupsoftea.com which is a peer support slash counseling website that offers a chat-style one on one or group listener experience. Both websites are valuable additions. Thank you again for the great post!

  • Christine St Syr Griffin

    I want to thank you again, so brave you are, recently diagnosed as bipolar and previous years with depression, funny I never thought I was depressed!?! in the states Americans are over medicated and misdiagnosed in alarming numbers. I also have extreme migraines and cranial edema and at 47 going through perimenopause. horrible drs. gave me steroids which made me psychotic and than “mood stabilizers” after I went on a rampage. my family was horribly effected and we are still recovering. the sad thing is yes I might have bipolar tendancies and you mix that with steroids and perimenopause and wow explosive, the neurologist could have recommended a shunt in my head but surgery is too costly and with no benefits they put me on meds that actually made me crazy. I have tried different resources but don’t seem to fit whatever particular organizations criteria is, where does a slightly neurotic, happy/angry perimenopausal diagnosed with bipolar with fluid on the brain ex-user who hates taking meds and wants to succeed in life girl s’pose to go to get help? any ideas would be very much appreciated.

  • Concealed Depressive

    Thank you for writing this column and disclosing your struggles with depression. The stigma against depression remains strong in the U.S.

    As one who has struggled with refractory depression for decades, I identify with your statements and appreciate the websites and reviews you provide.

    Medications, therapy, exercise, etc. may help some people suffering from depression, but an unacceptable percentage of sufferers do not find relief in existing treatments. There is much work to be done.

    Thank you for a fantastic column and please keep up the great work. It is very much appreciated.
    CD

  • William Stansbury

    Great Article

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.