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Let’s get this out of the way: No, you aren’t lazy. You are an incredibly competent human being who is sick. There is something wrong with you, but it’s not a morality or personality issue. Certainly no one is perfect, but depression isn’t a flaw in your character. It’s medical. You do have potential for greatness.

Now enough with the sappy stuff. The Internet is home to a number of people groups. We have tech geeks, sports nuts, gamers, writers (howdy), video makers, etc. and etc. That said, the Internet provides a number of outlets to discuss and support members of such groups. It’s a wonder how this gigantic invisible Web brings all these people together.

However, within these groups, there are people out there with depression, and honestly, that sucks. One of our writers, Mark (who I think is one of the most fantastic people in the world), wrote a piece on finding help and support from online resources that help with depression 7 Online Resources To Help Those Who Are Depressed & Suicidal 7 Online Resources To Help Those Who Are Depressed & Suicidal Even 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,... Read More . Saikat also provided us with some resources in his article, five health websites you can tap for online support on depression & bipolar disorder 5 Health Websites You Can Tap For Online Support On Depression & Bipolar Disorder 5 Health Websites You Can Tap For Online Support On Depression & Bipolar Disorder Read More .

As someone who also deals with depression, I’ve also looked into those resources. I’ve found a great deal of support through less formal depression-focused communities across the Internet much like the aforementioned hobby and career related forums and boards. Yes, there are resources out there just like any other community, ready and willing to listen.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a lurker. Rarely do I post on such sites, but I’ve found that reading about others’ struggles helps build up strength. Talking is important, and sometimes the Internet is a good substitute when your real life friends aren’t around. Below are three sites I recommend.

r/Depression

reddit

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Here at MakeUseOf, we’re pretty big on the whole Reddit thing How To Use Reddit Like an Old Pro How To Use Reddit Like an Old Pro There are plenty of online communities which can be found on the Internet - Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube are easily the most popular and recognizable ones. However, there are plenty of other gems online... Read More . I mean, come on. It’s an awesome content aggregator with an equally awesome community. But hidden deep within the recesses of its subreddits is a community devoted entirely to support for depression. It’s a relatively positive environment that focuses only on quality content while completely obliterating depression-deniers from the board (that is, individuals who — for whatever reason — believe depression doesn’t actually exist).

Check it out, and if you aren’t in a depressed state, this still might be a good place to get educated. On the other hand, there is also r/SuicideWatch and informal location for reporting and discussing those that may be suicidal due to their depression. Of course, this is only a subreddit for raising awareness. By no means is it a proper place to report anyone who may hurt themselves.

The Facebook Depression Group

facebook

Yet another online community for those experiencing depression, and it’s probably a bit closer to home than you would think. As a matter of fact, it’s right on Facebook. I won’t publish any of the postings found here out of protection and respect for user privacy, but I will say this is a very open group. It’s a public forum in which individuals with depression can simply post how they are feeling and receive words of encouragement from other members of the group.

Due to the serious nature of this group, individuals must be approved by an administrator before they can join or see any postings. Furthermore, content is highly monitored by the rather large group of admins. This is, of course, a safety feature meant to protect individuals who are suffering. The result of the admins’ watchful eyes is a safe haven for individuals to post without fear of judgment or public scrutiny. All in all, if you’re just need a pick-me-up and unload your thoughts, then the Facebook Depression group is for you.

Depression Forums

depression-forum

What does an insomnia-fueled, depression-related, anxiety-driven Google search for help give you? Answer: the Depression Forums (and that may or may not be how this resource was found). The Depression Forums are a nice general resource for individuals just looking for relatable issues. The support comes from a wide range of users as well as topics; you’re bound to find suggestions that help.

Word of warning, though. It’s a huge forum. Don’t let the range of users make you feel isolated or lonely. If you look at it from the perspective of someone who’s merely looking for answers then this might be a good source of information for you. But then again, if faced with the the idea that hundreds of anonymous users on this site makes you feel like someone who’s alone in a crowded room, it might be best to hold off.

Conclusion

Mental health is a sometimes a taboo topic among most people in the “outside” world. Thankfully, we have the Internet to discuss how we are feeling. If you’re like me, sometimes it’s easier to stay in bed, unshaven, unshowered, barely-dressed, and it’s very difficult to find someone to talk to while in that state. A simple post on an online community may garner a response that motivates you just enough to get up and get out.

It’s okay if you’re hurting, but you don’t have to keep it to yourself. It is important to talk about it. It’s more important to talk with someone face-to-face, but if you need the Internet to get you talking, then you go, Glen Coco.

What other resources do you suggest for online social interaction for those with depression? If you have depression, what sites have you used in the past?

Image Credit: Guillame Cattiaux

  1. Robyn McIntyre
    February 11, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Good job. The more open we are about depression and other mental illnesses, the better we will deal with them. I recommend NAMI (http://www.nami.org/) to anyone in the U.S. who is looking for information about dealing with mental illness and/or wanting to help. And here's a list of organizations in other countries: http://www.schizophrenia.com/coping.html#

  2. Caroline W
    February 11, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Thank you, Joshua. I'm [kind of] glad I'm not the only one who can't be bothered some days to get out of lounge clothes, shower and get out. It get's to be a burden some days.

    I don't much want to talk when I feel real bad either so maybe your idea of a post and reading up how others feel could help. I'll check it out!

    I think Depression is becoming more wide spread than thought (or people are talking about it more?). But it's this Mental Health taboo-ness that winds me up. I guess people like yourself openly admitting you are down at times and people like myself saying I feel that too, is what's needed to end the stigma. I think on a whole, as a society, we are working towards better understanding. Let's hope it makes the necessary impact.

  3. Henk van Setten
    February 11, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    For some of us, joining a real-life depression self-help group (people actually meeting regularly) works much better than online support groups.

    Here are two links that can help you check if there are such groups active somewhere near you.

    - in England: http://www.depressionalliance.org/how-we-can-help/self-help-groups.php
    - in the USA: http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=peer_support_group_locator

  4. Saikat B
    February 11, 2014 at 4:57 am

    It's frightening how common depression is. Even more scary is that unlike other "easy to detect and difficult" to cure ailments like diabetes and blood pressure, depression in most people lies undetected and untreated before it assumes serious form.

  5. Matthew H
    February 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Excellent article Joshua. One which needed to be written, I reckon. I've battled with depression in the past, and its horrible, debilitating nature cannot be overstated.

    May I also humbly suggest you check out this amazing talk called Devs and Depression? It's from a programming conference and has helped me out in the past.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFIa-Mc2KSk

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