Support Group for Depression: Worldwide Online Support Groups

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Support Group for Depression: Worldwide Online Support Groups

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Support Group for Depression: Worldwide Online Support Groups

Depression is the most common and widespread mental illness in the world. According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people suffer from depression globally. The cost of mental health in terms of lost workdays, impaired education, and mortality is worse than cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore, it has become essential to seek out a support group for depression. You are not alone, and you do not need to be alone.

Support groups can be a great addition to an individual, personalized mental health treatment plan. However, they are not a replacement for mental health treatment from a licensed professional. If you suffer from depression, please seek a therapist and get an evaluation.

Depression Support Group CTA

 

What is a Support Group?

Support groups are about gaining support from people going through the same issues as you. They strongly encourage sharing emotions and gaining knowledge, tips, and tricks to manage your issues. A support group also helps you learn how to express and communicate your feelings.

Support groups are available for all kinds of problems such as:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • PTSD
  • Alcoholism
  • Depression
  • Divorce
  • Unemployment
  • Weight Loss
  • Quitting Smoking
  • Family Support
  • and more!

 

Can Support Groups be Effective for Depression?

Historically, people have gathered in public places to talk about common problems and issues. We lack a lot of those interactions these days (especially due to the Coronavirus pandemic). Moreover, depression makes you feel like you are alone. As a result, seeking out a support group can be a significant first step towards living your best life.

The advantage of a support group is that you can show up every week and see that you are not alone in your struggle. Hearing other people’s experiences with depression can be a compelling motivator. It can give you hope when there is no more meaning left in life. Peer support is a powerful thing.

Support groups are useful even if you have family members and friends who are there for you. One of the most significant benefits of a support group is meeting people who understand how you feel. As much as your family and friends want to help and support you, they cannot truly know how you feel. That is where depression support groups can be instrumental in helping you cope. Members of these support groups understand you better than anyone else.

Do Video Games Cause Depression?

The Healthy Gamer Discord Support Group is NOT a replacement for therapy and medical treatment.

 

Difference between Depression Support Group and Group Therapy for Depression

Leadership

  • One or two psychologists or psychiatrists typically lead group therapy. They have the requisite training to help people with specific issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, etc. However, they typically do not have personal experience with that issue.
  • People who have experience overcoming the group’s problem are most suited to lead the support group. The group leader may or may not have any clinical experience treating people for these problems. A professional or someone who has fully recovered from depression would be ideal to lead a support group for depression.

Aim

  • Support groups primarily focus on coping with the problem at hand. For example, a depression support group would encourage members to share their experiences of dealing with depression. A support group aims to help the members live functional lives DESPITE their problem.
  • Group therapy also aims to help people learn healthy coping mechanisms. However, that is not the primary goal. The main aim of group therapy is to help members overcome their problems. The group leader, a mental health professional, helps people to process their thoughts and emotions. They give the group members exercises to help them take the right steps to change their situation.

Focus Issue

  • Support groups tend to focus on a problem common to all the members. For example, a depression support group would have members that exclusively talk about their experience with depression. The conversations revolve around how depression affects their life, and it rarely shifts to other tangential issues.
  • On the other hand, group therapy is about sharing various experiences that are not necessarily common to all group members. Some people might talk about depression, while others would share their experiences with anxiety or PTSD.

Primary Method of Support

  • Support groups emphasize coping and encouragement. They aim to create an environment where every member feels that they have the support of the people around them. Members of depression support groups would achieve this by sharing their experiences living with depression, and their shared, everyday struggles.
  • On the other hand, group therapy is more than just a source of support. It also emphasizes sharing experiences to get feedback. For example, you can share an awkward interaction with a stranger, and other members would help you see what you did right and what you did wrong. Since therapy is about changing what you do and how you do it, this feedback is vital. As a result, group therapy is also more challenging than a support group because you have to hear real criticism.

Confidentiality

  • Support groups tend to encourage building relationships outside of group meetings. If you run into a member of your support group outside of the meeting venue, it is generally acceptable to check in on each other and ask about an issue they brought up in the meeting.
  • Group therapy seeks to maintain a stricter level of confidentiality. When outside of a therapy meeting, members are discouraged from bringing up experiences that other members discussed within a therapy setting.

Schedule

  • Support groups quite flexible. Members can come and go as they please.
  • Group therapy starts with a fixed number of members, and new members cannot join without everyone’s agreement.

Healthy Gamer Group Coaching

The Healthy Gamer Coaching Program is NOT a replacement for therapy and medical treatment.

 

Difference between Depression Support Group and Peer Coaching

Aim

  • Support groups focus more on supporting a person through a situational or circumstantial need that impacts their ability to live a functioning life.
  • However, peer coaching aims to help a person learn a particular set of skills to address an issue that impedes their functioning in daily life.

Method

  • Emotional support is a core feature of a support group.
  • Mutual learning based on observation, feedback, and reflection are the core values that Peer Coaching operates on.

Duration

  • Support groups are short term interventions.
  • On the other hand, Peer Coaching is a long-term process.

Leadership

  • Support group leaders may or may not have professional training in helping members through their problems.
  • Peer coaches are person-centered and solution-focused. They help their clients build strategies to live a better life.

 

Worldwide Depression Support Groups

If you want to join a depression support group, reach out to your mental health professional or doctor, and ask for a referral. You can also google for “support groups for depression near me”, and you will find local support groups that focus on depression.

Here are some other online support groups you can look at:

Healthy Gamer Discord (Learn More)

The Healthy Gamer Discord server is a great support group for depression, anxiety, video game addiction, relationships, motivation, procrastination, etc. Click here to join!

Turn2Me (Learn more)

ADAA Online Support Group (Learn More)

7Cups (Learn More)

The Tribe (Learn More)

SupportGroups.Com (Learn More)

TogetherAll (Learn More)

DepressionUK Pen Friends Program (Learn More)

 

Depression Support Group CTA

The Healthy Gamer Discord Support Group is NOT a replacement for therapy and medical treatment.

 

Conclusion

Support groups, especially support groups for depression, can be instrumental in gaining support from others. While they are a great supplement, they are not a replacement for guided mental health treatment for a professional. If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or any other clinical illness, please consult a licensed mental health professional.

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