The overwhelming pain and helplessness you feel when you’re depressed can make it hard to want to get out and seek help for your condition. However, it’s important that you make the effort to get assistance with overcoming your depression for your own well being, and joining a depression support group can make all the difference in your life.
Depression Support Group Could Mean Your Life
1. Current research on depression says that people who regularly attend support groups for their depression report a decrease in symptoms. Combined with other forms of therapy (individual therapy, drug therapy, etc.), many people can see significant improvement in their symptoms and daily lives.
2. Finding a support group shouldn’t seem like an insurmountable task. If you are currently seeking individual therapy from a psychologist or psychiatrist, ask him or her if they know of any group meetings in the area. You can also ask your general practitioner if they know of any. If you live in a rural or outlying area, making it impractical to regularly attend group meetings when none are around you, there are online group meetings you can find as well. The best resource is to check the website of the National Mental Health Association if you cannot find anything on your own.
3. It is important to note that a depression support group is not the same thing as group therapy. Group therapy is a type of mental health treatment that is lead by a licensed mental health practitioner. Support groups are simply a gathering of people with whom you can share the trials and tribulations of your depression, knowing that they will understand because they are dealing with similar symptoms. The types of depression support group you can expect to find will vary, being lead by a lay person or organized by a non-profit group. They can be highly structured or they can be casual.
4. There are many benefits to joining a depression support group such as: feeling less lonely and isolated due to your symptoms, getting candid advice from people who have “been there,” assistance in understanding your condition, gaining a sense of control over your symptoms, and getting help in reducing your depression and anxiety, just to name a few.
5. The costs associated with joining a support group can vary, but most of the time you should be able to find groups that are free or have little cost. Usually groups will ask for a small fee or donation to cover the cost of the meeting space, snacks and drinks, or other minor expenses. If the group you want to join has any fees associated and you are really strapped for cash and need help, talk to the group coordinator. He or she should be able to assist you.
Clearly, if you are suffering from the debilitating effects of depression, getting help should be one of your top priorities. Joining a depression support group is an easy way to start yourself down the road to recovery and take back control of your life.