Reviewed by Melinda (Santa) Gladden, LCSW
Depression is a very common mental health condition that affects over 264 million worldwide. There are different kinds of depression or depressive disorders, including persistent depressive disorder (PDD), major depressive disorder (MDD), postpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). People with other mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder, characterized by periods of depression and mania or hypomania, also experience depression as part of their condition. Although depression is a common mental health concern, living with depression can feel very lonely. As a result, many people find it advantageous to find a support group or another peer support form.
What Is The Benefit Of A Support Group For Depression?
The benefit of a support group for depression is that you will be around people who understand what you are going through. It can be comforting and cathartic to be around other people who are going through the same thing. Support groups are not the same as group therapy because support groups do not need to be led by a medical or mental health professional and often are not, whereas group therapy does need to be led by a licensed mental health provider. A support group is not a replacement for therapy or treatment for depression. Often, if someone attends a support group for a condition like depression, they will also seek depression treatment from a medical or mental health provider.
How To Find A Depression Support Group Near You
There are a number of ways to find a depression support group near you. The first is to conduct a web search for "depression support groups near me." You can also find a support group using any of the following websites:
Anxiety And Depression Association Of America (AADA)
The Anxiety And Depression Association Of America or AADA has a page on their website that can help you find your support group near you. To search for a group, all you have to do is select your location and whether you are open to attending virtual meetings. Go to this link to use the support group finder on the AADA website: https://adaa.org/supportgroups. If you have a support group of your own, you can also list it on the AADA website.
The Depression And Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
Similar to the tool on the AADA website, the Depression And Bipolar Support Alliance website has a search tool that can help you find a group in your area. You can also click on your state to find a support group. Follow this link to find a support group near you on the Depression And Bipolar Support Alliance website: https://www.dbsalliance.org/support/chapters-and-support-groups/find-a-support-group/.
Mental Health America
The Mental Health America website has a list of specialized support groups that you can utilize to find the best fit for you. Follow this link to visit their website and find a support group near you: https://www.mhanational.org/find-support-groups.
A mental health provider such as a counselor or therapist may also give you the information for a depression support group in your area. Note that some support groups meet strictly online or over voice calls instead of in-person instead of online. This is becoming an increasingly popular option due to COVID-19.
Online Forums For Depression
Online forums are another excellent way to gain remote support for depression. Like support groups that meet virtually or over the phone, forums are a fantastic way to find a sense of community from the privacy of your own home. Here are some popular online support forums for depression:
The Depression Forum On mentalhealthforum.net
Mentalhealthforum.net is a website with a variety of forums for different mental health concerns. You can access the depression forum on mentalhealthforum.net directly by clicking this link or copying and pasting the link and putting it into your browser:
The Clinical Depression Forum On psychforums.com
Like mental healthforum.net, psychforums.com is a website with various mental health forums for a number of concerns. The forums on psychforums.com include forums for mood disorders, forums for anxiety disorders, and forums for sleep and impulse control issues. This website has an outstanding variety of forums for users to choose from. You can access the clinical depression forum on psychforums.com directly by clicking the following link or copying and pasting it into your browser: https://www.psychforums.com/depression/.
The difference between online depression support groups and online depression forums is in the format. Groups have specific meeting times, where forums allow you to post anytime, anywhere. Again, it is essential to remember that support groups and forums are not a replacement for mental health treatment.
That said, you could find depression treatment online if you wish to access remote care. Online therapy is an excellent and affordable way to get the support you need from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. To get therapy remotely, you can find a provider near you who offers virtual sessions or can utilize an online therapy website like BetterHelp.
What Is The Best Therapy For Depression?
Talk therapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT and interpersonal therapy, are commonly used to treat depression. One of the most common and effective forms of therapy for depression is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. For all information regarding specific treatments and therapies, please consult a medical or mental health professional.
To find a counselor or therapist near you, you can search the web for "depression therapists near me," "CBT near me," or "depression counselors near me." If you have health insurance, you may also call your insurance provider or visit their website to see what they cover. Often, your primary care physician or a general doctor will be able to give you a referral to a mental health provider such as a counselor or therapist. If you are struggling to find a counselor or therapist who meets your needs, consider using an online mental health provider directory, or utilize the provider search tool on the mind diagnostics website. The provider search tool is easy to use, and you can find it in the upper right-hand corner of your screen when you are on the mind diagnostics website. Online therapy websites, as mentioned previously, are another option.
There are a number of different treatments and therapies available for depression, and that the best option differs for everyone. Some people choose to see a psychiatrist in addition to a therapist for depression treatment. Remember that if you do o't like the first therapist or psychiatrist you see and do not feel like they are the right fit for you, you can always switch. Sometimes, it takes trial and error to find what works, and that is okay. One of the benefits of using an online therapy website is that they are easy to sign up for, and you get to take a questionnaire that will help you find the right fit. It is also often easier and faster to match with a therapist and switch if you need to.
Depression Signs And Symptoms
Here are signs and symptoms that are commonly affiliated with depressive disorders:
- Feelings of depression or a low mood
- Lots of interest in activities that one used to enjoy
- Sleeping too much or too little (hypersomnia or insomnia)
- Fatigue, tiredness, or restlessness
- Disproportionate feelings of guilt, feelings of worthlessness, or feelings of hopelessness
- Trouble concentrating or focusing
- Changes in appetite
- Emotional numbness
- Excessive crying
Another potential depressive symptom is a noticeable change in motor activity, meaning that someone may move noticeably slower. If you notice these symptoms in yourself, it is important to see a provider who can provide you with the correct diagnosis. Again, there are a number of separate disorders that may cause the above symptoms. This is one of many reasons why receiving the proper diagnosis is advantageous.
Depression Statistics And Facts
Here are some depression statistics and facts that you may not know:
- People of all genders can experience depression, but it is more commonly diagnosed in women than men are.
- In the United States, depression impacts 40 million adults aged 18 and older.
- The onset age of depression varies from person to person, and someone can develop depression at any point in their lives, including children. The average age of onset is 32.5, according to the AADA.
- Major depressive disorder or MDD impacts 16.1 million people aged 18 or older in the United States alone.
- In addition to the 16.1 million people aged 18 and older with major depressive disorder, 3.3 million people aged 18 or older in the United States have a persistent depressive disorder or PDD, a chronic, low-level form of depression.
- Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide.
Risk Factors For Depression
Anyone can develop depression. However, there are risk factors that may increase the likelihood of someone developing a depressive disorder. Risk factors for depression include:
- Family history of depression or another mental health condition
- Personal history of another mental or physical health condition
- Life changes or trauma
Remember that if you live with a depressive disorder of any kind, you are not alone. Depression is a highly treatable mental health condition, and with treatment, it is known that depressive symptoms can improve.
Take The Mind Diagnostics Depression Test
Do you think that you could have depression? If so, consider taking the Mind Diagnostics depression test. The Mind Diagnostics depression test is not a replacement for an evaluation or diagnosis from a medical or mental health provider. The Mind Diagnostics depression test is free, fast, and confidential. Although depression can affect people of all ages, the Mind Diagnostics depression test is for those aged 18 and above.
Click here to take the Mind Diagnostics depression test.