A support group can be an excellent way to obtain help and inspiration to get a man fighting depression. “Individuals that are living with these illnesses can feel quite isolated,” says Ingrid Deetz, director of chapter relations for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. “Support groups are a safe location where you know other folks have experienced similar situations.”
Depression: Advantages of Support Groups
Support groups aren’t just like group therapy. In group therapy, a therapist that is trained direct the discussion between a limited amount of people, and people are supported to provide comments to the other members and share their feelings, says Deetz. By comparison, someone who has fought with depression and depression frequently leads support group meetings. The meetings cover many different topics important to the members. You might gain valuable insight from someone facing similar situations, although you will not receive psychotherapy.
Some of the advantages you can get from a depression support group include:
- Motivation. “Folks say that support groups motivate them to follow their treatment strategy,” says Deetz. “They see that people can and do get better.”
- Inspiration. Support groups help people with depression realize that mood disorders don’t explain them. These groups reveal members that they’ll still do the things they need in life.
- Schooling. If someone is having trouble deciding whether to tell her employer about her melancholy, she is able to speak with other people at the support group and get advice. Support group members can learn from everyone else.
- Understanding. Folks attending a support group know where everyone else is coming from. A great support group encourages recognition and understanding, enabling individuals to feel comfortable and secure.
Depression: Finding Support Groups
Melancholy is a mood disorder that is common — 24 percent of 15 percent of men and women will experience some type of the state at some point in their own life. Support groups are sought by many of them. To find depression support groups in your area, you can get in touch with among the following:
- National organizations. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and also the National Coalition on Mental Illness are just two organizations that preserve referral services both online and by phone.
- State mental health agency. Every U.S. state has an agency or department designated to address depression and other mental health problems. These groups maintain lists of support groups and can direct you in your region to one.
- Therapist or physician. Many mental health practitioners have lists of support groups available for their patients.
In case you live in a rural or remote area and are not close any support groups, you may need to consider joining an online support group. The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance offers them through its Web site. Although it might seem peculiar that people coping with feelings of isolation would connect within the Web, research suggests that on-line support groups do provide considerable help to people who have depression.
Depression: Selecting the Best Support Group
Remember that the very first depression support group you find might not be right for you personally. “All support groups are different,” says Deetz. “There’s no one-size-fits-all [group].”
Don’t be dissuaded by an awkward first meeting — attend a few meetings to get a good feel for the group and see if you feel comfortable. “We normally recommend an individual attend a support group three to five times to determine if itis a great fit for them,” Deetz says. Attempt another one, in case the support group isn’t a great match.
When scouting for the right support group, watch out for red flags and avoid groups that:
- Focus on negative emotions and look designed to stir up bad feelings
- Offer quick results and sure fire cures
- Attempt to force you further away from your therapist or your present treatment strategy
- Require one to share intimate or sensitive info
- Demand pricey payments or require you to buy certain products
Your battle against depression can feel less lonely and more manageable with the best support group promoting your recovery.