Depression Forums

People seek out depression forums for different reasons. There are also many different types of depression forums.  This article contains information on how to choose a depression forum to help with your specific needs and learn the pros and cons of participating or joining depression forums.

Depression Forum Defined

Depression forums don’t really have a definition, and this is one reason to approach them carefully (see below). A depression forum can be any kind of online community that has a focus on depression generally, or on a specific subcategory of depression, like postpartum depression, bipolar disorder, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

A depression forum may have a sign up or may allow guest posts. Unless the forum has a moderator or consulting physicians, or unless you make outside contact with people, you do not know who you’re talking to beyond a screen name and the words that are typed and they don’t know you. The anonymity can be desirable for someone who does not want his or her name known.

Especially when a depression forum focuses on a subset of depression, it may be possible to find others who have had similar experiences to yours and who can provide helpful suggestions for predicaments, difficulties, and other challenges that you face or at least empathize from personal experience.

Reasons to Seek a Depression Forum

A depression forum can be a 24-hour place to find someone who may have some idea of what you’re going through and who can keep you company when your loved ones and your therapist are asleep.  You can make contact with someone without having to disturb someone’s sleep, and this may mean you can gain some solace without feeling guilty. You also may be able to make quick contact during a break at work or between classes at school that can help you get through a trying day.

People with depression who wish for a support group but don’t live near an existing group may also find themselves looking online for support.

What to Be Careful of With a Depression Forum

There are four key things to be careful of if you post on a depression forum.

  1. No matter who is giving you advice—fellow sufferer or proclaimed medico—an online discussion is not the same as an office visit. Don’t use the forum for medical advice.
  2. Be careful of what you reveal about yourself. Prevent TMI (too much information) moments when you realize you’ve said way more than you meant to or are comfortable with when you’re feeling better.
  3. Beware of anyone discussing suicide pacts. If you find a discussion in which death is being planned, notify the moderator and call the police.
  4. Watch out for unkind posters. Both because words without facial expression and tone of voice can be difficult to interpret and because some people are either mean or have mental health issues besides depression, the response to your post may be cruel or nasty. If you encounter such behavior, you can choose to stay and fight, by contacting the forum moderator and standing up for yourself or it may be in your best interest to find another forum or a depression support group of live people who you can see. (People may tend to be nastier when they are anonymous.)

Support Groups for Depression

There are several types of support groups for depression.  This article defines some of the support groups you may consider based on the type of depression you may be experiencing, and learn where to find depression support groups in your area.

Depression is a broad term that covers some disorders that are markedly different. Since people with each of the different types of depressive disorder may seek a support group, it is wise to start off by first, obtaining an accurate diagnosis, if possible, and second, looking at a support group that meets the needs and addresses the concerns of people with that particular form of depression. Some of the very different types of depression include:

• the normal, self-limited depression that accompanies an important loss, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of a long-held job, etc.

• postpartum depression, which occurs after the birth of a baby

• seasonal depression (SAD), also called seasonal affective disorder, which most often occurs in the darker, gloomier months of late fall, winter, and early spring

• bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depression) in which major depression, normal moods, and periods of extreme elation (also called mania) may occur

• major depressive disorder, which causes such deep feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and/or loneliness, that it is disabling, and the depressed person is likely to be withdrawn, lose his or her appetite, and have trouble sleeping

• chronic depression or dysthymia, which is less severe than major depression, but is a long-term disorder that may include periods of major depression

People in these different situations may need and benefit from very different things.

There are a number of ways to find support groups for depression. You might consult your primary care physician or therapist or check with any local health organization such as a hospital or clinic or the student health center if you are in college. Because depression so often occurs when someone is diagnosed with a serious heart problem, cardiac units may have a support group.  National organizations that focus on depression may have suggestions on their websites.

Be careful if you search for an online support group.  It may seem like the best choice if you live in an area in which there is no nearby group (or not one that is a good fit for you) or you cannot travel for some reason. But note that they may not be moderated and you may receive advice that is off-base from people who have only their own experience (not a research base) to work from.

Additionally, when there is no moderation and professional support in a support group, the negativity can be overwhelming. Finally, even if you find a depression support group online that is focused on the type of depression that you are dealing with, it is likely that the people self-refer and they may be either incorrect about their diagnosis and/or be dealing with other issues as well as depression. You also should be extremely careful about giving out any personal information in an online group. Devious people may try to use the group to sell a service or product or get close to someone who is in need.

The bottom line with a support group is to find one that you find supportive, but remember that as the members change, the support group can change, so over time, you may need to reevaluate your choice.

Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) Review

This Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) Review offers information on this depression test for adults and adolescents.  If you think your teen is suffering from depression find out if the BDI test can help diagnose their depression. The BDI score can help determine mild depression to major depression.

The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is one of a number of tests designed to quickly gain an idea about whether someone might be depressed. It is not a diagnostic tool, but a screening device. Diagnosis can only be made by a trained health care professional, not from an inventory.

Unlike some instruments, which are designed to be used with children, the Beck Depression Inventory is designed to measure depression only in adults and adolescents. Twenty-one questions form the basis of the Beck Inventory, and each question is assigned of value of zero through three with a resulting single number as the score .The BDI is used by health care professionals and in research.

The Beck Depression Inventory was developed b Aaron T. Beck, a psychiatrist who focused on depression. He was instrumental in developing cognitive therapy and measures to allow self-reports of individuals to be used to assess depression, hopelessness, suicidal ideation, and anxiety. The current version of the inventory is copyright, and there is a charge for its use. It is published by Pearson in English and Spanish. The inventory takes between 5 and 10 minutes to complete.

Developed initially in 1961, the Beck Depression Inventory was revised in 1978 and 1996. The initial instrument, BDI, asked people about their feelings in the prior week. the BDI-IA, the first revision, asked them about their feelings in the prior two weeks. The BDI-IA was criticized for covering only six criteria for depression, whereas the DSM-III (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition), which was the classification of mental disorders in use by the American Psychiatric Association when the BDI-IA was published, had nine diagnostic criteria.

When the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders came out, the BDI-IA was revised to fit with it because the diagnostic criteria had been changed for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). The result was the BDI-II, which, like the BDI-IA, also asked the individual about a two week period of time. The format remained 21 questions with a 0 to 3 scale.

Scoring on the BDI-II, the current instrument, gives a number from 0 to 63. There are no subscores. A score of 29 to 63 is indicative of severe depression; from 20 to 28 signals moderate depression; 14 to 19 indicates mild depression; and 0 to 13 shows minimal to no depression.

Despite the updates, the Beck Depression Inventory still has limitations. One limitation that has existed from the start is that it is based on the self-report of the person who takes it. Another issue is that other medical problems or physical ailments may interfere with the scoring, making an individual seem more depressed than he or she is. However, the BDI-II does correlate positively with the Scale for Suicide Ideation, the Beck Hopelessness Scale, the Hamilton Psychiatric Rating Scale for Anxiety.


Dealing with Depression

When it comes to dealing with depression, you might be looking for ways to deal with your own depression, or you might be trying to find how to deal with the depression of others such as a spouse or loved one. Dealing with depression can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be.

Depression is a severe mental illness that takes its toll on not just the sufferer, but also the friends and family of the person suffering from depression. Depression is often described as a feeling of sadness, melancholy or unhappiness. Most people experience some periods of depression at some point in their life, however about 19 million Americans suffer from serious and prolonged episodes of depression. The majority of depression sufferers do not know how to go about dealing with depression and instead just simply choose to not seek treatment. Dealing with depression is important because not dealing with such a serious mental illness can lead to serious repercussions including extreme or suicidal tendencies.

Depression Symptoms:

  • Prolonged feelings of sadness and pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities of all kinds like work as well as in activities you used to enjoy including sex
  • Worsening of other chronic illnesses
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Fatigue and lack of energy, increased apathy
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Headache, stomachache and other digestive problems
  • Anxiety

If you have been feeling any of these symptoms regularly or for more than a few weeks, it is important to begin dealing with depression starting out by getting professional help. For those who have a loved one that is depressed and needs to start measures to deal with their depression it is important to be as encouraging as possible, although it can prove to be difficult at times. The first way to help someone who is depressed, is to help them realize that treatment is key. They have to understand the only way they will feel better is to get treatment. Sometimes when a person is depressed they have a sense of worthlessness and low self-esteem, which is why they don’t seek professional treatment because they don’t feel like they deserve it in the first place. This is when the friend or loved one must step in and help the depressed person realize they are worth treating. Even though it can be depressing to be around someone that is depressed themselves, it is important to maintain in contact with them even if they act  like they don’t want to see you. Persistence is key in helping them continue working toward recovery. It is also important when dealing with depression in a loved one to encourage doctor visits, talk about their illness with them, learn about depression and encourage your loved one to meet small goals in their recovery. These are all ways to help your loved one in dealing with depression.

If you are finding yourself dealing with depression on your own, it is important to realize you need professional help. Getting help is the first step even if this just means talking to a loved one or friend about it. Not everyone that faces depression has to get in-treatment center care or has to take medication in order to recover. While these methods often do lead to a successful recovery for many, it is not always the first step you have to take. If you are depressed, but find solace and success in simply talking with a friend or family member, resuming old exercise programs, finding a new hobby, then you can seek treatment on your own. However, for some this path is too difficult to take. This is the case for the majority of severely depressed American adults. However, it is unfortunate that most do not actively seek treatment on their own. However, once those treatment options are available like counseling, antidepressant medication and support group therapy, the road to recovery becomes a lot easier and more successful for the individual. This leaves us with the overall concept of continuing to encourage ourselves and others to take an active role in dealing with depression. This is the best way to ensure a healthy recovery.


Depression Hotlines

Depression hotlines also known as suicide hotlines are a great way to help treat those who have depression. Depression hotlines are a good starting point for those who know they need help for their depression or if they are experiencing suicidal thoughts, or feel like attempting suicide.

Depression hotlines and suicide prevention hotlines are designed to help those who are facing difficulties with depression and don’t know where to begin seeking treatment. Depression hotlines are often set up with trained counselors ready at a phone call center that are ready to take your call. The majority of these depression hotlines are available any time leaving you with the ability to call anytime during the day or at night. The counselors will spend as much time as necessary with you to help you go through what you are facing in life. Depression can be extremely lonely leaving those who suffer with the feeling that they have no one to talk to or no one to go to to help them get through their struggles. The counselors at depression hotlines are trained counselors and are often volunteers who have gone through similar experiences themselves and now want to help others. 

When to call:

For those who think they might be suffering from depression. Here are some of the warning signs to look for: fatigue, stressed, difficulty sleeping, lack of motivation or energy, weight loss or weight gain, thoughts of self mutilation like cutting or burning, thoughts of suicide. Once you know you are suffering from depression and might be heading toward more serious thoughts of suicide and self harm, it is without a doubt time to call a depression hotline for help. A depression hotline is a great option for those who are not yet comfortable with the idea of therapy but want a way they can get out their emotions to someone who is trained to listen. You are always able to call a support center more than once. Remember that most operators at a depression hotline want to be there since they are volunteering and many have even been through the experience themselves so they understand where you are coming from.

Depression hotlines via e-mail:

There are some resources for those who may be nervous about making an actual call. Some depression hotlines also offer an e-mail service. With the e-mail service, you can email in  your thoughts, concerns and questions for advice. A trained professional will generally e-mail you back within a certain time frame as specified on the website. However, it is important to understand that the e-mail version of the depression hotline may not be as secure of a method of communication. It is also not a good resource for non-urgent situations since they may be unable to get back to you right away.  

Why call a depression hotline:

Depression hotlines are a great resource for anyone going through a tough time and needs an ear to lean on. Sometimes people might be hesitant to tell their friends and loved ones about all of the problems you are dealing with because you don’t want them to think  you are weak or you don’t want them to be upset for you. Sometimes the problems you are trying to manage may be about them and you don’t want them to know. This is when a depression hotline is a great place to turn to for help. Any age of person can call a depression hotline. In fact, there are some hotlines that are specific for teens, postpartum depression, sexuality issues and more.  In many situations if you call a local depression hotline you may be given advice on treatment options or information on local counselors where you can get further assistance. Many emergency suicide hotlines have operators that are trained to help people through other types of emergencies like attempted suicide, drug overdose and psychotic episodes. You can often find numbers for depression hotlines in local listings like the phone book, online or by calling information. If you have regular episodes of serious depression, it is a good idea to keep that number somewhere handy in case you experience an emergency situation so you can get help quickly. 


Depression Related Sites

A list of sites that educate the public on teenage

Prescription Drug Abuse Treatment – statistics, warning signs, prevention and other resources on prescription drug use by adults and teens. – this is a mega-site dedicated to all things health for all ages. A great resource for all things depression.

Foster Care Adoption – statistics, articles, and state by state resources for families looking to adopt a teen or child. – site dedicated to issues related to kids & teens. Formatted very well and contains tons of resources for parents and children.

ADHD Child – statistics, articles, warning signs, and related resources.

The Kelty Foundation

Troubled Teen Issues – contains articles on all things related to teen help including programs/schools for troubled teens, shoplifting, teen drug use, suicide, depression, and much more.

Teen Suicide – all things teen suicide listed here – statistics, facts, prevention, treatment for depressed teens, and more.

Drug Rehab – full directory of drug treatment as well as residential treatment for depression.

Teen Pregnancy Facts – includes articles on teenage pregnancy statistics, facts, prevention and help.

Youth Line

Childhood Depression – signs, facts, causes, treatment, and other resources.

Marijuana AddictionMarijuana Treatment

Child Behavior Contracts and Parent Teen Contracts available at