If you recently read the 3 part series on depression, I hope it is making you think about getting help.
Because of geography and legal differences between countries and regions it is difficult to share resources that will help everyone because some only apply locally.
Good news though – each region does have lots of available help and there are many forums, websites, books and resources to help you get answers. If you are reading this, I am assuming you have acknowledged the depression or a related issue that is making life tough.
Good, well you know, good that you acknowledged that.
don’t over analyze
One of the first things I did when I decided I needed help was to take an inventory of myself and explore my character. As an introvert, and rarest Meyers-Briggs character type (INFJ), I analyzed myself to find answers….and I analyzed…and so on.
While taking an inventory and learning about yourself is good, it doesn’t get to the root of your problems. It may help you learn how to communicate, what areas you shine in and help you develop skills and strengths but it will not help you get “un-depressed”. Spending a bit of time reflecting is perfect but it’s time to focus outward.
The help you need is external…it’s with other people.
- Support Groups & Help Lines
- Therapists & Counselors
- Friends & Family
That’s where you need to go!
web resources for depression
One of the places that helped me the most was visiting the Steve Pavlina Forum, an incredible wealth of resources. A very high traffic website with a lot of help from a varied cross section of the population. Looking back at it, there are a lot of angry and depressing threads but many of the senior members have gone on to healthy and happy lives…that’s telling you something.
There are a plethora of forums and sites out there…looking for a high volume forum is in your interest. A couple of the sites with tools and forums:
I would strongly urge you to find a community site and become a part of something too. Whether on line or off it doesn’t matter, but you need to interact with people. It doesn’t have to be a depression or anxiety meeting. In fact joining something or taking a community course in something you are interested in is a very healthy way to beating depression.
While Craigslist, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and Kijiji all have very large communities there is another often overlooked resource called Meetup designed to help people find communities and activities in their neighborhood. I highly recommend it. The topics are wide and varied. The groups are great. The people are real.
Community colleges, the learning annex, libraries, government and local community centers are the next stop. You can look yours up.
community help lines and support
Here’s a few national resource or starting points.
Canadian Mental Health Association (a very good starting point)
Mood Disorder Society of Canada (CAMH may direct you here to find specific help, a good resource all by itself)
Global Support Line
BeFrienders a global initiative through the United Nations.
These sites aren’t just support lines. They have articles, counselors, guides, books and resources geared to your depression.
If you are from another country, other than the Australia, Canada and the US, I apologize for not being able to make a directory. If you google depression helpline or hotline + Your Country you will find the best resources.
finding medical help
The above help lines will also have a list or suggestions for medical support.
You can start by going to your regular doctor. Discuss your symptoms and don’t let them treat you with medication until you have explored all of your options. Medication won’t treat the cause, only the symptom. A good doctor will want you to go to a specialist. If you don’t have a regular doctor, any medical clinic or hospital will be able to suggest a starting point.
Sometimes there are depression clinics in your city or region. These are often covered by your regular medical coverage.
A final word. Don’t forget about your friends, co-workers and family. That is what they are there for. To love, help and support the people around them. Don’t let pride or shame stop you from getting the help you need…but that is another topic.