Depression Treatment Joining a Chat Room to Help With Depression Providing a Safe Place to Seek Support By Nancy Schimelpfening Nancy Schimelpfening Nancy Schimelpfening, MS is the administrator for the non-profit depression support group Depression Sanctuary. Nancy has a lifetime of experience with depression, experiencing firsthand how devastating this illness can be. Learn about our editorial process Updated on December 15, 2020 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Aron Janssen, MD Medically reviewed by Aron Janssen, MD LinkedIn Aron Janssen, MD is board certified in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry and is the vice chair of child and adolescent psychiatry Northwestern University. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Verywell / Bailey Mariner Depression chat rooms can help if you are feeling depressed and need to talk to someone who understands just what it is that you are going through. You can find a safe place to express yourself and get support from others who are also experiencing depression. A Verywell Report: Americans Find Strength in Online Therapy If You Are Suicidal However, if you are feeling suicidal and in danger of hurting yourself, rather than going to a non-crisis chat room, you should seek assistance from your doctor, therapist, or a suicide hotline. If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911. For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. You can also text to 838255 during these times of crisis. These links are also appropriate for veterans (press 1 and you will be linked to counselors who have been trained in issues that you may be experiencing). Depression Chat Rooms These organizations provide moderated chat rooms, which means a volunteer is present in the rooms to help make sure that all users are following site rules and treating each other respectfully. These rooms are not a substitute for professional treatment for depression, but you may find the community to be supportive. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) offers peer-led online support groups and forums to give people living with depression and bipolar disorder a place to share experiences and coping skills and gain hope. Depression Chat Rooms Depression Chat Rooms from depression-chat-rooms.org aims to connect people who have issues regarding depression and anxiety. They also welcome people with similar or related health issues such as bipolar disorder and eating disorders. The website is independent, nonprofit, and free. Note that chat rooms on the site are moderated, while forums are not. Depression Forums Depression Forums has more than 70,000 members and offers forums on topics ranging from depression and anxiety to recovery and coping to medication and therapy that are moderated by volunteers. Depression Sanctuary Depression Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization created to provide a safe, moderated platform for people with depression to seek support from other like-minded people. Membership is required to participate in the Depression Sanctuary chat rooms, but it's completely free to join. They offer hosted chats at specific times. Be aware that to keep the support group a safe and comfortable place for all members, certain rules must be followed while in the chat rooms. Depression Sanctuary is staffed by volunteers who also live with depression. Be kind and treat them with the same respect and care that you'd want for yourself. Depression Understood Depression Understood offers a depression chat room that is always open. They aim to have a relaxed, supportive, and informal atmosphere. HealthUnlocked HealthUnlocked runs in partnership with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) and offers a safe space for anxiety and depression support. Benefits and Risks Moderated chat rooms offer a safer place to express yourself compared with open social media platforms. However, they are not generally staffed by mental health professionals. The volunteer moderators or hosts will try to maintain order, but they may not always be effective in preventing abusive behavior. You'll find the design and usability for some of the chat rooms to be better than others. Be sure to read the etiquette rules for the group, which might include guides on starting new topics, a list of topics that are off-limits, and whether it's OK to attach images or provide links. You may also wish to explore whether there are health organizations in your area that offer a form of online intervention or treatment for depression. If you have a doctor or therapist who is treating you for depression, ask about options you have for online therapy. Chat rooms provide peer-to-peer support, but therapy (either online or in person) is important for the treatment of depression. What Is Teletherapy? The Pros If you struggle with sharing your emotions, verbal communication via an online chat room might be easier for you. Another perk: anonymity. Some people find comfort in not having to express themselves face to face. This can be especially true if you struggle with depression as well as low self-esteem. There's a lot of solidarity when talking to people who are going through similar situations. Even if you have a supportive group of friends and family, they might not be able to fully understand what it feels like to live with depression. That said, these forums shouldn't replace your real-life support system. If you find yourself spending a lot of time online, in lieu of meeting up with friends and family, it may be a red flag that you're using these forums to replace face-to-face interactions. The Cons While the majority of people on these online forums are there to help, it's impossible to know everyone's motivation, so you'll need to exercise caution to ensure your online relationships are healthy and genuine. Unfortunately, online predators who are looking to take advantage of those who are feeling vulnerable do exist. If someone is making you uncomfortable or ashamed of your depression, block or report the person to the moderator. While a depression forum is a great place to connect with others and share experiences, it cannot (and should not) replace seeing a professional. If you are experiencing severe depression, it is best to consult with your doctor or a mental health practitioner. A Word From Verywell Connecting with others who are going through what you are experiencing can be a positive step. Depression is a mood disorder that causes a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It may require long-term treatment, but most people with depression feel better with medication, talk therapy, or both. Get the help that can further your journey out of depression. 2 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Prescott J, Hanley T, Ujhelyi K. Peer communication in online mental health forums for young people: Directional and nondirectional Support. JMIR Mental Health. 2017;4(3): e29. doi:10.2196/mental.6921 Balatsoukas P, Kennedy CM, Buchan I, Powell J, Ainsworth J. The role of social network technologies in online health promotion: A narrative review of theoretical and empirical factors influencing intervention effectiveness. J Med Internet Res. 2015;17(6). doi:10.2196/jmir.3662 By Nancy Schimelpfening Nancy Schimelpfening, MS is the administrator for the non-profit depression support group Depression Sanctuary. Nancy has a lifetime of experience with depression, experiencing firsthand how devastating this illness can be. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? 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