We all have our issues (of varying degrees) and things we need to heal, however if you are constantly sad or depressed then getting outside help could steer you in a positive direction. Traditional therapy is not for everyone. The thought of sitting (or laying) in a chair with a stranger telling them every intimate detail about your life is extremely uncomfortable for some and not to mention expensive.
However, holding everything in is not good either because it can literally make you ill. So, what is the solution? A support group (not to be confused with licensed group therapy) may be your next best bet. An intimate group of adults who have shared similar experiences may be a great starting point.
There are so many ways to access support groups. Non-profits, hospitals, and websites like meetup.com offer a large array of support groups. And an added benefit is that they can be in person, on video chat, or even held over the phone. If you do try this route, remember to use discernment when it comes to safety because there are people out there who unfortunately use support groups as a way to prey on people during their most vulnerable moments.
· Connecting and being able to speak freely with people who can relate and at least understand where you’re coming from
· Reducing stress by feeling less lonely
· Gaining a sense of hope and empowerment
· Groups that only talk about their problems the entire time without any balance of lighter topics
· A lack of confidentiality because it’s not a licensed professional
· Tension or weird vibes amongst group members
If you can’t find a frequently asked questions section for various groups, try reaching out with some of the following questions.
· Where and when do they meet?
· How many other people are in the group?
· Is there a vetting process on how people are allowed in?
· Are there ground rules for participation?
· What is a typical meeting like?
· Are there any costs associated with the meet up’s?
· Does the facilitator have any training or are they using their own experiences to lead the group to healing?
And please remember that a support group is not a substitute for a licensed therapist or medical professional. If your depressive thoughts take a turn for the worse or you have suicidal thoughts, call 911 or The National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255).