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ONLINE COMMUNITY SUPPORT – WHAT IS CLINICAL DEPRESSION?

ONLINE COMMUNITY SUPPORT

This bulletin board system was set up with one sole purpose in mind. It fills a void by offering a meeting place for peer discussions, via a computer website, to individuals suffering from depression, mood disorders, anxiety and many other depressive and mental health disorders and illnesses.
These forums do not employ and are not sponsored or monitored by any members of the medical community or drug companies. We are a not for profit organiztion. Not any one individual on these forums participate in a professional capacity.
We do not have access to professionals in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, social work or suicide prevention, nor are any of our members here in a professional capacity. We are an informal group of individuals from various religions, age groups and ethnic backgrounds. This makes little difference though, our medical condition is the bond that we all share.
We are your peers with the commonality of mental illness who are seeking to meet others for the purpose of listening, supporting, and helping our fellow members. Through a series of posts, we assure others that they are not alone and that on this forum we share information and our common experiences. We have different areas set up on the forums for peer to peer talks to discuss and answer general concerns and questions about depressive illnesses. We also have separate areas available to talk about the pros and cons of the most commonly prescribed medications for our conditions.

MAJOR CLINICAL DEPRESSION?

We do not know you personally but we already know quite a bit about you and what you are feeling and experiencing. We know that many individuals will suffer a major bout of clinical depression in their lifetime and that many of those depressive episodes cause an individual to experience suicidal thoughts. We know that most forms of depression, while not fully understood, have been found, through extensive research, to be linked to a chemical imbalance in the brain, most commonly serotonin. We know it is a real ILLNESS and not a personal WEAKNESS or CHARACTER FLAW. Recovering from depression often takes the help of a medical professional not unlike other illnesses. We know you CAN’T just will it away. We know that you CAN’T allow yourself to believe that if YOU were a stronger person YOU could shrug OFF THESE HORRIBLE FEELINGS. You suffer from an illness that requires professional intervention. However, we know that depression is an illness that can be properly diagnosed and successfully treated!

There are many symptoms associated with clinical depression

– Feeling totally overwhelmed and anxious.

– Having trouble overcoming feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness and hopelessness.

– Trouble falling or staying sleeping, or sleeping much more than normal.

– Feeling very tired and having little or no energy.

– Losing the ability to feel enjoyment in daily activities that used to be quite pleasurable, including sex.

– Having difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly, making decisions and accomplishing tasks.

– Feeling very pessimistic, negative and extremely critical of yourself.

– Being told that others have noticed a change in your mood and behavior.

– Relationships with family members and other people have changed and you are losing interest in being around other people.

– Persistent feelings of sadness and frequent periods of crying.

– Feeling that there is nothing in life to look forward to.

– An increase in the use of alcohol and drugs.

– A dramatic weight lose or gain is quite common.

– Having recurring thoughts of suicide.

You can find some comfort in the fact that we can describe you without having ever met you. We can do that because you suffer from a well defined illness. We can also do that because most or all of us on this forum have been there. You are not alone in this suffering and you are not experiencing anything unique. We know you believe that no one else has ever felt as low as you are right now but that is not true.
The truth is that the symptoms that you are experiencing now are more common than you believe.

The good news is that you don’t have to go on living this way! Help is available! Many of us on these forums have successfully battled back from the pit of despair and blackness, as you will, and we now celebrate our decision to choose life. We have found the will, hope, desire and means to take back control of our lives. Depression can be successfully treated with medication and therapy,. Dozens of very effective medications are available to correct the chemical imbalance in the brain. Therapy is highly recommended in addition to medication to help you feel better about yourself and to deal with life in healthier ways.

In addition to talking to your peers and knowing you are not alone, taking medication, talking to a therapist about life’s serious events and daily challenges can speed your recovery. It can also help you learn how to cope with the serious problems and sad events that inevitably occur throughout one’s lifetime.

Coming here and asking for help was your first step on the road to recovery. You visited us looking for life saving alternatives. You DO have choices! Finding the right combination of medication and talk therapy is your second step. You don’t need to suffer needlessly any longer.

WHY DOESN’T THESE DEPRESSION FORUMS OFFER IMMEDIATE SUICIDE CRISIS INTERVENTION?

1.) In all honesty, we do not have the qualifications, training and expertise to do so. These forums do not employ and is not sponsored by any members of the medical community. We do not have access to professionals in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, social work or crisis/suicide prevention nor are any of our members here in a professional capacity.

2.) This is an unstaffed bulletin board system. We do not have a central location to initiate or respond to “one on one” phone calls. Even e-mail addresses are not required and are only posted on a voluntary basis.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE IF YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE CRISIS

We know you are having a real tough time with life right now. There are many people on these forums who have been in the exact same situation. We know it feels hopeless and it feels like it will never end. Trust us. Everyone here is recovering or has recovered. It can and does get better. You will feel happy again, be able to smile and you will look forward to another day.

Take action now. Take back control of your life. Get help from a suicide crisis hotline, your family doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional. Once you have been diagnosed, accessed and have started a treatment plan of either medication, therapy, or both, please come back to the forums and let us know how you are doing.

Once the immediate crisis is past, we are here to encourage, support and help you in any way we can.
We care about you. We’d love you to join our forums as you begin your road to recovery. We all understand what you are going through because we share so much in common. You will be accepted here for who you are. You will find hope and inspiration in our community that is always open and always here to listen and share “our” collective experiences, information and knowledge with you. In no time you will become an active, participating member of our discussions. We look forward to the day when you will feel well enough to help those that will join the forum after you. As our needs and mental health status change, we all GIVE and TAKE what we can, when we can. We look forward to hearing from you again. That is what we are all about. That is why we are here for each other. That is why we will be here for you.

Remember, you are not alone.

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