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I have a few ideas about depression that I would like to try out, but I need to find 2 or 3 (or more, the more the better) people who would be interested in joining me.

Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a cure or anything for depression, just another tool to help out, nor is it meant to imply that positive thinking can cure depression. It's for people who've maybe gotten some therapy, done a little reading on CBT, gotten on some
medication(s), started exercising or made other progress, and are feeling a little better, gaining some skills for combating depression, but are still feeling socially isolated.

I've noticed a lot of depressed people come from depressed families, which I believe is mostly due to genetic factors, though there are, I think, also some environmental factors to most
types of depression. Having a good support system, we are often told, can be a huge factor in dealing with all kinds of stress and mood problems. But how can you get a good support
system if your whole family is depressed? Ever have what you thought was a good idea, only to have a (depressed) family member thoughtlessly shoot it down? Where do you find cheerleaders when everyone around you is even more depressed than you are, and much less self aware?

I went to a depression support group for a while, but it turned into a gripe session where each person had a turn to lay out a long list of things they were struggling with, and I had to stop going because, wtf, it was making me more depressed and dragged down hearing all these awful stories. I've also heard of groups where people send out cheery little messages to everyone, but that never works for me because it is so impersonal.

So here's the idea. Small groups of only 3 or 4 people are formed. Participants have to have gtalk and be willing to share their gtalk info with the rest of their group. Groups can also share their journaling sites if they like. The groups last for one month. During that month, group members communicate support to each other through gtalk. No negative statements or complaints are allowed. Group members are encouraged to post positive things from their lives and things they are grateful for. But, more importantly, group members should show an interest in the other group members by asking brief questions of each other. A short good morning! Can be sent in the morning to other group members, short supportive questions like how does your day look, how are you feeling etc. A short hanging in there or struggling with work stress, or feeling a bit down is ok if it's not your best day, as long as you don't start going into depressing details. You can also just not talk if it is such a bad day that you can't shake off a cloud of negativity. Links to funny or uplifting pics or stories would be nice. We could also, if we like, post things for our groups unto our journals and tag them so that group members who want to see something positive but don't want to get lost in hours of posts, could just check their group tag every day. Members can communicate as much or as little as they feel comfortable, although, of course, I would want everyone to participate a little on most days. At night, people could wish each other restful sleep or give out hugs or whatever nice thing they feel comfortable with. These are just suggestions. Because the groups are so small, it will be possible to get to know each other and be more personal, making the support more supportive, I hope.

This is not meant to take up a huge amount of time. Group members only need to be willing to send a few short gtalk messages here and there to help combat the social isolation many depressed people experience. You also don't need to communicate with all group members equally. In fact it might be better to only talk to one or two people at a time so the contact feels more personal.

If anyone wants to give this a try, let me know and I will organize it. Or if you have any questions I would be happy to explain more. But whether you are interested or not, please please if you actually read this could you give me a signal boost? I hardly ever post so my little idea doesn't have a chance without a lot of reblogging help.


erda: (Default)

April 2014

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