Depression Alliance Talk
DA Talk is operated through yahoo groups and is a supporter restricted on-line forum which serves as a self-help group.
What DA Talk members have said about using the online group:
DA Talk is brilliant and it's so good to be able to unburden troubles to the group in general as someone is certain to reply and offer help, understanding or encouragement. The really big benefit is just knowing that you are actually communicating with people who do understand, no matter how crazy you think you sound, no-one will call you crazy and everyone is so supportive.
There was one night when I could really have ended everything, but just being able to unburden what had made me feel that way to the Group made a difference and then to receive a couple of replies within an hour really helped.
As you can see, I am still here! We all have our different problems and triggers and within the group we are all respected by each other which is what makes it `safe'. It has made a huge difference to me in the few months I have been using it.
There are no magic cures, but just knowing others do understand and have/do feel the same makes so much difference, as often talking to a partner or friend is like talking to an alien as they just don't understand. The different responses too often help as one may be more appropriate than another, but just knowing that someone has taken the time to help you is so important and a major part of DA Talk.
You don't even have to post anything, you can often benefit just from reading what others post. Usually you will find, however, that there comes a point when you feel you need to respond to someone and that is a big, progressive step which you will appreciate later. Thank you DA Talk and all the members for being so helpful and supportive".
"The best way I can think of explaining about DA Talk is for me to tell you what it has meant to me since I joined in 2002.
I joined DA at about the same time I first went to the doctors' for help with depression. I think I'd known for a while that I was depressed, but finally I managed to do something about it. Me being me, I wanted to know as much as I could about the illness, so I got on the internet one day at work when I was alone in the office. I found DA was a great source of information, and DA Talk sounded like a good way to hear what other sufferers had to say. So within a couple of weeks of my trip to the GP surgery, I was sending my first email to DA Talk.
I already belong to a couple of other email groups, so I knew how they worked. What I didn't expect was the feeling of relief and the support coming from these complete strangers on the internet. Other than my doctor, DA Talkers were the first people I told about my depression. It was a kind of warm up for me, as the first friend I told was via email too. A while later I told another friend over the phone, and then one in person. Emailing DA Talk was really my first step in beginning to open up.
It felt amazing to read emails from other people who could understand what I was feeling. There was always someone who'd been there, done that, taken that tablet, so I didn't feel alone anymore. It was great to share my experiences, read about what other people were suffering (yes, it helped to know other people were suffering—strange that), and even be able to offer support sometimes too. I felt like I had found new friends, and began to rejoice in their improvements, hope they were ok when they went quiet, and look forward to reading what they had to say.
Over the last few years, being able to email the group has helped me through some difficult times. I raged about the injustices at work, moaned about my family, commiserated over health services. I knew I could go quiet for a bit, but still read the emails and keep in touch that way. I was always able to join in again when I needed support or wanted to reach out to someone new.
Eventually I joined a `read world' support group too, but I always shared with DA Talk what I was going through. Sometimes it even helped to be able to moan about my other support group!
And now? Well, I still join in, still read the emails, still wonder how everyone past and present is doing. I still rejoice in their improvements or good news, hope they are ok when they're quiet, and I always look forward to reading their replies when I've sent a message, or replying myself when someone else asks for help.
I know that DA Talk has made, and continues to make, a huge difference in my health and well being. It may sound a bit naff, but I really don't think I'd be where I am today without it".
From Single Step Winter 2007/8 edition p.4 'DA Talk'