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Time have been tough this last year with pandemic leaving many struggling more with their mental health. Some people haven’t been able to leave their home because they are too high risk and aren’t able to afford therapy. There are tons of people on the Internet struggling with depression and you may have even come acrossed a couple accounts with some pretty depressed people. It sad and you may want to help some of these people but how can you help someone if you aren’t doctor and you can’t see them in person. Helping someone virtually definitly is more challenging than if you were to see them person but still can be done if you take the right approach. A lot of my audience suffers from some form of anxiety or depression so in this post I am going to talk about how I help them through it virtually.
Don’t report accounts without a reason-If you come across an account that is posting things that are borderline suicidal you may think that the solution is to just report these accounts. This is the complete opposite of what you should do because although this will get these people off the Internet it will not cure someone’s depression and if anything it would probably make someone even more depressed. Many people use social media as a way to cope and when you just go and report accounts just because you can you are literally taking away possibly someone’s only way to cope. A lot of people who are that depressed are getting professional help on top of using social media but if someone is posting something is concerning it is always better to reach out than to just report it because you never know what someone is going through. If someone is posting something this harmful to others or illegal you should most definitely report it because stuff like that should not be tolerated but if someone is just struggling then let them rant and turn off those notifications if it bothers you that much. It’s so easy to get someone’s account shut down because literally all you have to say is they are violating policy and you don’t have to be doing anything wrong. I have friends who are depressed and post things that make me sad and concerned sometimes but I would never report these accounts because your not helping anyone!
Send them a private message- Sometimes people with depression are strugggling and need help but are not comfortable doing it publicly. You can feel alone when you are depressed and sometimes all it takes reaching out to someone and reminding them they are not alone. Be a friend not their therapist because noone will ever open up to someone who just appears to want their whole life story. Some people clearly state they do not want any private message from strangers and in those instances you should respect that an not send any because you will probably either be blocked or ignored!
Remember you don’t need to be their doctor- Sometimes when people hear other’s symptoms it will be the exact same symptoms they have so they will say things like you have bipolar depression and you should do x,y or z to overcome it. If you are not a doctor please don’t diagnose someone because there are a lot of conditions that have similar symptoms but are not the same at all. It is dangerous to play doctor, especially with friends and family because people tend to listen to people they trust and not get professional help if they think it’s unnecessary. It’s okay to give your opinion on something but make that clear it’s only your opinion and even if you are a doctor that your not their doctor and they should always seek professional help for a better diagnosis.
Don’t shove prayer down someone throat-Sometimes when you are suffering from depression one of the first things people think to do is tell you they are praying for you. There is nothing wrong with praying for someone and as a matter of fact I believe in the power of pray but when you corner someone in a store demanding they need prayer that is when it becomes problem. Not everyone believes in the power of prayer so when you insist someone needs it all your going to do is make so they think your one of those and shut down. I don’t mind people praying for me when I am going through something but I really hate it when people approach me and think I need prayer just because I am disabled. I have accepted my disability for what it is and don’t go around waiting for the cure because there probably won’t be any time soon so pray for me as a person not my disability! There is a lot of negativity out there that all Christians do this so it’s important to understand that some people will be insist on prayer but not everyone will because I certainly will not!
Be kind- Nowadays people often forget what it means to be nice to someone and how being mean can affect someone’s mental health. Just like it’s not okay to be mean to someone in person it’s not okay to bully someone online so just be kind because sometimes kindness is hard to come by! Never underestimate the power of kindness because it may help someone through their depression and the world needs more of it!
There are a lot of people online struggling with depression and some people are able to get professional help and some people are not. Social media can be a great way for people with depression to cope but it isn’t better therapy and you shouldn’t use it as a substitute if you have the option to get real help. A lot of disabled people can’t go to therapy because their insurance won’t cover it and they can’t afford it themselves which is said because disabled people need more than anyone else. I think if decent mental health therapy was provided by insurance companies there would be so many less people depressed because more people would be taking care of their mental health. You can help someone online without being a therapist because a lot of the time people online aren’t looking for a therapist and just want a friend to talk to. Be someone’s friend and you can make such a large impact on someone’s life without giving them any medication or a therapy session. How do you help people online that are depressed?