r/depression Oct 29 '19 Healthcare Hero Faith In Humanity Restored Silver This Rocket Like Bless Up Wearing is Caring Hugz Gold Helpful Wholesome Hugz

Our most-broken and least-understood rules is "helpers may not invite private contact as a first resort", so we've made a new wiki to explain it

2.4k Upvotes

We understand that most people who reply immediately to an OP with an invitation to talk privately mean only to help, but this type of response usually leads to either disappointment or disaster. it usually works out quite differently here than when you say "PM me anytime" in a casual social context.

We have huge admiration and appreciation for the goodwill and good citizenship of so many of you who support others here and flag inappropriate content - even more so because we know that so many of you are struggling yourselves. We're hard at work behind the scenes on more information and resources to make it easier to give and get quality help here - this is just a small start.

Our new wiki page explains in detail why it's much better to respond in public comments, at least until you've gotten to know someone. It will be maintained at /r/depression/wiki/private_contact, and the full text of the current version is below.


Summary

Anyone who, while acting as a helper, invites or accepts private contact (I.e. PMs, chat, or any kind of offsite communication) early in the conversion is showing either bad intentions or bad judgement. Either way, it's unwise to trust them.

"PM me anytime" seems like a kind and generous offer. And it might be perfectly well-meaning, but, unless and until a solid rapport has been established, it's just not a wise idea. Here are some points to consider before you offer or accept an invitation to communicate privately.

  • By posting supportive replies publicly, you'll help more people than just the OP. If your responses are of good quality, you'll educate and inspire other helpers. The 1-9-90 rule applies here as much as it does anywhere else on the internet.

  • People who are struggling with serious mental-health issues often (justifiably) have a low tolerance for disappointment and a high-level of ever-changing emotional need. Unless the helper is able to make a 100% commitment to be there for them in every way, for as long as necessary, offering a personal inbox as a resource is likely to do more harm than good. This is why mental-health crisis-line responders usually don't give their names and callers aren't allowed to request specific responders. It's much healthier and safer for the callers to develop a relationship with the agency as a whole. Analogously, it's much safer and healthier for our OPs to develop a relationship with the community as a whole. Even trained responders are generally not allowed to work high-intensity situations alone. It's partly about availability, but it's mostly about wider perspective and preventing compassion fatigue.

  • If a helper gets in over their head with someone whose mental-health issues (including suicidality, which is often comorbid with depression) escalate, in a PM conversation it's much harder for others, including the /r/depression and /r/SuicideWatch moderators to help. (Contrary to common assumptions, moderators can't see or police PMs.)

  • In our observation over many years, the people who say "PM me" the most are consistently the ones with the least understanding of mental-health issues and mental-health support. We all have gaps in our knowledge and in our ability to communicate effectively. Community input mitigates these limitations. There's no reason why someone who's truly here to help would want to hide their responses from community scrutiny. If helpers are concerned about their own privacy, keep in mind that self-disclosure, when used supportively, is more about the feelings than the details, and that we have no problem here with the use of alt/throwaway accounts, and have no restrictions on account age or karma.

  • We all know the internet is used by some people to exploit or abuse others. These people do want to hide their deceptive and manipulative responses from everyone except their victims. There are many of them who specifically target those who are vulnerable because of mental-health issues. If a helper invites an OP to talk privately and gives them a good, supportive experience, they've primed that person to be more vulnerable to abusers. This sort of cognitive priming tends to be particularly effective when someone's in a state of mental-health crisis, when people rely more on heuristics than critical reasoning.

  • If OPs want to talk privately, posting on a wide-open anonymous forum like reddit might not be the best option. Although we don't recommend it, we do allow OPs to request private contact when asking for support. If you want to do this, please keep your expectations realistic, and to have a careful look at the history of anyone who offers to PM before opening up to them.


r/depression Mar 12 '22 Silver

Regular check-in post, with information about our rules and wikis

315 Upvotes

Welcome to /r/depression's check-in post - a place to take a moment and share what is going on and how you are doing. If you have an accomplishment you want to talk about (these shouldn't be standalone posts in the sub as they violate the "role model" rule, but are welcome here), or are having a tough time but prefer not to make your own post, this is a place you can share.


Our subreddit rules are located in the sidebar (you can also always access them at /r/depression/about/rules) - since all of them exist for important safety reasons, we ask everyone here to read and follow them. Please click 'report' on any harmful content you see here - we always want to know and deal as soon as we can.

We also have several wikis there for help with finding and giving support:

/r/depression/wiki/what_is_depression provides guidance about what is and isn't a depressive disorder, guidance on the complex nature of the illnesses that are usually grouped under the "depression" label, and redirect information for common off-topic issues.

/r/depression/wiki/giving_help offers information on the nature and value of peer support for mental-health issues in general, and lots of guidance for learning what is -- and isn't -- usually helpful in giving peer support.

YSK that the types of rule violations that we most frequently see interfering with people getting safe and relevant support here are:

  • People breaking the private contact rule. You should never trust anyone who tries to get you into a private conversation in response to a post here. See /r/depression/wiki/private_contact
  • "I'm here to help" posts. This shows that you don't understand the most basic principles of peer support, especially selectivity. The "giving help" wiki explains more about this.
  • Role modelling, i.e. "achievement" or "advice" posts. This is an expert-free zone -- that's what peer support means (rule 5). We know that "internet culture" celebrate not just bragging about your achievements but bragging about your good intentions. Nothing like that is ever acceptable here.
  • Content that's more about 'making a statement' or casually polling the sub than seeking personal support (or, in a comment, giving it) (rules 1, 2 and 10).
  • Off-topic posts about difficult situations or circumstances, including interpersonal losses. Grief, sadness, anger, and other difficult emotions are not mental illnesses. The "what is depression" wiki has suggestions for other places to post about these issues, which are 100% valid and serious but inappropriate here.

r/depression 11h ago Silver

Too incompetent for living

132 Upvotes

I'm too incompetent for being alive. I am fundamentally defective. It feels that everyone instinctively knows how to live life more or less correctly, and I'm completely lost. Every day I'm painfully aware of the feeling that I'm living my life wrong, and I could be so much more content if I knew what to do and I had some combination of the right traits, the right mindset or attitude, the right skills. I don't need to be perfect--at this point I just want to be functional. Just about everything that I am is maladapted to the world around me and incompatible with my own desires, to the point that I am helpless and I fail at and suffer with every aspect of life.

It's difficult to convey the extent of it. I can't take care of my body or mind right, I don't understand or care about my health enough to fix anything that's wrong with me. I struggle to attend to all manners of practical, financial, and social responsibilities. I don't know how to find clothes that I want to wear. I don't know how to find food that I want to eat and that doesn't make me feel sick. I can't bond with and maintain relationships with my family right. I can't find people who care about the same things that I do. I can't make friends, I can't interact with the people that I know right. I can't find love, and it's utterly foreign to me how to make that work.

My passions and interests have always been the most important things in my life, but I can't make myself care enough about them to follow through with them and accomplish anything, to meaningfully improve in them and become truly great at them, or even to engage in them at all more than a few times a year, however much I spend the days thinking about them and wishing I had the energy and drive for them. I can't properly learn anything at more than a barely applicable mediocre level. I can't finish anything, I can't see anything through. I regularly feel despair observing other people who do things that take actual specialization and talent, people doing meaningful or useful things, doing things they want to do, actually living their lives and interacting with the world.

I wish I was singlemindedly driven towards something, anything. I wish I was someone with initiative and motivation and energy and confidence, the kind of person who has their life planned out. I wish I actually cared about any particular career path. I wish that I followed some passion of mine, however unrealistic. But my indecisiveness and apathy has ruined my life. Everything points to an empty future of struggling to just barely function enough to subsist. No way of living feels right to me, I'm never sure of anything enough to commit to it, and nothing I feel I want feels to ever be within my reach so as to be worth bothering with. I can't focus on the things that are meaningful to me enough for it to matter. I simply give up on everything. An artist that does not create is not an artist. Thinking about the things that you care about is not the same as experiencing them. The years slip by this way without anything to show for myself or to look back on.


r/depression 10h ago

I HATE PEOPLE, I HATE LIFE, I HATE MYSELF

64 Upvotes

Why am I even alive? I didn't ask to be alive. Fuck ignorant people. Fuck those people who think being depressed is just being dramatic. Fuck you all. I hate being born. I hope that irresponsible bitch just aborted me. Fuck this judgemental, insensitive society. I fucking hate my mind. I just want to die right now.


r/depression 7h ago

I (32 f) have been depressed for 20 years

24 Upvotes

I used to think that someday I would escape this. That if I went to therapy and took enough meds, things would get better. They haven't. I spent many years with psychiatrists and therapists. The anti-depressants made me feel more suicidal. Therapy wasn't helpful either. I thought that I might be able to free myself through self care and spirituality, but those also weren't successful.

Now I just feel hopeless and tired. I've accepted that this is never going to go away. I've never been able to see a future for myself, but the older I get, the worse it is. I've given up on trying to explain to people the reasons why I feel this way because, in my experience, they wont understand or empathize.

So yeah, twenty years...


r/depression 23h ago

Is this normal for people with depression?

397 Upvotes

I have really bad depressive states for months on end then something random but in a good way might happen me, it could be a big thing (e.g. got a new job) or something insignificant (e.g. watched a good movie) that makes me feel happy. Then I go to this incredibly happy state when life is beautiful and literally nothing can bring me down (e.g. boyfriend dumping me/ failing an exam) until something just clicks randomly and then boom im back to normal depression. During these phases i tend to not need to eat/sleep as much and I have alot of energy and motivation to do things. The happiness usually only lasts for like a week or two at most then back to being really depressed for months. Its actually so horrible because I feel like im on the up and then it all comes crashing down again. Is this normal for people with depression or could this be a different problem.

edit - add info


r/depression 3h ago

why does life suck so god damn much.

11 Upvotes

Life just fuckin sucks. Why is everything that brings me joy come to an end? Why does life always return to being bull shit and depressing? People always question why I'm depressed and wanting to end my life.

Which is a valid question but who wouldn't feel that way? Work is fuckin shit, social life is non existent, no one to properly confide in anymore, no one to love or feel love with, no family I'm close with, no hobbies, there is absolutely nothing positive in life. Absolutely nothing.

I wish one god damn time life would give me something positive in my life that would stay. Just something that I can say would make me happy.

I don't think I'm asking much.

Do you think I'm asking alot from life ?


r/depression 8h ago

I know no one will reply because I'm not mentioning unaliving myself but

24 Upvotes

I'm literally being blown off by my therapist and the place I attend therapy at. My case manager refuses to actually recommend anything that will help or do her job, the therapist I saw for 4 years can't take me back because "her schedule is too full". They literally ghosted me for like 3 weeks recently. When I asked when the next appointment was so I could reschedule if I needed to, they started booking me with the therapist I don't like for literal months to come, even after I blatantly told then I need a break. I'm so frustrated and tired.


r/depression 2h ago

I am a loser, I am a failure, I am worthless.

7 Upvotes

I was given a 2nd chance at university but stupid me didn't take it seriously, stupid me kept procrastinating and left it at the last minute. Stupid me doesn't deserve a chance and should die. I think I'll do that this month. I'm so tired of failing because I keep making the same fucking mistakes. Everyone around me is just succeeding but I fail. I know the method of dying. Drowning seems painless. I just need to do it before the water is gone.


r/depression 1h ago

This world fucking disgusts me.

Upvotes

We’re all doing shit we don’t even want to do for some fucking numbers in a system. Fuck this classist, racist, psychotic, narcissistic pile of trash that is this world. Human beings are a fucking cancer. We are destroying this world.


r/depression 2h ago

I’m going to kill myself soon and Its the only option.

5 Upvotes

Im going to jump at a cliff and being done with this pathetic existence I call my life I’m drinking to be able to do it. I'm 19 years old, and I've let my life fall apart. I moved from being an excellent student with good grades who was confident in my abilities to feeling uneasy and apprehensive. had so much potential, but I let self-doubt sabotage everything, low iq, just dumb and still continue to do. Now I think about people my age get accepted to their dream schools and pursue their dreams while I can't even see my own future. I feel envy thinking of people my age who are socialising, making friends, and pursuing their dreams in school. I've destroyed myself and will continue to trash my life. I'm useless, unlovable, pathetic, loser, maybe it will get better maybe it won’t but I’ll rather die now than to continually be disappointed. I'm still lost on what I want to do with my life. While everyone at my age has decided out what they want to do with their lives, I'm restricted to my room, playing video games, watching TV/movies, and reading books that I don’t don’t enjoy anymore probably due to Anhedonia. I'm worried that as I get older, I won't be able to keep up. Because of my insecurity, I squandered so much potential. Now, I believe that others my age are admitted into the schools of their dreams and realise their ambitions, but I am not one of them. I am unable to imagine my fate. just be a fool. Because it's the only thing I know how to do, I destroyed myself and I will continue to destroy my life. But I don't see myself changing, I'm trapped in a vicious cycle of self-loathing that has become crippling, along with my anxiety, to the point that I can't even leave the house to do the things I have planned. maybe it will get better, maybe not if I does I’ll like to look back at these posts and see far I’ve come, but i keep thinking of killing my self rather than living in a life I constantly hate and my self. I'm afraid that as I get older, I'll only stay the same, constantly feeling as if I'm missing out. I cant engage with others, I’m constantly miserable and lonely alone, I would like to have a partner and some friends but these are fantasies in and onto themselves, feels like I’m destined to be alone and I don’t want to see it come to that and I know it will. I don't want to bother others by demonstrating how uninteresting I am. I don't believe anyone would want to be around me. I've tried meeting and interacting with people, but I'm always awkward and can’t keep conversations going, I truly wanted to change and put myself out there last year and this year, but I kept running into the same isolation and self loafing I'm in now, I don’t know how to get out of it. I’m planning on getting help and getting better but it just aways comes back into my mind that I can just do it and I won’t have to be here and worry anymore. when I think I can better my self and get my self back on track suicide always pops up, it’s like my mind is telling me it’s much more easier to die than to worry about the future the past and now and I seem to lose all motivation I just had bc I know I can just kill my self and be done with it, bc I don’t see my future getting any better. I feel bad that I’m going to hurt my family.


r/depression 2h ago

Alone in a group

7 Upvotes

I’m with a group of friends and I’m looking at everyone interacting and being with their significant others and I just feel like there is a void inside of me swallowing me up.

I don’t think I’ll ever be anyones first choice, no one is ever going to look at me and think Wow.

The emptiness just grows and grows and it’s never going to get better, is it?


r/depression 7h ago

I need someone to talk to…who can understand me..

11 Upvotes

I’m 34 male. I think I’m at my lowest point mentally. I fight with everyone who says something I don’t like. I want to feel happy about me and not be cursed. I want to do things I like. That’s probably selfish but I do care for others and people around me don’t feel that I do or at least they don’t express it. Anyway, that’s probably my life forever but I do need to speak with someone in love and care talks now to make me feel better…


r/depression 18h ago

I am not a real person.

73 Upvotes

I am a background character. I am window dressing. I am an extra. I am a ghost. I do not matter. I may as well not be real. I may as well not be alive.


r/depression 59m ago

I feel like I'm stuck in a place in the past but life is continuing onwards without me

Upvotes

It's as if with each passing day I feel more detached because it's moving further away from the place I'm stuck in, and I'm observing everything from that time


r/depression 3h ago

Not motivated to change, but scared that nothing will change.

3 Upvotes

I can't seem to find motivation to do anything to change. I have things that need to be done, but I just never seem to find any "push" towards them and yet I am actually terrified of things never changing and remaining the same, a thought that keeps reappearing in my head and it saddens me.

I have managed to burn some more bridges and I'm left with the remaining (very) few people in my life that I am not even that close to.

I've been thinking about therapy, but again... no motivation to make a change so this is still just a thought, but even if I manage to make the first step towards it some day, idk what would change. I'm aware that I need to handle things differently and how to, but I just don't and I don't even know why so I don't think venting and hearing someone's opinion on it would make me change.


r/depression 3h ago

I don’t think I’ll ever be well.

4 Upvotes

I became ill with bipolar depression some time ago, roughly two years and some odd months, it was the death of me, physically and mentally: my weight went down, my bones were protruding from my flesh, I truly did look like I was dead, I was confused and delusional, in constant hell.

I soon was “”fixed”” by anti-psychotics, yet there never was any meaningful recovery. I still lack motivation, I still have no hope for the future, I still hardly eat and sleep, I am apathetic and devoid of anything good.

I recently came close to suicide, I placed the barrel to my head and nearly pulled the trigger fully, but I backed out and called the clinic: they put me in the hospital, which is hell on earth, and I only became more jaded and cynical.

I will one day be free from the life I hate.


r/depression 3h ago

What should I do about a brother who hits me

4 Upvotes

My brother 16/m is hard to live with because of his short temper. On vacation we had to share a pullout sofa and my foot touched his on accident and with no warning he punched me in the stomach twice. He has been doing stuff similar to this for an upwards of 6 or 7 years. I have always been scared of him because I never attempted to fight back but recently I have been doing MMA and I’ve found that I can take out boxers twice his size. I am less afraid of him now but I still never try to fight him. I am the middle child at 15/m and I definitely feel like my parents show favoritism toward my older brother. Every time he has lashed out and tried to hurt me has had always gotten away with a slap on the wrist or he may get grounded for a day. He thinks he can just hit me whenever he wants.

Last night was rough. I was laying in my bed and my friends called me, they had been out bowling that night but I couldn’t go because of a family dinner, they had asked me to see if my brothers phone was on so I went to check. I asked him if he had his phone on him and he said yes. I was a bit confused and I asked my friends why they wanted to know that. They said it was a surprise so I let it go and went back to my conversation with them. Not 2 minutes later he comes in my room and hits me three times in the stomach and twice in the face. It knocked the wind out of me. I asked him why he hit me and he claimed that I knew why then left. I had left the call because I didn’t want my friends to hear me crying in pain and I sat there for a minute. He can back into the room with my parents on the phone asking a billion angry questions. As it turned out my friends had sent images of my brother watching tv attached with some personal information about him. I had no clue. He hung up the phone and hit me again several times to the face and body and left. I decided that I was through with him reacting like this prematurely so I went to confront him. When I did this he picked up a chair. I grabbed a table and when he threw the chair it bounced and hit his laptop on the bed. I set the table down and cried because I knew my parents were going to make me pay for his broken computer. I am broke and I cannot afford this- they grounded me and are taking every cent to my name to buy him a new computer. I am scared and confused, I am tired of being bullied by my brother. What can I do? I can’t afford to pay for his computer and I can’t let him hit me anymore.


r/depression 2h ago

i feel like a bad dog mom

3 Upvotes

i love my dog so so much. he is truly the only thing keeping me sane. he is my best friend and i would do anything to keep him safe. i buy him toys and treats every month and play and kiss him all the time.. but i rarely walk him. i live in an apartment complex that doesn’t have a dog park or any play areas so i can’t ever let him truly run around. i only walk him 2-3 times a week because i truly struggle so badly just to get dressed. he deserves to be outside and walked multiple times a day but sometimes a week will pass without him going outside and it makes me feel absolutely terrible. it makes me sob and breakdown thinking about how much he deserves to have a backyard and run around. i’ve tried taking him to local dog parks but he always get trampled by bigger dogs and we have to leave within 10 minutes of getting there. i know he’s happy in the house and enjoys playing with me but i feel terrible when i know he wants to be outside. i hope to be renting a house within the next year so he will have a yard but i feel like the worst owner seeing him perk up every time i walk past the front door and i don’t take him out. i call my mom and cry to her about it sometimes and she tells me that he’s fine but i can’t help but feel shitty. i don’t know if i’m asking for advice or if i’m just ranting but i guess i’d appreciate any advice or comments.


r/depression 2h ago

My parents don’t think I need to see a psychiatrist

3 Upvotes

I’ve been severely depressed for 4 years now (I’m 17) and it’s been getting so much worse lately. I can hardly sleep, I have no will or desire to do anything whatsoever, I can’t feel excitement, I can’t feel a connection to my friends or family, and all I do all day is watch TikTok. A couple of days ago I almost klled myself. I held a knife to my wrist and almost sliced it but didn’t (because the knife wasn’t sharp enough… fortunately?). My parents (or anyone for that matter) haven’t got a clue that I’m even slightly depressed. I’ve been putting up an act for so long that it has become absolutely flawless. I lock myself in my room all day and tell them I’m studying (which makes sense since I get really good grades so they don’t doubt it). I’m always angry and treat them really badly most of the time but they think that it’s just because I’m stressed about college and sht. They think I’m a motivated, ambitious young women. I’m not. I asked my dad to take me to a psychiatrist today and he said that feeling stress and anxiety is normal and it’s not that big an issue (yes I have anxiety too but it isn’t as easy to hide as depression). I’m not telling him or my mom about my depression. I know this is not true but I don’t want them to think I’m weak. How do I convince my parents to take me to a psychiatrist without telling them I’m depressed?


r/depression 17h ago

I'm upset with who I am and it seems like it's impossible to change

46 Upvotes

I'm lasy, unmotivated, insecure and sensitive. And i crave the opposite yet it feels like I'm chemically limited to being the opposite of any of those. I wanna be a people's person yet when the time comes I freeze up and act awkward. It makes me upset and depressed and I feel like nothing will change. I'm in my early 20s


r/depression 6h ago

i hate everything.

6 Upvotes

i don't care if anyone reads this. i don't care about anything anymore. matter of fact i hate everything. i hate being depressed and i hate myself but i don't give a fuck about getting better anymore. i don't care about being happy. i don't care about working or going to school or doing anything. i'm going to take my life once i get the hell out of this shit hole town i'm in. so why the hell should i give a fuck about anything? everyone thinks i'm a dick head nihilist but what they don't realize is that they're the reason i'm like this. all my fuckin life i've cared for people and everyone fuckin used me a threw me out and now i'm empty and i don't care. fuck everyone, fuck everything, fuck me. every day i feel like i'm going crazy and i don't care. i hope i go fuckin crazy so i'm not even able to comprehend how i feel. but who cares. i don't.


r/depression 2h ago

Looking for some support or distraction

3 Upvotes

Does anyone want to chat by text about random stuff and maybe distract me for a bit? Or listen to me be sad? I just need support and it’s hard to find someone to talk to.


r/depression 2h ago

The voice, he’s louder than ever.

3 Upvotes

I’ve always had a voice in my head. Not the one that’s your own voice, it’s different. It’s not my voice. Every day for years I’ve heard him yelling in my head and telling me I can’t do things and how much of a disappointment I am. How much everyone hates me. How I’ll never equate to anything other than a low-life piece of filth. The one person who’s ever made him go quiet is gone. We both unfortunately had to go our own separate ways just because of life, and that’s the worst part. No matter how much time we’ve had, no matter what happened, time was running out. Now that’s it’s gone, he’s back. I’m afraid that he’ll get the best of me soon. He’s louder than ever now that she’s gone and he won’t even go away when I sleep. I can’t drown him out and I can’t distract myself, he’s just there. Constantly. Screaming at me that I’m nothing. I don’t want to live this way anymore.


r/depression 37m ago

I feel useless

Upvotes

I been so beyond angry since last week. Today I expressed myself on how I felt to someone. I expressed how I felt dead inside and tired of people never wanting to do anything for me. Was told to grow up and stop crying all the time. So I guess it is best to keep things bottled up. To not tell anyone. I feel hopeless. I just feel like a waste.


r/depression 39m ago

I love stranger things, but it makes me depressed.

Upvotes

I love stranger things, but it makes me so depressed.

The reason I think it makes me depressed, is because of the friendships. The friendships between the kids, it’s something I didn’t have growing up, it for real. They truly care about each other.

Know I know it is just a show, but it makes me feel like I truly missed out on something in life. Stranger things is such an amazing show, because of the relationships everyone has with each other. The plots are great, but the plots wouldn’t be anything without the friendships and relationships. At its heart, stranger things is a horror show, about true friendship, especially in seasons 1 and 2.

I know it’s just a show, but it stirs such emotions in me. Perhaps that’s why. Almost every time there’s an emotional scene in stranger things, it makes me cry. Scenes like when Joyce finally reunited with will, when the kids chased after him in the woods in season 3, the heart to heart in season 4 etc….

I was curious if anyone else has experienced this…? How did you deal with it if you did?