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Topic: Help supporting an online friend?

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Fishykarp
    Fishykarp avatar
    1 posts
    5 June 2018

    I’m new here, so I don’t know if this is the right forum to put this in, but here it goes.

    I’m not depressed myself, but I have a few friends online who are, and I want to support them in anyway possible. I haven’t found anything on google about supporting online friends so is there anything really different between supporting friends online and in real life?

    Thank you.

  2. MsPurple
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    MsPurple avatar
    1621 posts
    5 June 2018 in reply to Fishykarp

    Welcome Fishykarp to the forums

    I admire that are you are wanting to help your online friends. It takes courage to want to speak up and offer them support. Now I can speak from my point of view as someone who has depression and anxiety, that sometimes the best support is an open ear (or eyes to read what I have to say). For someone to show empathy and to maybe give some guidance. Now a lot of the time they just want reassurance and if appropriate reassuring them can be really helpful. For example, when I'm anxious I may want reassurance like 'should I go to this job interview for something I really want'. Now it may be common sense, if you want it go for it, but for someone anxious they may just need some reassurance about it. (sorry terrible example, but hope it brings the point across). Just someone wanting to be there and to listen is a huge thing for someone struggling with depression. They may feel worthless and useless and knowing someone wants to be there for them is huge.

    Now one thing to remember is you are human. You are not a professional. Do not put too much pressure on yourself. You can be there for them, but you can't solve all their issues. You need to remember this, as a lot of people helping others tend to forget this and blame themselves if they can't help their friends/family.

    Maybe even suggesting to them to go to the beyond blue website and to get more information. Maybe let them know you have been on the forums for help and support before and reassure them there is a place to talk out there with supportive people in a similar position (also it's confidential).

    Hope this was helpful. You are doing amazing for just being there for them

    (p.s sorry if there are typos, bit dyslexic and it is late so it tends to be a bit worse)

  3. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15559 posts
    5 June 2018 in reply to Fishykarp

    Hello Fishykarp, can I also offer you a warm welcome.

    A good reply by MsPurple, and these places may help them:

    -Carers 1800 242 636

    -Headspace 1800 650 890

    -Kids Helpline up to the age of 25 1800 55 1800

    -Mens Helpline 1300 78 99 78

    -Head to Health a website for online or phone call so google this

    -Mindspot Clinic 1800 61 44 34

    -Relationships 1300 364 277

    -Sane Australia 1800 18 7263

    -Lifeline 13 11 1

    -Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

    Hope this helps you and you're very kind in wanting to help them.

    Geoff.

  4. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3114 posts
    6 June 2018 in reply to Fishykarp

    Hi Fishykarp,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for joining us.

    Hmmm this is a great question!

    When it comes to differences the biggest things that come to mind are the difficulties from being behind a screen - you can't see body language so it's hard to tell whether conversations are hard, they're upset, being sarcastic etc - and it also means that it's not clear why they've replied quickly or stopped replying completely. If someone's stopped replying does that mean they're upset, or simply that they've been distracted? Or their internet is playing up?

    As for supporting them, I do think that it'd be a lot like in real life - having someone just be there is just so powerful. Perhaps you could ask your friend what might be helpful for them? Some might like a shoulder to listen to, others to be distracted with stories, others might enjoy videos of people epically failing on youtube.

    I think at the very end of the day, you wanting to be there for your friend is kind of the best thing ever.

    Hope this helps,

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