What we're about

Bereavement, Isolation, Loneliness and Depression, Action Network
For men and women over the age of 21.

BILD-A-Network is for you if you have experienced Bereavement, Isolation, Loneliness, Depression or a related issue.
The aim of this group is to build an ongoing support network of friends through discussion and social activities.

Whilst these issues are not always experienced at the same time they may, at times, be closely related. Here’s a breakdown of what we mean by each term.

Bereavement: The loss of a family member or friend, causing intense emotional reactions. Bereavement can, but not always, cause feelings of isolation, loneliness and/or depression. It is possible to feel lonely or isolated even when a close network of family and friends is available. The time passed since the loss is irrelevant. If you are grieving the loss of someone you were close to, we offer a closed, safe environment for our support group, which will almost invariably be a standalone arrangement.

Isolation: Here we mean, in particular, “voluntary social withdrawal”. There are two types of isolation. Involuntary isolation can be caused by sudden and unexpected illness, or for any number of other reasons. Social withdrawal is defined in the psychology dictionary, (.org), as “the retreat from society and interpersonal relationships that can be accompanied by indifference and aloofness.”
This term is not to be confused with “solitude”, which may refer to, “the joy of being alone”. We are concerned here with the pain caused by choosing to be alone for extended periods, which can make social interaction difficult and may ruin friendships and adversely affect family life.

Loneliness: A complex and often unpleasant emotional response to isolation. Loneliness typically includes anxious feelings about a lack of connection or communication with others, both in the present and extending into the future. As such, loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people. The causes of loneliness are varied and include social, mental, emotional, and physical factors.
Loneliness has also been described as “social pain”—a psychological mechanism meant to motivate an individual to seek social connections. Loneliness is often defined in terms of one's connectedness to others, or more specifically as "the unpleasant experience that occurs when a person's network of social relations is deficient in some important way". ~ Source: Wikipedia

Depression: This is defined by the medical profession as “a continuous low mood lasting for two weeks or more”. Depression involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself or herself, and thinks about things. Depression is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is NOT a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be wished away. People with depression cannot merely 'pull themselves together' and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people with depression. The signs and symptoms of depression include loss of interest in activities that were once interesting or enjoyable, including sex; loss of appetite, with weight loss, or overeating, with weight gain; loss of emotional expression (flat affect); a persistently sad, anxious, or empty mood; feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness; social withdrawal; unusual fatigue, low energy level, a feeling of being slowed down; sleep disturbance and insomnia, early-morning awakening or oversleeping; trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions; unusual restlessness or irritability; persistent physical problems such as headaches, digestive disorders, or chronic pain that do not respond to treatment, and thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts. The principal types of depression are called major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (manic-depressive disease).

This group seeks to support those affected by the following types of depression:

• Dysthymia; an ongoing form of the illness where those affected may not meet the diagnostic criteria for depression but nevertheless experience chronic low mood, which can last for a period of years and affects their enjoyment of life.

• Recurrent Depression; where the individual experiences more than one episode of the illness, although episodes can vary in severity and individuals may have periods where they are well between episodes.

Seasonal Affective Disorder; a form of depression, which seems to be brought on or made worse by lack of sunlight during the winter months.

This group is a peer-to-peer network, (there are no mental health professionals involved in this group), and as such is not equipped to help individuals with the more severe types of depression.
It is highly recommended that individuals seek professional counselling for bereavement and depression related issues prior to attending BILD-A-Network group discussions and/or events.

Please see the foot of this group description for a list of professional bodies and helplines that may be referred to in the case of more severe cases and instances of emergency.

Rules
Group rules will be established at our first event and will be subject to regular updates as necessary.

Disclaimer
Each individual attending any and all BILD-A-Network events acknowledges the peer-to-peer status of the group and is fully responsible for his/her own behaviour and safety before, during and after each event.
When you attend a BILD-A-Network event you do so unconditionally; agreeing to release BILD-A-Network and the organiser/s thereof from any and all responsibility, liability or claim in law, or in equity.
Please DO NOT join this group or attend our events unless you fully accept these terms.
Remember: You alone must take full responsibility for yourself.

Hotlines

The Cruse Bereavement Care Freephone National Helpline: 0808 808 1677
Staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement.

LifeLine: 0808 808 8000

Samaritans Belfast Hotline 116 123 from any phone or
028 9066 4422 local call charges apply.

Upcoming events (5+)

12 Steps to Peace, Joy and Freedom

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Coffee and Chat [Ormeau Ave]

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12 Steps to Peace, Joy and Freedom

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