The Talk Anon Group provides an opportunity for people with depression to talk with each other openly in a safe and supportive environment. The group accepts anyone who is willing to say they are depressed, who wishes to listen and share about their feelings and experiences that are related to depression, and who confirms their intention to cause no harm to any other participants. All wishing to join are asked to answer a few questions beforehand.
Those of us with depression may find it hard to share emotions and concerns with family members or other loved ones. We may have support in our lives, but might not want to share with highly functional others how sad we are every day or that we have trouble keeping up with daily chores or getting out of bed. We might want to protect our loved ones by not burdening them with the depth of our problems and by not communicating how poorly we are doing. Unfortunately, this isolates us from the very people who can help and leaves us with few chances to talk openly about the very emotional issues that isolate us. Some are unable to afford professional talk therapy.
Our meetings will loosely follow the format of AA, Al Anon and other 12-step programs. Meetings will be online via Zoom until health conditions allow social gatherings and there are enough participants. The Zoom meeting information will be posted by the morning of each meeting. The administration encourages members to use their real first names for sociability and to share video of themselves within the meeting to promote connection within the group.
Meetings will initially be limited to 20-30 persons until we can know how many will participate. The goal is to provide each person participating with the opportunity to share for a few minutes confidentially what is on their mind and how it relates to depression and their life struggling with depression. In order to provide all who want to share the time to do so, each individual’s share time will be limited accordingly.
This group does not provide therapy. It is for first hand experience sharing and talking only. No meetings online or in person (when the local health situation permits) will be attended by any medical or psychological provider, unless that person participates anonymously as a person with depression. Members are encouraged to talk to their doctor or therapist prior to participating in Talk Anon.
Anyone struggling with thoughts of harming themselves will be treated with sympathy but the help available may be limited to access to resource links and lists during the meetings. If a co-facilitator is present, those needing more support will be asked to go offline temporarily for a private chat outside the meeting. The names and contact information of members or participants volunteering to provide additional support outside the regular meeting time will be made available if and when other members volunteer their time in this way. No guarantees will be made to any participants about the quality of contact that they may obtain through a private chat or through volunteers.
Participants struggling with diseases other than depression such as alcoholism, drug addiction, and personality disorders or syndromes, are asked to limit their discussion of these co-diseases so as to allow focus of the group on depression and its affects on participants’ lives. Members who share about any other personal challenges agree they will do so only as it relates to their depression, and that they will not use this meeting environment to try to obtain psychological analysis, therapy, or coaching.
Minimal donations will periodically be requested to help defray the cost of registering with MeetUp.