In this blog, we will talk about talking to someone online for help, human nature, the right way to talk online for help, what does the research says, platforms to talk to someone online for help, and also answer some frequently asked questions.
How to Talk to someone online for help?
You can join a support group, become a member of chatrooms, join communities, and also log into listening platforms that can help you vent out your feelings, emotions, and thoughts with the mask of anonymity.
Talking to someone online for help can be a little easier than talking to someone for help face-to-face as you might fear being judged, everyone getting to know your personal issues, and being treated differently.
Human Nature and need for help
Human Beings are social creatures for sure, but sometimes it can become overwhelming to face people because of stress or possible undiagnosed mental health issues, but thankfully the world has gone online.
You can discover an outlet for your release and of course, establish a community in which you feel as if you belong. It can be a bit troublesome to find people with similar interests, apart from your family and friends from school, college or workplaces.
The energy for social interaction gets drained seldom and hence finding like-minded people online to seek support from can look like a lucrative option.
A world that’s too busy with itself and in itself can for some people be a deaf place to bear, there are online chat groups that provide you the prospect of active listening. This can aid you in processing your emotional stress, you can find listeners who may be a source of stable support to you.
You can text people in these chat rooms to find people who seem to be suffering the same problems as you are. You can find people going through relationship troubles, substance abuse, anxiety, isolation, and other mental health issues, all anonymous if you choose to be.
Online Chat Rooms
There are online chats that are available throughout the day and can connect you to a counselor who will be involved with you for one on one chat or online emotional support, there are a range of topics that you can discuss (but not limited to) like, anxiety, suicidal ideation, depressive disorder, relationship problems, family stress, emotional/physical abuse.
Although chatting online is supposed to be safe, there are online predators all over the web so one should try to be a bit more cautious.
For everybody, the world can seem nefarious sometimes and we are not always able to express ourselves to people we know, sometimes due to a lack of energy or sometimes just because of judgment, so talking to strangers who are going through illnesses same as yours can be a relief.
One can also debunk the myth of “never talk to strangers because they are dangerous” through chatting anonymously in help rooms online with strangers. Let us then delve a bit into how to approach the issue of safety:
Downsides of Online help platforms
No matter how free it feels on the internet, there are always predators who take advantage of that freedom. The most basic of all rules is to stay safe while participating in the chat rooms.
Usually, you meet good people, like you, who are in the hope of finding somebody to relate with but still it is important to take precautions.
You should in no case give away your personal information like your address, or phone number and one does that very easily in an easygoing conversation, therefore you should remain watchful of whatever you say, don’t blurt out anything that can later land you in a problem.
You should make a point to never download an attachment sent to you through the chatroom, or if anything appeals slightly suspicious to you, delete it straight away. It can be malware or adware of which you can become prey.
A few strangers can make you feel awkward and uncomfortable in a conversation, sometimes even unintentionally.
If the person keeps asking you questions that are putting you off or are making you feel increasingly awkward, just tell them to shut it off or kill the conversation or block them. It is not your responsibility to continue talking to someone who’s constantly putting you off and makes you uneasy.
You’re not supposed to feel bad about yourselves online or anywhere for that matter, so just let it be if the person turns out to be a jerk.
If you get too comfortable with a stranger and they want to meet you or take the conversation ahead, be very sure of your safety. Meet in a public space, like a cafe or a restaurant. Do not go to their place, their home, or make them come to your place until you both know each other really well and have developed a level of trust.
How do Online Talking/Chatting Platforms work?
While you are expecting the stranger to listen to you actively, they are also expecting the same, so you too have to be an active listener, offer suggestions, advice and empathize with them if they are dealing with a serious problem.
A chat room for people suffering from anxiety or depression can be a wonderful gift that modern technology offers. The purpose of such tools is to provide you a sense of belonging and community and its use like other online services should not be excessive or you might lose the ability to converse with the people you know.
People who are suffering from depression – diagnosed/undiagnosed often feel drained and have a lack of will as well as energy to remain active – in relationships, social circles, family gatherings and hence can feel quite isolated. And all social interactions can appear quite burdensome and overwhelming ( albeit you do not want to be alone) mental illnesses as such can steal away your will to carry forward in your life.
Online interaction requires little or no effort, also chat rooms never force participation, you have full control over the timings – when you want to leave or begin chatting. As understanding as loved ones are, it can be challenging to deal with the communication aspect with people going through depression.
People can vent themselves out if they are feeling constricted and suffocated knowing those who are reading them require no or little explanation.
Such people can also obtain a global perspective as anybody can participate from anywhere.
It can be nice to hear how people worldwide are coping with depression.
Sometimes mental health stigma can make you feel embarrassed and hinder your ability to discuss your feelings, hence a chat room is one to conceal your identity and discuss your feelings without anybody knowing who you are.
Ask for Help When You Need it
Always know that you can ask for help. Everyone is entitled to emotional help when required regardless of how we are made to believe. Validation is not essential but it can help in terms of need and we might not receive it from people around us all the time hence the internet does not look that bad a place for that at all.
Online therapy can also be an option to discover, a trained therapist or a counselor can help and guide you where your friends will only provide an empathetic ear( they are important, nevertheless) or if you feel as if there are challenges which you can not face on your own some guidelines from a therapist can help and lessen your stress.
If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.
Things to remember while talking online for help
- Don’t write in CAPS, as it might be considered as a yelling tone.
- Let people know that you are present in the chat room, it would be considered rude to just lurk there. Say a hi and let them know that you are new to the chat room and would like to just watch and understand how the process goes
- Try reading whatever you write to yourself first so that the meaning goes across the table and doesn’t turn out to be offensive.
- Do not say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person and of course stay careful about what you share with the other person even in a private chat room.
- Do not share your personal details and phone number, etc.
What does the research say about online chatrooms?
Researches suggest that online chat rooms can aid in easing social anxiety, there are also support groups that help in confidence-building.
Better places to earn confidence would be self-help books and support groups as they do not force you to become social and interact with people face to face which can help you learn new things about yourself too and possibly then out of your new learning be able to work on yourself.
Everybody wants to tell a story, sometimes we may not find people around us to listen to them, but there are alternative options that can be made accessible to you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Talk to someone online for help?
How can I talk to people better online?
You can have a better talk with people by keeping a few things in mind:
- Make a good impression
- Be inquisitive but not incisive in conversations
- Avoid jargon, keep your conversations simple
- Put a leash on your narcissism
Is asking somebody online for help okay?
Yes, it is perfectly safe but remains cautious of online predators and talk in public chat rooms first rather than private ones so as to establish a sense of community.
What precautions shall be taken while chatting online
- Do not share your personal details like address/phone number
- Beware of fake identities
- Do not share pictures
- Never download attachments.
Are chat rooms safe for minors?
Yes, they are if your child wants to find someone to talk to online but as parents, you must let them know the dangers of being online and constantly guide them about the dangers lurking underneath if they do not remain cautious.
Where can I talk to someone online for free?
Some websites to consider would be :
- E therapy pro
- 7 cups
- Free online therapy
- Blah therapy
What is a mental breakdown?
A Mental breakdown is considered a period of immense mental/emotional stress, which can absolutely hinder the person’s ability to carry on their day-to-day normal activities, it is not a clinical term nor a disorder. But sometimes it can be a symptom of mental illness.
Is there a chatroom for anxiety?
Healthfulchat is a well-rated anxiety chat room that supports all kinds of anxiety disorders.
Is there a free CBT app?
Yes, there are many, a well-rated CBT app is Mindshift which helps in the reduction of anxiety, worry, stress, and panic attacks by using cbt tools to help you inculcate mindfulness.
Are online therapists legit?
Yes, of course, they are as qualified as those you would see in person. They are licensed and graduated from medical school and board-certified.
Can an online psychiatrist prescribe Xanax?
No, all FDA-controlled substances like Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Etizolam, Ativan, Lorazepam are to be only prescribed by a doctor whom you’ll have to see in person.