We have often heard the phrase ‘talk it out’; this urges people to share their feelings. Communication is very important for human beings, this is how we function. Dr. Bourg Carter is among many psychologists who assert the “importance of effective face-to-face communication for relationships and interpersonal fulfillment.” He wrote, “It’s long been suggested that communication depends on the on “skill sets” or “talk habits” in one’s conversational repertoire.”
Whenever we see someone who seems upset or stressed, this is the first thing we say to them. This phrase has a lot of weight to it and several kinds of research back it up as well. After extensive research psychologists established a therapy called talk therapy. It is said to be the most effective way of combatting depression and stress. Talking to another person about your feelings allows you to express yourself and give the other person insight into your mental state. According to Lori Hilt, Ph.D., “Depression is a change of normal functioning. It’s important that it’s a change in typical behavior.”
Most people, be it teenagers or adults are depressed because they aren’t satisfied with the quality of their life. They expect too much and when people or life doesn’t reach up to their expectations, they get depressed. Eventually, they develop anxiety. According to therapist Nancy B. Irwin, PsyD, “Depression and anxiety are like flip sides of the same coin. Being depressed often makes us anxious, and anxiety often makes us depressed.” It is a part of our lives; some people find happiness in the smallest things of life while others don’t. The good news is that it is completely normal and can be treated. Most people often confuse depression with sadness; however, the two are completely different. You constantly feel blue and empty when you are depressed and this hollow feeling is often paired with extreme feelings.
Usually people think it’s a phase and it passes sooner or later, however, it is a mental illness and needs to be treated accordingly. One of the most authentic and tested ways of overcoming stress and depression is through therapy. Depression is usually common among teenagers who are going through a lot, especially with the school and pressure to be good at everything. As part of school club members, you can organize regular talk sessions. This encourages students to be more open about their feelings.
If you are a club member or a leader, you can arrange successful talk sessions as part of your club meetings:
- Introductory Meeting
Before you actually begin with your regular club meetings, arrange a small introductory meeting in which you explain the format of this group to all participants. Allow your members to participate in this discussion and give suggestions. Introduce them to the idea of having talk sessions and how it can help in overcoming depression. Select leads for different tasks and asks them to give you a monthly report on the status of your club as well as the members.
- Anonymous Box
Set up a box that is open for suggestions, confessions, and topics that need to be addressed. Start your session with these tips and build the topic of your discussion accordingly.
- Bring In Experts And Motivators
Every now and then, introduce guest speakers who are experts in their relevant fields along with those who overcame depression. This develops a connection between the participants and the speakers. The members can relate to the talks and realize they aren’t in this alone. Once the members start trusting each other, they open up and talk about their respective issues as well.
- Pick A New Speaker From The Group
After your guest speakers have given their speeches, pick a member at random and ask them to share their stories. Talking is important to combat depression. The more you stay quit, the more dangerous it becomes.
- Incorporate Fun Activities
Talking about the bad stuff in life can be a little depressing, so change the mood of the session every now and then. Ask your members to sing happy songs or talk about their most valuable things in life. It is important to lighten the mood of the sessions.
- Have Backup Ideas
Never go into a meeting unprepared, always have two to three topics in mind. In case a topic gets a little out of hand or goes into the wrong direction bring it back on track. Another thing you need to be careful of is keeping violence out of these discussions. Because people with depression have different phases and you can never be certain of what they might end up doing.
Distribute handouts to the members and ask them to summarise their progress. This will give everyone an idea of where they stand.
As a group leader, you must be observant of what is going around you. Keep your eyes and ears open. If you think someone is in a bad place or needs medical help then contact their guardians and school administration immediately.