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Still, as our back-and-forth winds down, I feel totally underwhelmed. Hokemeyer suggested, my Talktala experience feels like Self-Reflection Lite—it's not in-depth enough to provide any real insight.Not for me, anyway—a therapy newbie might find Regina's advice illuminating.I also write, "I just moved 3,000 miles across the country, back to my hometown, in the dead of winter on the East Coast. I've had depression since I was 16 (I'm in my late 30s now) and seem to forget that it doesn't just magically go away [following a relocation]."THE RESOLUTION (OR LACK THEREOF)An hour goes by. So I jump onto another board (one that an actual therapist is supposed to frequent!) and try posting in the "Relationships & Family" section instead.Could spilling my guts to faceless strangers on an online message board or chat room possibly compare to "real" therapy? Paul Hokemeyer, a NYC-based addictions and family therapist, is dubious."Therapy that changes people's lives is a nuanced process," he says.THE RESOLUTION (OR LACK THEREOF)OK, so the therapist's response seems a bit... I wasn't expecting much more, honestly, so I continue my exchange, explaining more details about my mental-health history.

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it's like Facebook had a baby with a virtual shrink's office! Like Talktala, MTC features free forums where users can vent about their issues, but if you want real therapeutic guidance (aka "Direct Counseling") from a professional, you'll need to cough up some cash.THE THERAPY SITE: is the slickest of the three sites I tried.It has the most appealing design, and it helpfully provides sympathetic-looking photos of its roster of online therapists waiting, with bated breath, to help me. For "everyone [to] have real-time, simple, and affordable access to professional advice whenever and wherever we need it."Talktala offers paid online support from legit online therapists—it costs for an "initial help" session; for a one-on-one "chat for a week" service in which you get to, yes, e-chat with a therapist one-on-one for a week; and for a 30-minute one-on-one video session with a therapist of your choosing.The site also includes free therapist-run forums where users can air their mental-health challenges; a therapist will respond to up to 5 posts per user before charging a fee. In the "How to Manage Stress and Depression" forum, I spill out a paragraph about how Fear of Missing Out and social comparison are making me miserable (hey, it's true). It does sound like you are struggling with your own self-value. "I write back that I have no "reasons" to doubt myself—instead I've got an exciting smorgasbord of your average everyday depressive tendencies and low self-esteem, yippee!

I write, "I constantly compare myself to other women—not just women I know, but friends of friends, famous people, etc." before acknowledging that my life is fine overall, save for my obsessive quest to "constantly think about how little I have in comparison to some friends and acquaintances (especially when it comes to my love life)."A therapist named Regina M. "It is so difficult to be a woman in our culture these days," she writes. I explain that I've been in therapy for years and have tried a zillion types of treatment.

"The dialogue that occurs online is much more shallow and transient.