Over 40 million people in America suffer from anxiety disorders, yet only roughly 33% of them are receiving appropriate treatment. Too many people suffer alone with this mental health condition. However, online support groups can be a great way to get help.
Symptoms of Anxiety
The three main types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Some symptoms may be milder, more frequent or last for a longer period of time, depending upon the individual.
- Irrational fears and restlessness.
- Uncontrollable, disturbing thoughts that persist
- Physical symptoms such as panic attacks, shaking, muscle tension, insomnia, nausea
- Feelings of embarrassment and of being observed by others.
- Avoiding or having an intense fear of places where attacks have previously occurred or where people may be encountered.
Treatment for Anxiety
Patients who suffer from anxiety can be helped with a variety of treatment modalities. The most common treatment is psychotherapy. One type of psychotherapy used in anxiety disorders is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Also useful are stress-management techniques like certain types of exercise. Some physicians may also prescribe antidepressants, beta-blockers or anti-anxiety medicines to their patients. However, medication should be used as a last resort.
Joining a support group for people with anxiety disorders can be an integral piece of the treatment puzzle. Support groups give clients the extra aid needed when a therapist is not available. They also can help when you just need to chat with someone or get some questions answered. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America suggests you find help with a support group in your area or online in conjunction with other forms of treatment.
Finding an Online Support Group
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to get help with anxiety is with an online support group. A study reported in the British Medical Journal discovered that there may be beneficial effects connected to joining an online support group. There is no need to feel alone in your struggle if you have access to a computer. Discover the motivation and strength to get through life with the help of others via an anonymous (if you wish) and helpful community of others.
Anxiety Social Net. This is a free support group, mainly for social anxiety sufferers. You can share your inner struggles, thoughts, and fears with others who understand what you’re going through. This site offers live chat, Q&A, the opportunity to use a diary, share media and contribute to or read a blog.
Anxiety Central. Here you will find another free community of those who suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, depression and related issues. There is a chat room, articles for resource help, blogs, forums on specific anxiety disorders, including PTSD, and a “lounge” to discuss a variety of topics such as movies, television, sports and more.
Anxiety Zone. Similarly, this support group contains forums, blogs, and boards grouped into specific types of anxiety disorders. There are opportunities to have off-topic discussions, discuss medications and therapies and to receive or share inspiration in the form of art, poetry and more in this large web-based community.
Whether online or offline, receiving treatment is essential to overcoming anxiety. This can in the form of therapy, medication, stress-reduction or some combination of the three. Joining a support group is an easy way to get started with the healing process and will allow you to feel less alone and connect with others who understand.