Online Support for People having Mental Health Conditions
Online Mental Health Support is an increasingly common way of getting help.
People are turning to the internet for support because it helps them feel more anonymous and safe about their circumstances, as well as feeling that they have a greater degree of control over what happens next. It’s also easier to turn to the computer than it is to pick up a telephone.
The internet can be very powerful when it comes to helping people feel more supported in times of difficulty. Here are some examples of how this happens online:
Information about the illness/condition is available online, which helps educate someone on their condition and understand it more fully. This makes them feel more secure knowing that they are not alone in facing this challenge.
There is a supportive community where people can share their fears and experiences, which helps them feel less isolated in their situation and empowers them to know that they’re not alone in feeling scared or lonely.
People may also discuss the illness online for more understanding about how it affects others and what life is like for someone with the illness. This helps reduce loneliness and isolation, which can be especially helpful in the early stages when they are often most acutely aware of feeling ‘different’ or alone.
People can also connect with others online who share similar lifestyles, which is particularly helpful if they’re not able to meet up with others in real life because of restrictions in their lifestyle due to a mental health condition. This helps reduce isolation and loneliness, which can be especially helpful in the early stages when they are often most acutely aware of feeling ‘different’ or alone.
When people have specific questions about their diagnosis, side effects from medication, or ways to manage their condition more effectively for example, support is often available online from other sufferers or medical professionals. This can be very helpful to someone wanting reassurance about their own diagnosis, fears, and questions about the future/what’s going to happen next.
Online self-help groups provide a space where people can find useful information and tips on how they can best manage their condition. For example, someone who has just been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder may find useful self-help articles on how to calm down when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. They can then use that information to work out the best way they can manage their condition without taking medication if possible.
There are several options for getting assistance online. This page focuses on:
Mental Health Support Networks (e.g.”Mind”): Online information about the different mental health conditions, how they affect people, helpful tips on coping, and understanding more about your illness. This helps provide security and empowerment by giving the person useful knowledge to help them better understand their condition and reduce feelings of confusion or fear surrounding it.
Self-help communities/forums: These are online discussion forums where people can discuss mental health experiences with others. They often have spaces dedicated to supporting different conditions, so for example, if someone is living with Manic Depression they can join the Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression community to get support or advice.
Online counseling services provide a space where people can get emotional support and empathy from someone who has experienced mental illness themselves and who knows how it feels to be in that situation. They have specific spaces dedicated to different conditions, so for example, if someone is living with Borderline Personality Disorder they can join the BPD Online Support Group to get support from other people living with the condition.
Anonymous chat rooms/online support groups (e.g.: HealthUnlocked) provide a space where people can get emotional support from an anonymous person online. They have specific spaces dedicated to different conditions, so for example, if someone is living with General Anxiety Disorder they can join the GAD Chat Room to get support from other people living with the condition.
Other popular websites like Tumblr also offer anonymous spaces where people can seek advice or express themselves if they don’t feel comfortable discussing their thoughts and feelings in real life. This helps reduce isolation, loneliness, and frustration by providing an outlet to express emotions that otherwise may not be able to be expressed due to stigma or cultural taboos.
Facebook groups are especially popular because they allow for online interactions to mirror real-life ones. For example, people can post about their struggles and receive virtual hugs from others who understand what they are going through. This helps reduce isolation, which is common in the early stages when the person often most acutely feels ‘different and the need for social acceptance and security.
Group chats: On popular instant messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, people can create group messages and share their mental health experiences in a safe environment with other people who understand what they are going through. This helps reduce isolation when it’s difficult to find someone in real life who understands what you’re going through, or if you feel more comfortable sharing with people online instead of in real life.
What mental health issues can I get support online for?
One of the most popular online support groups is for those who have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety- also common mental health conditions. These two issues are estimated to affect 1 in 7 people, meaning there is a good chance you know someone who has experienced these issues. It can be difficult to approach someone if you don’t understand what they are going through or know how to help, which is why it’s important that more people are aware of the symptoms and causes in order to offer better support.
Is there an online support group for anxiety?
- Anxiety is an umbrella term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest themselves through physical symptoms as well as mental ones.
- There is a lot of information available on the web. There are also lots of mental-health-related forums which you can join to speak to other people that may be going through similar experiences.
- Conclusion: We hope you found the information we shared helpful. If any of this sounds like it’s relevant to your situation, please contact us for help with finding a doctor or mental health professional near you who can offer support online and offline. It’s never too late to reach out!