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How can Support Groups be an Effective Treatment for Anxiety Disorders?

Think about a time when you did not have anyone to hear you out, or your close friend with whom you just shared what you were feeling and he/she/they did not understand you; or when you were trying to explain to your parents why you didn’t get through the interview because you felt anxious, overwhelmed and uneasy, and they just dismissed you by stating that your experiences aren’t real and you’re just making excuses because you weren’t your “best self.”

All of these incidents can make you feel dejected, alone, and weary because you did not have anyone to understand you.

Now, think about a place where you could just be yourself, raw without any filter on. Yes, that’s what support groups have to offer. Support groups are a great source for emotional help and mental well-being. It helps with providing valuable information on issues that are commonly shared with the support group members. Support groups are a great way to heal yourselves by pouring your heart out and sharing your emotions.

In this article, we talk about how efficient support groups can be for someone who has an anxiety disorder.

Understanding The Complexity of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is an alerting signal that helps us by warning us of the threatening danger and notifies us to be vigilant and cautious.

Everyone goes through anxiety but sometimes it can reach extremes that might get into your daily routine and disrupt your daily activities indicating an anxiety disorder. Many people might have anxiety disorders involving excessive fear, which more often than not has an internal trigger. You might not know the reason for your anxiety, which can interfere with your mental health and your capacity to function. There are other physical indicators of anxiety too, which can include jitteriness, a racing or a thudding heart, sweating, gastrointestinal problems, etc. Discomfort and restlessness are quite common symptoms.

Anxiety can bring about several developments in varying aspects of an individual’s life and can be physical, behavioral, temperamental, social, or psychological. These changes can range from being very precise and unapparent to more drastic and disrupting.

Psychosocial symptoms include feeling helpless, worthless and you might feel uneasy without an emotional trigger. Anxiety can reveal itself in several ways, depending on its characteristics and strengths and, leading to the personality and individual characteristics of the person experiencing it.

Fostering Empowerment through Support Groups

Support groups work on a simple foundation with people who share the same difficulties, or pain, and need someone else to understand each other and provide mutual emotional and pragmatic support.

Research has suggested that taking part in online support groups and the outcomes of this participation can result in personal empowerment and growth. Support groups can enrich you with empowerment in several ways!

  • Getting help from your peers and members that share the same pain can help you know that you are not alone and there are people with you to help you out!

  • Joining a support group is your own choice and you can voluntarily participate and engage in activities that can help you manage your feelings. Immerse yourself in the experience and engage in discussions. When you are a part of a support group, your decision-making skills are enhanced, you make your own choices which help you give you an insight into understanding yourself.

  • When you are a part of a support group you don’t just help yourself but also others around you. This helps you to identify with others, their feelings, and their experiences! You may gain a sense of belongingness because you know you can connect with them.

  • Participating in support group activities helps build interpersonal relationships. This process helps expand social cohesiveness which thus validates how you express yourself! Now, this helps boost self-confidence, brings emotional support, and creates bonding, leading to a feeling of empowerment.

EduPsych’s Anxiously Anxious Support Group:

The group is led by a therapist with a specified number of sessions. There are activities assigned for every meeting, which will help you cope with anxiety and distress. You will come together with people who share common experiences. You will have to maintain a journal, wherein you can write your thoughts, about how you feel so that you can know yourself better! Journal writing has its benefits and is a great way to get rid of anxiety!

Joining a support group can do wonders for some people. Especially when you require some emotional support and want someone to hear you out who can understand you. Try being a part of a support group and see for yourself how it empowers you!

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