The 3 Best Online Anxiety Support Groups to Calm Down Your Mind

By Sarah @ Daily Motivation

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Last Updated: April 21, 2022

Are you struggling with anxiety, and feeling isolated? 

Sometimes, it feels perfectly natural to not want to be around anyone else, especially when we feel at our most vulnerable. Anxiety does a number on your head and your body, leaving some of us feeling defeated or worried. Maybe we don't feel like sharing something that other people just may not understand. 

Many mental health professionals will tell us that finding and building a safety net of support around us is exactly what we need to ease the feelings of anxiety, depression and many other health issues. Further isolation can leave us spinning in our heads, with only our own thoughts to swirl around in there. 

Reaching out to, sharing with and trusting in your community of family, friends, online support groups and health professionals gives you a solid support system to cope with your anxiety.

Joining an online anxiety support group can be a helpful step in the right direction if you feel like you just want to talk to other people who know exactly what you are feeling and thinking. Are you willing to give it a try? 

 

 

How Can Community Improve Mental Health? 

In a study on Mental Health Before and During the COVID Pandemic, researchers aimed to find out what the prevalence of depression, anxiety and mental health well-being looked like before and during the pandemic, as well as looking to identify groups who were at risk of depression and/or anxiety during the pandemic. 

The study found that among their younger test group, depression levels were similar to pre-pandemic levels, while those who experienced anxiety before the pandemic had almost doubled. 

Ok, we know that the last few years have done a number on us in terms of mental health issues.

The good news is, we have also found that finding and feeling a part of communities with people who truly understand what you are going through, and are on the journey themselves, can have a profound effect on our ability to cope with our issues. 

There are many benefits to joining a support group. These apply to groups beyond anxiety - for major life changes, illnesses or very stressful events, we can all find comfort in others who are going through the exact same feelings, thoughts and experiences as we are. 

7 Benefits of Joining a Support Group

  • Reduces feelings of loneliness, isolation and being judged
  • Gives you a sense of empowerment and control
  • You can compare notes with others who have gone through the same things, doctors and alternatives
  • Helps you to speak honestly and openly about your true feelings and emotions
  • Can provide you with tools to improve your coping skills 
  • Can reduce stress, anxiety and depression
  • Give you a broader view on advice, information and additional resources to explore

 

Safely Navigating Online Anxiety Support Groups 

Keep in mind as you search for and possibly join an online support group that you feel drawn to - these groups are intended to help, but they do not replace professional mental health treatment.

As you navigate these online communities, make sure you are listening to your gut about if it is right for you, and you are getting what you need from it. 

Unfortunately, even in groups where people are trying to seek and serve help and guidance, some are still putting out toxic and negative energy. Know when it feels right to stay, to go, or to take an extra step and seek out professional advice from a therapist or counselor. 

Today, we’re going to share with you some of the best online anxiety support groups you can easily get involved with. Take the time to check them out. Take advantage of the community support. It’s an easy way to connect with others, for your own benefit – and theirs.

 

 

3 Online Anxiety Support Groups to Try

1. SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery is geared mainly toward those struggling with substance abuse, but it is also quite helpful for those dealing with anxiety. If you have a loved one struggling with addiction, they have a wonderful family and friends support group.

SMART Recovery is science-based. It helps people learn more about the addictive process and helps them learn how to cope and overcome it. You’re not prompted to live in the past, telling stories that keep you stuck in a victim mentality. Rather, you’re given valuable tools to empower yourself.

You can enjoy SMART Recovery groups in person in your community or online video meetings. There are plenty of meeting times all around the world. And, it’s free!

Want to share in a forum? They have one of those too. This is nice because you can post anytime, rather than have to wait for meetings.

 

2. ADAA - Anxiety & Depression Association of America

ADAA offers free peer to peer support groups through their Anxiety and Depression Support community. With over 68 thousand members and a very active posting forum, they offer a safe space for people who are affected by anxiety and depression and want to talk to others who understand what they are going through.

"ADAA is a nonprofit dedicated to the prevention, treatment, & cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD and co-occurring disorders through education, practice, & research." - ADAA site

With topics such as these, you can start your search there, or jump into the forum and answer or ask questions yourself. 

  • ADD/ADHD
  • Anxiety & Panic
  • Bipolar
  • Depression
  • OCD and Phobias
  • PTSD
  • Stress
  • Therapy & Treatment 

You choose your own screen name, so you can be completely anonymous. The ADAA site also offers free educational resources such as webinars, podcasts  and videos and blog posts on these topics. 

 

3. Support Groups Central

Seen at the top of many mental health support groups lists, Support Groups Central is a large platform that provides a broad range of support groups, themselves offering a spectrum of topic choices.

They offer some friendly, introductory videos as soon as you log in, to give you the gist of the platform, and to help you figure out the best way to find what you need and navigate the site. It can also help you keep track of your upcoming meetings with a handy dashboard as soon as you log in. 

The wide variety of topics and meetings around mental health are facilitated by organizations that provide safe, supportive places for people to share their experiences, discuss coping skills and offer hope to each other.

From depression and bipolar support, to general anxiety to living with borderline personality disorder (BPD), there are meetings and groups throughout the week for you to try out. 

They also offer support in 32 different categories, including: 

  • Stress & Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Mental Health
  • Depression
  • Caregivers
  • Life Skills
  • Sleep

Virtual meeting topics include (Many of them are free to register): 

  • Goal Setting: Building a Better You
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Better Days: Exploring Mental Health Topics
  • Self-Healing

This is a vast platform, offering many solutions. It's a benefit that many of the meetings are facilitated by trained instructors, some of whom are mental health professionals. 

Are You Struggling With Social Anxiety? How to Identify & Helpful Ways to Overcome

 

 

Online Anxiety Support Groups Can Help, But They Don't Replace Professional Advice

Choosing your online community is just as personal as how you select your friends. These are a few of our suggestions to get you started. The important thing is that you feel you have resources to support your personal journey. 

Always remember that while it can be comforting for you to find a like minded community to share your experiences, these groups are not meant to replace professional mental health services.

If you are struggling with anxiety, depression or anything where you just need to speak to someone who can help more than a conversation, you should speak with your doctor, or seek out professional care through a therapist or counselor. 

 

BetterHelp

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Click here to take the BetterHelp quiz and get paired with a therapist now.

Disclaimer: As a BetterHelp affiliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided.

Editor's note: This article was originally published October 23rd, 2020. It has been updated to provide up to date information and more timely resources. 

Photo by Matheus Bertelli

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5 comments on “The 3 Best Online Anxiety Support Groups to Calm Down Your Mind”

  1. Thank you for all the referrals. Marlene j. king Now you are saying I've already said that. Well I am very sorry to irritate you. To avoid me, just take me off your list!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Your enumeration of support groups truly proves the presence of compassionate people who are willing to share their knowledge, ability and wisdom to uplift the wellbeing of others. They ought to be commended.

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