3 Reasons Anxiety Forums Are Hurting Your Mental Health

October 22, 2016

You see it over and over again on online anxiety forums and groups, people looking for answers to concerns about health anxiety, fear of leaving the house (agoraphobia), and information about a certain anti-anxiety medication or anti-depressant.

But there’s a few problems here, mainly the one where these questions are being answered by people who are also suffering through these behavioral problems as well, and rarely from people who have been in the sufferers shoes and have overcome their generalized anxiety and panic disorder issues for example.

Let’s look at 3 more examples of how most anxiety forums and groups could be keeping you in the anxiety loop, rather then providing any positive results:

They Don’t Provide Real Solutions

Most comments or questions on anxiety forums, chats, and groups are negative and fearful ones (understandably). These are usually met with a comforting response by someone who is going through similar experiences such as ‘hang in there’ or ‘this too will pass,’ as mush as these answers give the anxiety sufferer a temporary feeling of being cared for and accepted it doesn’t do ANYTHING to overcome generalized anxiety disorder.

They Reinforce Being Comfortable

Sitting on a computer won’t stop the fears that are driving your high levels of anxiety, simply because the formula to create change is planning + effort + consistency = results. For example, when an online marketer is trying to provide a solution for people through a product what does he do?

He tests things over and over again through making changes on his website for example, if that marketer doesn’t get the desired result what does he do? He changes his approach again, and again, and again so the question is how far have you gotten in your progress in stopping generalized anxiety disorder lately?

They Make You Numb To Positive Posts 

Here is a step by step way anxiety forums are used: The poster posts a problem or comment, the problem or comment may get a few responses mainly in the form of reassurance that things are OK and there’s no need to panic, the post eventually gets lost in the mix of newer posts.

In a world where our attention spans are so short, we become so caught up in the PROBLEMS that we and others are facing that when an actual post comes up that provides a possible road map or solution to a problem we tend to ignore it, due to the fact that we are numb to what is good. Or we put it to action for a short while, we don’t see the desired result, and we give up completely and say it didn’t work.

There’s a saying in professional sports it goes: ‘never change a winning game, but always change a losing game.’ There are two thing you need to do if you suffer from an anxiety disorder: #1 is to see if your progress in the last few weeks is what you truly desire deep down, #2 is to tweak the ‘tools’ you use in order to get on the road to recovery from an anxiety disorder once and for all.

Finally, answer this question… are anxiety forums digging you a deeper hole, or providing a positive change in your life?

Got a comment on this post? Speak your mind in the comment section below. 

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30 comments on “3 Reasons Anxiety Forums Are Hurting Your Mental Health

  1. PanicRemission Nov 23, 2013

    I completely agree. I suffered from panic disorder and have now gone through cognitive behavioral therapy and no longer suffer from the disorder. Because I know how terrible it is and how difficult it can be to get yourself out of the downward spiral that panic disorder can cause, I wanted to go onto message boards and post about my experience and how I was able to work through this disorder. I have literally been cut off from at least 3 anxiety message boards by the admin people. They say that the boards are for support not treatment advice or solutions to problems. All they want is other people posting “hang in there, everything will be okay”, when I was trying to say “Hey here is what worked for me, here are some suggestions, etc”. I eventually gave up. But I agree, anxiety message boards are a toxic place and it is too bad.

  2. Great post! I’m sometimes been a little envious of people who seem to find help in in forums as anxiety can be isolating at times but when I’ve (tentatively) tried them out I’ve found they can actually exacerbate my anxiety rather than help it. Different strokes for different folks I guess but good to know other people feel the same way!

    • I’ve also gotten tons of slack through email bashing my beliefs about most anxiety forums, also nice to know I share the same beliefs as a few who dare to look deeper into what’s OK and what’s harmful in the link long run.

  3. Appreciated greatly, thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I’m going to return yet again since I book marked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other

  5. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this information to him.
    Pretty sure he’s going to have a great read. Thanks for sharing!

  6. mohammed Oct 28, 2016

    yes i do find forums in keeping u in cylce i agree.. bcz y are facing with misrable people ,,negative people and we want to forget wht we have but they keep u in same loop. second talking about their experince of daily anxiety life make u frustrated just negative negativity .. we need someone to cheer us up not to let us down. third,, every anxiety sufferer in forums thinks he is the expert and know everything he could gives up awrong tips tht could makes u anxiety more worse ., what we need is someone been through tht hell the aanxiety and won the battle ,, and get every single tips recommendation from him tht made him overcome his anxiety ,, we need succes stories not depressing one ,,

  7. Britanica Nov 11, 2016

    I once did this. I would turn to these forums for answers. After a while I noticed I would go on here, poor my heart out, and get the same 5 responses. When I would ask for help, they would all say the same thing. Over time, it didn’t help anymore and I just got frustrated and thus added to my anxiety. I 100% agree, these forums more often than not are used as a crutch and it will only delay recovery.

    • Thanks for the feedback, and also a thank you for beginning the end the anxiety program. Looking forward to moving you from fear to freedom Britanica.

  8. Kelly Feb 7, 2017

    I guess anxiety forums are a good way to remind yourself that you’re not the only one going through the struggle, but other than that I’m not sure that they are that beneficial. Maybe a combination these forums with something else, or even better an in person anxiety group, where you actually get to meet up with real people, face to face. I definitely agree that you should keep monitoring your progress and find out what works for you – don’t give up and don’t get comfortable.

  9. I think body fatigue is one of the most serious diseases of recent times. Because when you are physically working you can relax by taking a nice shower by resting. But working with the brain, brain-enforcing activities such as constant thinking are really tiring people.

    • Certainly self control can use up willpower and energy sources in the body in the beginning stages. Which is a big reason most people go to the ‘it didn’t work mindset.’

  10. Fantina Charron Oct 5, 2017

    Thanks for Sharing.

  11. Yes I do agree with the post because there are certain people who don’t have full knowledge about Anxiety and those who have will rather not post too much about it.
    In this case, I would say go for online consultation to educated doctors who are working generally for the society and human wellness. There are lot of websites and blogs (as yours) providing such great services to stop anxiety problems.

  12. Sandra Mckinley Dec 9, 2017

    I think your on the right track. I do suffer from panic attacks as well as affection all the time. Forums are not a positive thing for me. I do check them out though. I think I will stick to the professionals to help me and they do. Thx for your post.

  13. Great article!
    This obsession with “talking things out” instead of working on a solution is really counter-productive. This gives temporal relief but talking is no substitute for action.

  14. Corinne Godin May 16, 2018

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  15. Hysterically true.

  16. RefluxMD, Inc. Oct 20, 2018

    I have read your post and I have found it really very helpful I am also
    suffering from panic attacks as well as affection all the time thanks for sharing your post.Keep writing.

  17. John B Dec 18, 2018

    Thank you for this post! I ran across this blog and I tried what it said and it definitely helped.

    Thank you!

  18. John heignett May 21, 2019

    Anxiety disorders are not just a case of “nerves.” You can’t overcome an anxiety disorder just through willpower, nor can the symptoms be ignored or wished away. These disorders cause you to feel anxious things to be thankful for most of the time, making some everyday situations so uncomfortable that you may avoid them entirely. Or, you may experience occasional instances of anxiety that are so terrifying and intense that you may be immobilized with fear.