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Author Topic: Dr. suggested to stop visiting online support groups such as this one.Thoughts?  (Read 559 times)

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Offline anx247

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I recently went to see my neurologist and upon diagnosing me with anxiety, she also suggested to continue counseling, and receiving support from my family and friends as I have been doing but to consider not visiting online support groups such as this one. Her rationale is that I may encounter people who are struggling more than I am and have different issues and that I may get caught up and feed off of this. I have come a long way and can say I feel like myself again and although I have found this website helpful and supportive I don't know if I should follow her advice or not now that I am on my way to recovering from my anxiety. What are your thoughts?
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Offline privilegedwhitekid

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You should tell your neuro that that's, just like, her opinion, man. Personally I find sites like these to be an invaluable resource. I can't count the amount of times this site has calmed me down reading all these posts from people who have the same "symptoms" that I do. If you find it useful I don't see any reason to stop. I don't really see the harm in surrounding yourself with people who can empathize with you.
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Offline Ravens Lady

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I found that this website (and the people here) were extremely instrumental in my tackling how to better process my health anxiety and come into a phase of recovery.  I think there can be different levels or stages of "recovery" at a place like this, so if you aren't making progress, perhaps you could consider not having it be a part of your plan. 

For example -

Level 1 - HA sufferer uses online message board mostly for ruminating on fears and venting anxiety.  He or she may spout dramatic posts, such as, "I'm dying this time I just know it!!"  Support and reassurance is given from others, but the H.A. sufferer is unable to reduce anxiety from those attempts.  He or she is in the same state of anxiety (or worse) upon entering and leaving the site.  And makes no progress over a long course of time.

Level 2 - HA sufferer uses online support group to share fears and find reassurance.  He or she gets reassurance and guidance from others, and feels a little better temporarily, but often comes back starting from the same state of anxiety.  The website is an aid for temporary anxiety management, but not anxiety-recovery. 

Level 3 - HA sufferer uses the online support group to share fears and concerns and look for reassurance and also seeks to reassure others and give tips on how others might deal with their anxiety better.  This is a give and take process and teaches the H.A. sufferer to begin thinking about health anxiety more objectively by responding to others and thinking more with the rational/objective mind and less with the emotional mind.  This is the beginning of recovery. 

Level 4 - HA sufferer rarely needs to find reassurance on the website, and uses more energy to help others not only find reassurance, but also find ways to combat H.A..  This person finds ways to reassure him or herself by practicing good mental habit restraint (like no googling, no self-checking, and rational thinking) and good rational thinking to respond to his or her thoughts.  This person is in a state of recovery. 


I feel that I started out at a level 1 before I first joined this website, and worked my way all the way up to a level 4 while I was here.  If you are stagnant and stuck at a certain level and not making progress, you may want to consider finding other means of solutions for dealing with H.A.   But if you use this place in a way that helps you to learn better ways to tackle your H.A. on your own and gain better rational thought processes, then I think it might be okay to stay.  But, consider what your doctor/therapist says...  Even if you leave for a while and decide to come back, nothing has to be permanent and set in stone... you could try it out as an experiment...   
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Offline lawkcrabb

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Honestly... I feel the same way sometimes.  I will read a post that has something that I don't know about and then my OCD comes and I HAVE to know about it, then it is a fight to stop googling...etc.  don't get me wrong, I have found a lot of support here, but I can see what your doctor is talking about.
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Offline noella6

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I tend to come here only when my HA flares up.
And it is a valuable port of call when worried about a specific disease because searching for info in the Anxiety Zone searchbar is far less dangerous than google itself!

When I feel ok I never log in, it just completely leaves my mind.

I think it may be time to step back when you read posts here and feel more anxious. For example, sometimes you can find new diseases you never knew about, which is definitely one down side!

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"Giants exist to deceive, they retreat if they're clearly perceived"

Offline Beth0810

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GOOD advice. 
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"We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking."  -Richard Rohr

Offline totallyphobic

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I have shared this site with my psychiatrist and therapist who both said this is great. I have found it most helpful in calming my thoughts with people who experience and have experienced the same problem and knowing I am not alone. I have found more support from the strangers I have met here then from my family and friends.
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Offline eddarun

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I think it can go either way.  Some people jump from one fear to the next, they may hear about a disease and then begin to feel symptoms and become afraid that they may have this disease.  In those cases this site might do more harm than good.  I see it clearly that when one person makes a post about a certain fear, its like its contageous.  Suddenly  more post about the same thing turn up.   If you are concerned about one specific thing than this site can be terrific,l I can read posts about all the different diseases in the world and I never begin fearing those things.   It just showes me that Im not the only one convinced I am ill.     I think you are the only one that can tell how this site affects you, I think you are the only one that can feel that.  It might be helping you, it might be doing harm...your psychiatrist cant know. only you can. 
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Offline tinam7

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She may be worried you'll visit here more than pay her visits. (j/k) This is a great site with great people. You learn to trust your own judgment which is best for you.
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Offline br350

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"
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Level 4 - HA sufferer rarely needs to find reassurance on the website, and uses more energy to help others not only find reassurance, but also find ways to combat H.A..  This person finds ways to reassure him or herself by practicing good mental habit restraint (like no googling, no self-checking, and rational thinking) and good rational thinking to respond to his or her thoughts.  This person is in a state of recovery. 

I feel that I started out at a level 1 before I first joined this website, and worked my way all the way up to a level 4 while I was here.  If you are stagnant and stuck at a certain level and not making progress, you may want to consider finding other means of solutions for dealing with H.A.   But if you use this place in a way that helps you to learn better ways to tackle your H.A. on your own and gain better rational thought processes, then I think it might be okay to stay. "

I agree completely with Ravens Lady.  I will add that I think if you are stuck and not making true progress in handling your anxiety then you are here and seeking reassurance.  We all know that reassurance, though comforting, is not going to solve our HA.  I wish it did.  If so, my and many others' HA would have disappeared long ago.   If anything it makes it linger.  I love this board and have been helped tremendously by it.  But I think being stuck in a loop of posting, getting reassurance, posting again, getting reassurance, posting again (maybe about yet another different illness fear) and getting reassurance, etc...you get the picture. That is not handling the anxiety.  It is reassurance seeking.   This never solves the problem.

There are fantastic resources and links mentioned on this site for all of us to work toward recovery and to managing our anxiety.   I've got a lot out of those resources and am very thankful for those who posted them.  :-)
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"Worrying is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere."

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