Chat Now!   Member Gallery   Anxiety Zone Wire   Games   Social Groups   AZ Member Blogs   Health News  Bored?

Author Topic: Dr. suggested to stop visiting online support groups such as this one.Thoughts?  (Read 460 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline anx247

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Country: ca
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
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?
Bookmark and Share

Offline privilegedwhitekid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Male
  • Certified Google PhD
    • Poke This Member
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.
Bookmark and Share

Offline Ravens Lady

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1229
  • Rec's: 42
  • Gender: Female
  • As a Lady thinks, so she is.....
    • Poke This Member
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...   
Bookmark and Share

Offline lawkcrabb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 179
  • Country: 00
  • Rec's: 1
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
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.
Bookmark and Share

Offline noella6

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Rec's: 4
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
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!

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

Offline Beth0810

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
GOOD advice. 
Bookmark and Share

Offline totallyphobic

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 155
  • Rec's: 1
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
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.
Bookmark and Share

Offline eddarun

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 422
  • Country: dk
  • Rec's: 5
  • Gender: Female
    • Poke This Member
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. 
Bookmark and Share
I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.  - Mark Twain

Offline tinam7

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2333
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 73
  • Gender: Female
    • Poke This Member
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.
Bookmark and Share

Offline br350

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 567
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 27
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
"
-
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.  :-)
Bookmark and Share
"Worrying is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere."

Offline br350

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 567
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 27
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Sorry, don't know why my response came out in a box like that.  I was quoting part of Ravens Lady's response and then added some of my own thoughts.
Bookmark and Share
"Worrying is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere."

Offline floridaguy65

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2445
  • Rec's: 174
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Great replies!:)

To me, this site can be a wonderful tool in our, overall, healing path. It can only be part of our process of moving towards some lasting peace...it can not be our main source of comfort, ultimately. Eventually, we - ourselves - have to learn how to reassure ourselves, majorly, in our everyday lives. Of course, there can be a time where a source, such as The AZ, might provide the bulk of our solace and reassurances and, to me, this shouldn't be contrued as something 'bad', at any given time, per se. The peeps here, on The AZ, are scattered all over the spectrum of healing. Some are doing well, some very well, some fair, some not so good, some floundering a bit, some seeking a boost to get back on track, some struggling, some struggling mightily, some coming nearly unglued, etc. Some are newbies to the 'world of anxiety disorder / health anxiety'. Some are a couple years in. Some are ol' veterans. Some have just recently hit a setback (regardless of how long they have had their respective issues). Tough to paint, with a broad stroke, the picture of who should be here seeking out reassurances or not. We have all been in a place during our trials where we have felt compelled to seek out reassurances - felt scared - and we have done so. There is not a HA / AD person who has not sought out panicked reassurances.

That said, seeking continued reassurances is counterproductive to a longerterm, viable healing path. By continuing to ask other people if we are going to be OK in life never allows us the opportunity to become the major definer of our, overall, well-being. I said 'overall well-being' as Health Anxiety / Hypochondria tends to bleed over into MANY facets of our lives and it creates serious lifeflow interruptions that extend well beyond the boundaries of concerns (fears) over our health and disease. It can permeate into relationships, finances, education, work / careers, social activities, parenting, etc. There are truly no limits to where health anxiety / anxiety can interfere in our lifeflow. Serious stuff. Life enjoyment stuff! So no wonder we feel compelled to seek out reassurances, when struggling - when scared about our future and our life (and worried about the well-being of our loved ones). Protect me! Protect me! Protect me! We feel so freakin' compelled to protect.

So, my hope (and this has been said, as well, by others here on The AZ) would be that by coming here to The AZ we would find some comfort, first and foremost, in knowing that we are not alone in our trials (as we often feel, especially in the beginning times of our journey). It is incredibly scary and traumatic not really knowing what is going on in our body and minds, when we are in the infancy, so to speak, of interracting with HA / ADs. It is surreal (though VERY real). It is beyond frightening (though most of us didn't even know why we were really frightened). To fear dying (at OUR levels:) is something that is tremendously difficult to grasp. Being in turmoil, with our OWN mind and body, is nearly unfathomable to those who have not walked in our shoes (no blame, really, to them, though:). So, to have a place to come to tell our story, to find compassionate peeps and an empathetic ear and, hopefully, get some gentle guidance in the 'right' direction is invaluable, IMHO. But, I don't think anyone is really disputing this value of The AZ:)

Reassurance seeking happens. My other main hope is that those who come to The AZ will be able to accept, eventually (and sooner than later), that seeking out continued reassurances is counterproductive to their lasting peace. Our lifelong journey with our mental health challenges will, overwhelmingly, be a 'bumpier road' if we cannot find the resolve - somehow / someway - to not seek out a whole lot of reassurances. In reality we don't need many reassurances in life - we only believe we do - and this is driven by anxiety, mainly. And, when we are struggling to the levels very often seen here on The AZ, this anxiety driven reassurance seeking can become pervasive (and destructive).

As fellow strugglers, it seems we can be pretty darn good (as it has been shown here on The AZ) at letting peeps know that they are getting locked up in a current fear cycle and that they are seeking out a lot of reassurances (often for the same issue). We do it kindly, most often - though 'tough love' can be a wonderful thing, at times, IMHO:) And, as we know, we tend to be able to help others better than we can help ourselves. That panicked face looking back in the mirror is the hardest person to get to accept:)

Learn from others' experiences. Learn from those who have been able to find a way to some better lasting relief and solace and peace. Ultimately, we have to learn that we we cannot continue to seek out reassurances if we want to live in much better accord alongside our anxiety challenges. And, we CAN learn how to live so very well alongside them:) Seeking reassurances is part of the process. It is intertwined with, eventually (hopefully:), accepting that it is anxiety / health anxiety / mental health challenges that are creating a majority of our lifeflow interruptions. Through acceptance there is the potential for peace. Through our actions and habits we tremendously enhance (or diminish) this potential. Our actions and habits sooooooooo matter:)

Coming to The AZ for reassurances is OK, to me, within reason. Who is to say what is "within reason"? Well, I actually feel we, as a collective group of helpers, really have a pretty decent grasp as to what might be "too much". In my 3 years here, I have seen The AZ gently guide MANY peeps away from seeking out continued reassurances...or at least we have attempted (with compassion - overwhelmingly) to do so. As a collective group, IMHO, we know quite a bit about anxiety.....hell, we have lived it!:) And, as a whole, there are enough peeps, here, who are doing pretty well in their own trials to be able provide help (say "ENOUGH", kindly of course:) to those that are currently really struggling....and seeking out conterproductive, near continual reassurances.

Anxiety peeps have to 'live it' before they can 'help it'. To me, the most powerful potential that The AZ holds is that, hopefully, somebody who is coming here to help themselves find some relief (and guidance, maybe) will attempt to embrace acceptance (instead of the staus quo of denial and turmoil). And, that they will attempt to embrace this SOONER than later because of the wonderfully compassionate and empathetic and experienced and insightful and intelligent and varied and caring peeps here on THE AZ!!!!!:)

The AZ being a "nice" place for anxiety peeps (which it IS, IMHO:) will never, ever change the fact that continued seeking of reassurances will never, ever foster a viable longerterm healing path. Never, ever. You (whoever is reading this) will NOT be 'the one' who can do this. I thought I was 'the one'....turns out I was wrong as hell, too:) 'Recovery' is a process. Seeking reassurances is part of that process. We have to 'live it' before we can learn to 'help it'. Live it shorter.....Help it sooner:)

Keep in mind, we will likely always be 'living it' to some degree or another. But, anxiety does NOT have to define you (not even close)....it doesn't have to dominate you (not even close).

We can learn to live soooooooo very well, despite................................ .:)

The AZ can't 'cure'.....but it sure can help:) Ultimately, the 'heavy lifting' will have to be done by ourselves (each of us). And, we can do this. And, with time and patience and acceptance and longterm commitments, the load can get lighter and lighter and lighter:)

Peace and Feel Well:)

Bookmark and Share

Offline JunoX

  • No One Rules If No One Obeys
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1065
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 17
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Grumpy
    Grumpy
  • Where the mind goes, the body follows.
    • Poke This Member
I have no idea why she would make that assumption. Believe me, we have enough anxiety of our own so I don't see how we can conjure up more by visiting here. I would think that experiencing the different levels of struggle other people are going through would be beneficial to your recovery. It can truly put things in perspective for you. There's nothing better than a reality check with your peers to help you through your struggles. That's what AA meetings do. This place is similar to that. Every time you help someone on here, your helping yourself as well.

But hey, I don't have a neuro degree hanging in my wall and certainly don't make that kind of money to match. At the end of the day, the benefits of coming here, or not, can only be determined by you. If you feel its done more harm than good, then maybe its time to move on. Not everyone responds in the same way to the same things. Some people might feel coming here is too overwhelming and they rather deal with their issues in their own or some other way.

Bottom line is, if this place helped you in any way to get you to where you are now, then you should take that into consideration before taking her advice.
Bookmark and Share
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep.
~Robert Frost

Offline anx247

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Country: ca
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
awesome advice guys! I think I'm going to continue visiting this site as it has helped me so much in the past. Now that I am in a better place and am feeling better, perhaps, I can help others too. I agree, this is a great resource when used effectively :) 
Bookmark and Share

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
7 Replies
1335 Views
Last post May 22, 2008, 01:11:42 PM
by retrogurl88
0 Replies
539 Views
Last post March 15, 2010, 04:17:03 PM
by Rixx
0 Replies
546 Views
Last post September 14, 2010, 12:11:55 PM
by popeye
4 Replies
428 Views
Last post August 17, 2012, 04:24:30 PM
by marc
4 Replies
297 Views
Last post November 27, 2012, 10:58:25 PM
by dcphoenix
1 Replies
150 Views
Last post January 12, 2013, 06:14:31 AM
by Cuchculan