Support Networks to Help with Anxiety
In recognition of people’s need for support networks, the ADAA has installed a chatroom on its website where people with different anxiety disorders can meet. One participant, who I’ll call Tyrone, has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. He cannot leave the house without checking everything—the stove, the taps, the lights—several times over before going out. Tyrone takes no pleasure in this ritual behavior; all it provides is temporary relief from feeling anxious.
Psych Central also hosts its own anxiety support group for people with any type of anxiety concern — whether it be generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, or something else. The site also hosts separate support groups for PTSD as well as for obsessive-compulsive disorder. All of these support groups and chat rooms are available free and can be accessed anonymously.
“Being member of the ADAA has helped me enormously,” says Tyrone, who joined the site’s chatroom out of desperation. “My anxiety is sometimes so acute, I can’t leave the house for days. I was isolated, and I was hurting mentally and physically…. A few individuals [in the chatroom] were friendly and helpful. Eventually I learned that I wasn’t the only one, that my symptoms were common.”
There’s more good news for people with anxiety disorders: The NIMH appointed Yale professor Dennis Charney in 2000 to head up a new mood and anxiety disorders program. Charney is expected to coordinate this research activity with new research in experimental therapeutics.