Online Health Communities and Why I Love Them

Online health communities and social media can play a huge role in recovery and/or coping with mental health issues.  I think this is such a great way to reach out and connect to real people who share their stories.

online health communities

Reasons Why Online Health Communities Rock

Find Extended Support – Maybe your inner circle (friends and family) cannot relate to what you are going through.  It can be very hard to get support from people that do not “get it” at all.  Maybe they want to help you but have no idea how.  This is when social media and online communities can be helpful.  Social media makes the world smaller.  It’s the quickest and easiest way to bring like-minded people together.

Learn Coping Tools – By connecting with the vast amount of people on the web, you can learn so much.  Maybe someone is doing a type of exercise that helps them with their anxiety, or someone on Twitter tweets an inspirational quote that boosts your whole day!  You just never know.

Vent Safely – I am sure we have all had moments when someone close to us is the main trigger to our issue.  If you can’t safely vent to anyone in “real life”, find a group, forum, or online friend to unleash your fury on!  Relieve all that pent-up anger on someone who can’t hold it against you.  (Hey, you can do it here… no judging, I promise!)

Solve Mystery Symptoms – There was a time when I was dizzy every single day (actually, this still happens frequently).  I went to my general doctor and she said I must have an ear infection.  No, I didn’t.  She ran more tests…  My blood work was normal and everything else seemed fine.  Well, after searching some groups and health forums, I found many people saying that their anxiety was causing them ongoing dizziness.  Although this is not medical advice to be taken as a 100% diagnosis, it certainly helps put the pieces together.  Sometimes doctors don’t look for every angle and you have to go on your gut.  For me, learning this made complete sense considering my history.

Meet New Friends – Above all, you can meet great people.  Sure, there is a lot of info and learning to be done, but people are the best part.  You never know who you will e-meet and click with.  Some of my most cherished relationships are with people that I have never met in real life!

Those are just a few things that I love about online health communities and forums.  The list goes on and on.

What about you?  Do you have any online health communities that you find extremely helpful?

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