A support group can be an important part of your PTSD treatment. Many find it helps them feel less isolated and alone as they work through this difficult condition.
You might be unsure how to assist a loved one with PTSD. People who claim it cannot be treated are incorrect; remedies are available.
It’s a Safe Place to Talk
While peer support groups aren’t a treatment for PTSD and should only be used in conjunction with a formal mental health plan, they provide a place to discuss your trauma and your PTSD symptoms in a safe space. Meetings are typically facilitated via video conference, allowing you to interact with other members in real-time. These meetings can be a great tool to help you learn how to communicate and talk about your feelings while understanding effective coping mechanisms to replace unhealthy outlets like self-harm or drugs and alcohol.
Meetings are held at a time and date that is convenient for everyone, and you can participate from anywhere on your computer or mobile device. Meetings are often arranged to avoid peak traffic times, and you can choose whether or not you want to be seen.
You can also choose to remain anonymous, which is useful for people nervous about sharing their stories or concerned about the stigma associated with PTSD. According to a study conducted by Support Group Central, men tend to prefer online discussion, but you can find groups for women as well.
In addition, you can find a variety of support groups categorized by condition (such as borderline personality disorder or addiction) or by groups, such as military veterans or people of color. You can even find groups geared towards specific genders, such as a group for sexual assault survivors.
You’re Not Alone
Many people who participate in the best online support groups for PTSD are surrounded by like-minded individuals who understand their struggles. They are not alone, which is a huge relief for those who feel isolated and disconnected from the world around them. Meetings occur online, which is convenient for those with work commitments who can’t afford to attend in person or prefer to remain anonymous.
In an online space, you can connect with participants from all over the world who can easily discuss their experiences and share advice. Meetings are usually facilitated by an experienced professional or peer and are conducted via video conference. According to an article published in 2017, participating in a support group may help decrease depression and increase optimism, which is great news for those struggling with mental health issues.
You can access support groups for various issues, including addiction, anxiety, depression and trauma. There are even groups dedicated to specific diseases, such as diabetes or cancer, as well as those for LBGTQIA+ and military veterans. Many of these groups are free and accessible on your mobile device. According to Support Groups Central, they are categorized by condition and led by peers with personal experience with the issue. The website also provides a search tool for individuals seeking to join a group tailored to their requirements.
You’re Learning More About Yourself
In addition to connecting with people who can relate to your experiences, joining a support group can help you learn more about yourself. As you discuss your PTSD struggles, listen to the experiences of others, and attend meetings, you’re likely to find yourself growing through your shared experiences. Ultimately, this may help you develop new coping mechanisms that you might employ in the future or even when confronted with other difficult circumstances.
Additionally, being a part of an online support group might make it simpler for you to maintain relationships. This is especially true if travel or scheduling conflicts prevent you from attending an in-person group. You may use the internet to stay in touch with your group’s other members and have access to their resources at any time.
One great example of an internet-based community for PTSD recovery is the popular chat application Discord. It provides several specialized PTSD servers so that you may interact with folks going through comparable difficulties and exchange tales.
You’re Getting Help
You may discuss your emotions, fears, day-to-day issues, and treatment side effects in a support group without fear of judgment. Additionally, you may hear the members of the group’s tales and get insight from their experiences and coping mechanisms.
Online PTSD support groups can be a valuable tool to help you find the answers you’re seeking and can complement in-person therapy sessions. A study found that online group support can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, which is important for mental health.
Unlike in-person therapist sessions, where you can share your experience with PTSD with a trained mental health professional, online PTSD support groups are usually facilitated by volunteers, not professionals. But these people are often knowledgeable and have personal experience dealing with the issues.
Online PTSD support groups also allow you to interact with people from around the world, giving you different perspectives and ideas that you wouldn’t have access to otherwise. This can be particularly helpful if you are struggling with triggers, events, people or places that cause flashbacks and can lead to negative emotions like anger or vulnerability. Hearing other people’s stories and coping strategies can help you recognize your triggers, which can be managed healthily. For example, you might learn that avoiding certain places or limiting your time on social media is helpful.