Five Reasons Why Online Anxiety Help Really Works
Updated January 15, 2019
Reviewer Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
If you're looking for online anxiety help, then you may be surprised at how effective it can be for a person who dislikes traditional therapy.
If you've ever had a family member or friend who suffers from anxiety, you've probably heard them say that seeking professional therapy can be a stressful experience in and of itself.
Whereas it might be easy for a friend or family member to say, "Everyone has anxiety…you just have to be brave!" or "Just suck it up…everyone has anxiety sometimes!", this reasoning is wrong and harmful to a person who has a serious anxiety disorder.
People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, or anxiety resulting from depression or bipolar or other conditions do not have anxiety like everyone else has. What might seem like a simple errand to one person, is a day-long stressful experience to a person suffering from anxiety.
What Studies Show About Anxiety Help
In fact, according to one study (The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses) by Hofmann and colleagues, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been shown to be one of the most effective means to treat major anxiety.
"The strongest support exists for CBT of anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, bulimia, anger control problems, and general stress."
Another study from King's College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust showed that CBT may help anxiety because it literally "strengthens specific connections in the brain." CBT therapy was so powerful it actually helped treat psychosis and could help change the way people think.
This illustrates the importance of seeking qualified therapy to help with anxiety. In many cases anxiety patients do not want to drive all the way across town just to explain how anxiety is ruining their life. There has to be a strategy involved, one led by a qualified doctor or counselor.
Furthermore, the online anxiety help option may work better than traditional therapy visits in person. Why?
The mental health stigma
There are many people that struggle with mental health challenges such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, and anxiety that don't want to seek the help they need because of the stigma that surrounds mental health challenges. People are afraid of being labeled as "weak", "crazy", or "dramatic".
While there should never be shame in seeking help, people that get hung up on the stigma experience feelings of embarrassment and shame. They feel that their symptoms are things that they should keep quiet about and not let others know about.
When you buy into the stigma it works like a horrible cycle. You think others are judging you, so you feel bad about yourself, which makes you think others think the same thing about you, which makes you feel worse about yourself. The situation continues over and over and pulls you further down. That's why it's so important that you be able to get the help that you need.
5 Reasons Why Online Anxiety Help May Work
Because of the reasons above, as well as others, many people struggle with attending counseling sessions. Most mental health challenges are very treatable as long as you are willing to get the help that you need. If you are uncomfortable or unable to attend meetings in person online sessions may be just the thing you need. Here are 5 reasons why it works so well.
- The environment is better
It's normal to feel vulnerable when you are attending a counseling session. You are answer questions and sharing things that are very personal. Some of the things you might not have shared with anyone else before. It can be hard to do this when you are in an environment that you are not comfortable.
When you choose online anxiety help your sessions happen in a calm and familiar environment- your home. Or, if your home isn't the place where you are the most comfortable you could do the session from anywhere that you have access to the internet. You are in control of your location and can choose an area where you are most comfortable and will be willing to open yourself up for help.
- You don't have to be around other people
There are many reasons why someone seeking help for anxiety might not want to be around people when going to sessions. It could be that they suffer with social anxiety where you just don't want to be around others and risk sitting in a waiting room with strangers.
Or, you might not want others to see you attend your sessions because you are concerned about the stigma surrounding mental health challenges. It could even be that you are anxious to have to sit face to face in person with a therapist.
- Easier to make appointments
An important part of the success of counseling is the consistency of the patient. If you skip appointments, it's going to be hard to make the progress that you need to. There's a better chance of making it to every session with online help, since logging in is much easier than traveling a distance by car a few times a week. Remember that some anxiety patients cannot drive and seeking transportation a few times a week could be another contributing factor to their anxiety and why they are unable to get the help they need.
- Take more time to think about answers
When you are sitting across from someone that's asking you questions you might feel pressured to be answer their questions quickly. This could lead you to not really getting to the root of the problem because you aren't giving each question the thought that it really needs. You may answer with "knee jerk" reactions because you feel nervous.
When you are in the comfort of your own home it's more likely that you will take the time to think through the answers to your questions.
- Additional hours for seeking help
With online counseling there is help available even at odd hours of the day. Online anxiety help is available beyond traditional office hours, which may be of great importance to anxiety sufferers who experience panic at night or in early morning hours. It's also helpful for people that have busy schedules between work and family activities that would skip going to sessions simply due to an overloaded schedule.
Remember, most mental health challenges are very treatable. The first step is talking to a professional that understands what you are going through and can provide you with the help that you need. You have absolutely nothing to lose when talking to someone about anxiety in a safe online environment. Even better, when you choose a licensed therapist trained to help people with anxiety, you may find a solution that works rather than just back and forth chatter.
If you have struggled through in person sessions before or just want to avoid trying them altogether this is the solution for you. Why not talk to someone right now?