Anxiety Chat Rooms: Can They Provide The Support You Need?

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated April 19, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

The symptoms of anxiety can feel overwhelming. If you have symptoms of anxiety, severe or mild, you likely know the many ways that symptoms can impact your daily life; it can become difficult to focus on the things that matter most to you. You may start to fall behind in school, experience difficulty in your relationships, and even have difficulty completing work tasks.

Managing anxiety involves identifying any unhealthy coping mechanisms you may have developed and identifying new techniques to address the sources of anxiety symptoms more effectively.

While it can feel isolating to find yourself experiencing the symptoms of anxiety, anxiety disorders are actually quite common; 19% of adults (nearly 1 in 5) have experienced the symptoms of an anxiety disorder.

The pressures of modern society can be mentally taxing, and anxiety symptoms can be a normal response to stress.

While it can be helpful to recognize that your symptoms are more common than you might have initially thought, it may not make those symptoms any easier to manage or address. Fortunately, there are ways to ease the symptoms of anxiety, and help is available to most people in some form or another. One of these sources of assistance is support groups, whether online or in person.

Untreated anxiety can lead to isolation

What are some of the symptoms?

There are many different symptoms of anxiety. Some of them can be quite mild, while others are more severe or even debilitating. Tension and sensations of panic are common to anxiety disorders, as are nervousness and a general sense of unease. As the condition progresses, these mild symptoms of unease can develop further and become a more substantial sensation of dread or even impending doom.

One of the core features of anxiety is the lack of an immediately identifiable cause. Stress has symptoms similar to those associated with anxiety, but stress typically has a root cause. Anxiety may not have a specific cause that can quickly and easily be identified. This can make easing symptoms that much more difficult. The nature of anxiety can make finding relief frustrating and can make people feel as though they are without options for healing.

The physical symptoms of anxiety typically include some or all of the following:

  • Increased sweating
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Weakness
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Upset stomach or GI distress
  • Rapid respiratory rate
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

Although all these symptoms are not essential for an anxiety diagnosis, many people with anxiety experience some or all of the above physical symptoms on a daily or weekly basis. People may experience further spikes in anxiety as a result of its physical manifestations, as these “tells” can cause people with anxiety to fear being judged or called out.

Learning to both recognize and tackle these symptoms can feel daunting. After all, in the midst of a spike in symptoms, you may feel as though your mental and physiological responses to anxiety are perfectly legitimate and indicative that you are truly experiencing physical danger. Nevertheless, anxiety management and coping techniques are vital to restore quality of life and prevent common pitfalls of anxiety disorders such as self-isolation and shame, for instance.

Effects of social isolation

Social isolation has been linked to a host of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. Human beings are social creatures who thrive within a strong sense of community and support. Although it can be tempting to isolate when you experience peaks of anxiety symptoms, this can actually worsen the symptoms.

Social anxiety can cause avoidance, as people with the disorder may constantly feel as though they are being watched, judged, and mocked by others. This avoidance can lead to worsening or new symptoms of depression. With treatment, though, symptoms of anxiety can be managed, and the onset of depression can be avoided.

Anxiety is a complex disorder, no matter what form it takes, and the behaviors that often accompany anxiety do not indicate weakness or a flaw. Instead, they are ineffective coping mechanisms that have been developed to withstand the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Understanding how these coping mechanisms have failed you and learning how to develop more effective strategies is one of the best courses of action to successfully manage anxiety symptoms. A common companion to this type of treatment is support therapy or a support group.


Because anxiety can make it feel difficult to reach out, let alone leave your home in search of relief, there are options for both treatment and support groups without leaving the safety and comfort of home. The internet and smartphones can both be excellent sources of support for professional help and support groups, alike. You may also feel more at ease talking about your symptoms in an internet-based setting. 

Research supports the use of online interventions to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. One recent study pinpointed the effectiveness of video-based therapy to alleviate anxiety among college students. Participants showed comparable results from therapy regardless of whether their treatment was online or in person. 

Know that you aren’t alone

Because isolation is so common to anxiety disorders, it is vital to understand that you aren’t alone. While the symptoms of anxiety are nothing to brush aside, anxiety disorders are extremely common, and there are likely to be people nearby who are at least familiar with the symptoms and effects of anxiety disorders.

The benefits of reaching out to others are profound but often include at least some of the following:

  • A greater sense of connection. Connecting with others who feel the way that you do can increase your feeling of community and safety. When you can discuss your symptoms with people who have experienced similar things, you may feel bolstered and less afraid of being alone.
  • Increased self-understanding. Seeing your own symptoms and effects reflected back at you can increase your understanding of yourself, your needs, and your disorder.
  • Increased exposure to others and how anxiety affects them. Seeing the different ways that anxiety manifests can help you develop an understanding of and appreciation for your own habits and practices. Increased exposure to different approaches to management and different symptomatic expressions can help you develop a greater sense of empathy toward yourself and others.
  • Improved bonds with others. It can feel difficult to be close to others if you constantly feel as though you are hiding or are unable to be honest about what you are going through. Reaching out to others with anxiety disorders can help you develop strong bonds and cultivate closeness.
  • An improved sense of self. Speaking to others—or even reading accounts of their experiences—can help you feel stronger and more confident not only in yourself but also in your ability to manage your symptoms.
Untreated anxiety can lead to isolation

Finding online support

There are many ways to go about finding support for anxiety, but an anxiety chat room can be a good starting place. Chat rooms can link people from different geographical and even socioeconomic backgrounds. It can also expose you to many different types of anxiety disorders and management techniques. It is important to note, however, that these chats are not intended to take the place of professional help or dedicated support groups.

Remember that chat rooms are often unmoderated—or only lightly moderated—which means that you may find yourself coming across mean-spirited posts or posts that do not hold fast to the goal of the chat room. Rather than turning to these chat rooms as a solid source of ongoing support and healing in your anxiety journey, they are often best used as a secondary support system, and perhaps only when you have developed healthy coping mechanisms and are no longer as vulnerable to harsh words regarding anxiety.

Group therapy and professional-led support groups are likely to be the best option, as they combine the expertise of professional counsel and treatment within the group setting. In these settings, you can undergo the same therapy practices you might utilize in a standard therapy setting alongside others whose experiences and symptoms resemble your own. Online group therapy can also allow you to send messages as-needed to the therapist leading the group, inside or outside of therapy.


From dedicated support groups led by mental health professionals to chat rooms devoted to discussing the effects of anxiety on daily life, there are plenty of resources out there to help those with anxiety feel as though others understand what they are going through.

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of anxiety and are looking for help, the online counseling platform at BetterHelp can offer support and treatment through different therapy modalities and treatment practices. Reach out today to learn how to manage your symptoms, build a solid community, and take steps toward healing.

Regulate anxiety in a compassionate environment
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