Support groups supply a much needed public forum for people to receive mental and practical support from others going through the same experiences. Mental support helps relieve stress and anxiety, while practical support gives concrete recommendations for allergy management.
But not everyone feels comfortable sharing personal experiences in a group setting. Online support groups may be the best option for people who wish to avoid public support group sessions.
Are Online Support Groups Right for You?
Some people may feel more comfortable sharing their experiences anonymously. For these people, online support groups, like the
on SupportGroups.com, better address their needs for social support.
For whatever reason, they may feel uncomfortable discussing their allergy and their feelings about it in front of a group of strangers. Online support groups provide them with valuable resources while respecting their privacy. It’s polite to keep all personal information confidential so that people feel safe sharing their stories.
What Benefits Can You Expect to Receive from Support Groups?
As previously stated, support groups provide mental and practical support for people who are experiencing the same challenges associated with food allergies. Support groups decrease feelings of isolation and discrimination as you learn that other people understand and appreciate the obstacles you must overcome while treating your allergy. They also increase coping skills as you learn from and share your own tips for managing allergies. Learning new skills and decreasing allergy-related anxiety enhances your well-being and your sense of empowerment.
Online Support Groups vs. In-Person Group Therapy
Online support groups provide a forum for people to share their thoughts and experiences, whereas in-person group therapy is moderated by a trained mental health professional. It's important to remember that the people you interact with online are expressing their own opinions and may not have a medical background.
Sources: WebMD, Mayo Clinic