Online chat rooms have come a long way from AOL Instant Messenger (remember that?). Over the years, they’ve become more streamlined, more secure, and more accessible. You can now find a chat room online for just about any subject you can think of, and some chat rooms have become virtual support groups for those struggling with a mental health condition like anxiety.
Chatting online is a quick and anonymous way to get something off of your chest that you may not want to discuss with the people closest to you. The best part is that chat rooms are designed for people of all ages, with certain rooms being age-specific. No matter what you’re struggling with, there’s a chat room to vent in.
In this guide, we’ll talk about some of the benefits of chatting online when you’re feeling anxious. Whether you have an anxiety disorder, you’re experiencing a major life change, or you’re simply anxious about the future, chat rooms may be able to help.
Not every issue is discussion-worthy in a family environment. Teens especially often feel a disconnect from certain family members and don’t particularly want to share sensitive topics with siblings and parents. The beauty of online chat rooms is that no matter what your issue is, you can remain anonymous, so no one will ever know that it’s you.
Sometimes, the issue is too scary to tell anyone else about face-to-face. There’s some comfort in anonymity, especially for issues like sexual abuse, unwanted pregnancy, infidelity, and other serious issues. There’s no shame in wanting to remain anonymous at first, or throughout the entire healing process. Whatever you need to do to get through it is ok!
You don’t have to feel more anxious about your issue with online chat rooms. Most rooms are moderated, which means you won’t have to worry about strangers posting inappropriate or insensitive things or trying to contact you during your healing process.
2. Connecting With Similar People
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions in the United States, affecting about 18% of the total population. They range in severity from minor generalized anxiety to severe depression and PTSD. Simply feeling anxious about a test, upcoming event, or life change does not qualify as an anxiety disorder, but it’s still serious.
Anxiety can disrupt even your most basic functions like eating and sleeping. You’ve probably felt this way before; the bad feeling in the pit of your stomach, the tossing and turning and night, and the constant racing thoughts. It’s certainly not pleasant.
With so many people suffering from anxiety disorders, you can take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone if you have a condition. Chat rooms offer a unique opportunity to talk about your issues with people who truly empathize with where you’re coming from.
Going to an in-person support group or individual therapist isn’t always possible or practical for everyone. Some people have incredibly busy schedules or lack transportation/insurance to get professional help. That’s not to say that chat rooms make a good substitute for professional help, but sometimes, that’s all we’ve got.
Chat rooms are quite convenient, since you can access them from any device that has an internet connection. This helps save some of the hassle and extra anxiety that comes with joining a support group or talking face-to-face with a stranger.
All you need to use an online chat room is an internet connection and a screen name. It’s that simple. Most rooms don’t even require an account; simply choose a room, a username, and start chatting!
The concern for internet safety has grown in the previous two decades with the rise of more and more personal websites and internet experiences. Unfortunately, there are people out there who use the internet for nefarious purposes. Fortunately, there are tools in place to combat such behavior and protect chat room users.
As we mentioned, most chat rooms are moderated. This means that a website representative is watching the room and the chat logs for suspicious, malicious, or otherwise harmful behavior or chats. You can feel safe in online chat rooms, but you’ll still want to practice certain precautions.
Never give out personal email addresses or other information to strangers. Obviously, if someone is making you uncomfortable, make it known to both that person and the chat room moderator(s).
5. You Can Talk With People All Over The World
The amazing thing about the internet is that it’s connected billions of people across the globe from different social classes, ethnicities, races, genders, and cultures. It’s amazing to be able to talk to someone from another country and gain their perspective on the world and the issues you’re facing.
Different perspectives can often change how we see things for the better. In fact, traveling is a great way to increase your overall awareness and empathy, but in lieu of becoming a travel buff, you can connect with other cultures via chat rooms and online resources.