Living with a mental health condition can be isolating. It can feel like no one gets it, you can’t explain it, and you are the only one struggling. Loneliness tends to make whatever we’re experiencing worse – which then makes us want to isolate even further – which in turn makes us feel worse. It is an awful cycle.
Most people want to feel connected and understood and want to have spaces where they feel like they belong. These are important in recovery from mental health conditions especially because people tend to hide or not discuss these conditions.
If you are looking to find other people like you, whatever you condition or concern, you can:
- Read about it. Many books are written by people in recovery about their experiences. It can be validating to read someone’s story about something you are going through, especially if it is a person we respect and value. There are also tons of blogs and videos written for and by people in recovery. If you aren’t ready to talk to other people about it, want to learn some tips, or are just interested, reading and listening to recovery stories are great options.
- Find an online community. Lots of forums and sites exist for people to share and connect online, anonymously or not. A place to read about other people’s experience, share your own, and offer support that is available 24/7 can be transformative. You can go through MHA’s Connect section to see a list of online support communities.
- Find an in-person support group. For some, there is nothing like connecting with people face-to-face. In-person support groups, whether they are run by mental health professionals or by individuals with the conditions themselves, are great ways to meet people like you. People talk about what’s happening in their lives and things they’ve learned and offer support to one another. Some are open discussion based on conditions like depression or bipolar disorder, while others are based on specific programs like 12-step recovery or Whole Health Action Management (WHAM). If you tend to stay at home, having a place to go at a specific time throughout the week can be enough to get you outside. Check out our Connect section for in-person support near you.
- Share you story with people around you. You would be surprised how many people you know who are struggling, or whose family members are struggling with similar things. Sometimes people are just waiting for someone else to bring it up.
- Look in the Connect Section on this site! We’ve collected some resources that help you connect to other people who are having similar experiences to you.