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I'm in therapy, and on medication for anxiety...now how do I get my support system where people care about me?

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A natural support system is an important part of recovery from anxiety and stress. Your natural supports are your relationships with people in your community, which can include family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. You can also develop natural supports through participation in social clubs, organizations, and volunteer activities.

To get started on developing your natural supports, you can take inventory of all the people that you care about. Then it may be time to start spending more time with these loved ones. But don't expect help right away...these natural supports have to be fostered and nurtured, and you have to give of yourself before expecting anything in return.

But you will find that as you help others through their distress, you will benefit in return, just for having been there for that other person and knowing that you made a difference in someone's life. That's why it's good to also join support groups for people with anxiety or mental health problems. In these support groups, you will find support and fellowship, and also helpful tips on how to solve common problems and struggles.

You can also look into joining various community organizations, and volunteering for a cause important to you. If you are part of an ethnic group, then you can join a local group to learn more about your culture and meet people just like you. If you are part of a religious group or interested in sports or music, then you can join a church group or take up soccer or take up playing in a band or singing in a choir. The important thing is to meet people who have shared interests.

You can also look into online groups- but this is only for supplementing your in-person contacts with people who are, or who can be part of your natural supports.

Building natural supports takes time and effort on your part. Although your initial motivation now is to get help from your struggles with anxiety and stress, you will find that connecting with and helping other people brings about a sense of accomplishment and goodwill, that your anxiety and stress become less troublesome. Having a support network can help to dissipate your problems, and at the very least, to feel that you are not alone in this struggle.
answered Apr 6, 2016 by drcarlo (295,840 points)