Afraid to fly in an airplane? There’s a support group to help you deal with that. Spending too much of the paycheck at the track? There’s a support group for that. Drink too much? There are groups for that, too. Worried about the alarming decline in the White Abalone population? Help is available (for the abalone, that is). There seems to be a group for every personal issue or social concern, but people are often still unaware that help is out there.
Below are some groups you may not have heard about; some are traditional 12-step groups while others speak to different issues.
- Beasts of Borneo – Silica mining, shrimp farming, forest mono culture and agricultural pesticides are threatening the rain forests and orangutan habitat of Borneo. The OFI (Orangutan Foundation International) hopes to establish programs that will protect nearly a million acres of rain forest and some 20,000 orangutans. www.orangutan.org/
- Couples Coping – Available through www.webmd.com/, discussions and advice columns are used to address issues involving dating and relationships.
- Binge Eating – Online forums and threads offer support for people who suffer from this eating disorder. Online counseling is also available, for a fee. http://binge-eating.supportgroups.com/
- Arachnophobia – If you fear our eight-legged friends, you are not alone. If you google “Arachnophobia Support Groups,” you’ll see nearly 42,000 results pop up.
- Sacharuna Foundation – P.O. Box 130, The Plains, VA, 22171. The Sacharuna Foundation is one of many groups dedicated to furthering the cause of a free Tibet.
- Pharmacophobia – Many people have suffered from side-effects and allergic reactions when taking medications, and this has led them to have an overriding fear of taking any medications. Support is often available through hospitals and clinics, and there are many online connections to help.
- Coulrophobia – The fear of clowns has been used so much in literature, television and film that it has become something of a cliché, but the fear does exist and there are support groups that deal with this fear, as well as other anxiety disorders.
- Clutterers Anonymous – A classic 12-step program designed for those who find their lives hopelessly cluttered, physically and emotionally. Meetings are available across the country.
- Pet Loss – At http://www.pet-loss.net/ pet lovers who have been devastated by the loss of a family pet can communicate with others who have suffered a similar loss. Advice content is posted, and forums are available for those who wish to share their grief.
- OLGA – On-Line Gamers Anonymous, or OLGA, is another 12-step program for those addicted to computer gaming. The program was initiated by a mother whose son committed suicide over online gaming.
Don’t be afraid to reach out, either to receive help or to lend a helping hand. For every person who has something to offer, there is another person who needs something.