Many former QAnon believers are now looking for a way out of their wild conspiracy theories. They are turning to online therapy and support groups to get over their wild beliefs.
According to AP News, a woman named Ceally Smith said she spent a year completely obsessed with QAnon. She said she devoted hours of her days researching and discussing the conspiracy theory online in forums until it started to disrupt her life.
“I was like: I can’t live this way. I’m a single mom, working, going to school, and doing the best for my children,” Smith, 32, of Kansas City, Missouri, told the Associated Press. “I personally didn’t have the bandwidth to do this and show up for my children. Even if it was all true, I just couldn’t do it anymore.”
Many former believers who were interviewed by The Associated Press likened the process of leaving QAnon to kicking a serious drug addiction. Many said that QAnon offered them simple explanations for a complicated world and helped them create an online community that provided many with escape and friendship.
Smith, who said she felt “suffocated by dark prophesies” that took up more and more of her time, left the group because she began to feel terrified.
“We as a society need to start teaching our kids to ask: Where is this information coming from? Can I trust it?” Smith said. “Anyone can cut and paste anything.”
Smith said her relationship ended once she broke from the group because her boyfriend saw it as a betrayal. Now that she no longer believes, she thinks speaking out about her experience will help others.
“I was one of those people too,” she said of QAnon and its grip. “I came out on the other end because I wanted to feel better,” Smith said.