Easiest Ways To Reach The Local Support Group
If you are facing a stressful life change or significant illness, you do not have to handle everything by yourself, because a support group can help you. The main idea between support groups is to bring together people that are sharing similar issues and had similar experiences.
For instance, the most common ground for support groups can be an addiction, chronic medical conditions, mental issues, cancer and many more. this
Remember that this will provide you an opportunity to share your personal feelings and experiences, as well as firsthand info about treatments and diseases.
For most people, the health-related support group can fill a gap between emotional support and chronic medical treatment.
Of course, you should know that relationship with a doctor cannot provide you the proper emotional support, and friends and family may not be aware of the impact of treatment and disease as people that have similar issues.
That is the main reason why a support group is great because people with shared experience can get together and act as a bridge between emotional and medical needs.
Different Types of Support Groups
We have to start by saying that support groups can happen by the nonprofit organization, hospital, and clinic or community organization. They can be independent as well and run by group members.
Most of them function similarly, but the formats tend to vary. Some of them include face-to-face meetings, online communities, and teleconferences among other things.
In most cases, someone who shared a similar experience leads a support group, but in some situations, a professional facilitator can also work in form of psychologist, social worker, and nurse.
Some of them can provide you educational opportunities as well, which means that guest psychologist or doctor may visit and share the information regarding the topic that connects you.
Most people tend to think that these are similar to group therapies; however, that is not the case. Group therapy is a specific type of mental health treatment with an idea to bring together people with similar condition, while the healthcare provider guides them along the way.
If you wish to find the proper support group for your particular needs, you should check here for more information.
Benefits of Support Groups
According to previous participants that experienced the effects of support groups, having similar feelings, everyday problems, worries, and treatment decisions is something that will help you cope with your emotional stability.
Therefore, by participating, you will get an opportunity to see the people that have common issues so that you can learn from one another and bring each other to the point of proper motivation.
When you decide to participate, you will:
- Feel less lonely, judged and isolated
- Reduce depression, distress, and anxiety
- Improve skills that will help you cope with challenges
- Talk honestly and openly about your current feelings
- Improve motivation so that you can handle the chronic condition by following treatment plans
- Gain a sense of hope, control, and empowerment
- Improve understanding of the disease and learn other experiences that will help you along the way
- Learn about social, economic and health resources you will need to become better
- Get practical feedback about treatments in examples of people that share their stories with you
Potential Drawbacks of Support Groups
You should have in mind that this, similarly as any other treatment options, also come with some disadvantages. These issues include:
- Lack of confidentiality
- Dominated conversation
- Disruptive group members
- Inappropriate medical advice
- Group tension, emotional issues, and interpersonal conflicts
What about Online Support Groups?
The way of handling your issues and communicating with others is through online support groups that are also offering advantages and disadvantages to a participant. By learning these factors, you will be able to determine whether you should join a group or not.
- Flexible and frequent participation that doesn’t depend on your physical attendance
- Opportunity to meet with people that have similar conditions, especially if your area does not have face-to-face support groups.
- A degree of anonymity and privacy so that you can retain yourself from presenting your issues in person.
- Written text is the only way of communication, which means that members can easily interpret wrongly which may lead to misunderstanding and confusion.
- Anonymity may lead to inappropriate behaviors and comments
- Participation results in isolation from your loved ones.
- The main problem is that you cannot rely on the truthfulness of information that you read because you will not be able to see participants.
- Online environments are more prone for people that wish to commit frauds and promote various products throughout the group.
Check this link: https://www.healthline.com/health/metastatic-breast-cancer/support-groups to learn about best breast cancer support groups.
How Should You Find A Support Group?
You can get information both online and offline by following these steps:
- You can ask someone from your hospitals such as doctor or nurse to see whether there is some organization that makes support groups based on your specific condition.
- You can check for nonprofit organizations that are advocating for specific life changes and medical conditions.
- Check out the national institutes of health websites so that you can see whether they have one or not.
Remember that these kind of groups can vary based on the leadership and organization that made them. Therefore, you have to ask a few questions before you join any one of them.
You should know whether his group designed for people with specific health issues and whether it depends on stages or not. At the same time, it is vital to know logistics such as when does the group meet, how often, and where is the location.
Check out whether a moderator is the healthcare official or patient that knows how to handle the common condition every single member has. If the facilitator is not healthcare personnel, you should see whether he/she underwent training for leading support groups or not.
Finally, see whether there are some ground rules and whether you should pay a fee, or everything is free of charge.
That way, you will be able to get the most out of it and bring your emotional support and motivation to a whole another level.