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Support Groups 101

Is A Support Group Right For Me?

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Even if you do not think a support group is right for you, we strongly suggest that you try at least one.

To decide what, if any, type of support group may be right for you, consider your needs:

  • Are you feeling as if you are not in control of your life?
  • Are you looking for medical and/or practical information that you haven't received from your doctor?
  • Are you not getting the support you would like from family and/or friends?
  • Are you experiencing stress, depression or anxiety as a result of your diagnosis?
  • Are people having trouble relating to you as a result of your diagnosis?
  • Are you having difficulty with physical symptoms or activities of daily living?
  • Do you have questions or concerns about sexual relationships as a result of your diagnosis?

Answering yes to one or more of these questions could be an indicator that you might receive benefit from some type of support group.  

On the other hand, support groups may be painful. 

  • It is upsetting to watch someone you care about get sicker and possibly die, especially if that person has the same condition you do.
  • Your fears may be heightened as you learn more about the practical aspects of living with your condition. 
  • It may be painful to talk about yourself, including your anxieties and fears.

Most people find that the benefits of a well-led support group far outweigh these drawbacks. Experience indicates support groups are worth giving a try. You can drop out at any time. You don't have to tell anyone you're trying a support group. What happens in a support group is kept confidential. 

If you find that the drawbacks are greater for you than the advantages, at least consider making ongoing contact with a person in a similar situation. (For information about finding a buddy, click here.) Also consider working with a professional therapist. See "To Learn More."






To learn about internet (online) support groups, see: Internet (Online) Support Groups.


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