Support groups bring together people facing similar issues, whether that’s illness, relationship problems or major life changes. Members often share experiences and advice. It can be helpful to just talk with others who are facing the same issue.
While not everyone wants or needs support beyond that offered by family and friends, you may find it helpful to turn to others outside your immediate circle. A support group can help you cope better and feel less isolated as you make connections with others facing similar challenges. A support group shouldn’t replace your standard medical care, but it can be a valuable resource.
Regardless of format, in a support group you’ll find people with similar problems. Members of a support group typically share their personal experiences and offer emotional comfort and moral support. They may also offer practical advice and tips to help you cope. Benefits of participating in a support group may include:
- Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged
- Gaining a sense of empowerment Improving your coping skills
- Talking openly and honestly about your feelings
- Reducing distress, depression or anxiety
- Developing a clearer understanding of what to expect with your situation
- Getting practical advice or information about treatment options
- Comparing notes about resources, such as doctors and alternative options