Belonging to a Patient Support Group has Advantages

Feeling alone and unable to find the support that you need? Have you considered joining a Patient support group? Patient support groups offer companionship, understanding, and a sense of community for those living with chronic illnesses and/or disabilities. Engage with others who understand what it is like to live with a medical condition/disability and share stories, learn coping strategies, and come away feeling more connected and empowered. Many of support groups today have accessibility online, for those that are unable to physically attend classes or for those in more remote areas without any in-person group gatherings. Online patient support groups are uniquely capable of connecting individuals from all over the world on one platform!

Why Should You Join a Patient Support Group?

Patient support groups are safe places to express your thoughts and emotions, allowing you to be part of a community of individuals facing similar situations. Through mutual understanding, encouragement, and empathy, members create strong bonds that can help ease the heavy burden of illness/pain/disability. Knowing that you truly are never alone in facing the challenges presented by your current circumstances, can provide a reassuring sense of comfort and hope.

Share Your Experiences and Find Emotional Support:

One of the most meaningful components of online patient support groups is the chance to connect with other people who had have similar life experiences. When you join a group, you’re connecting with people who understand what it’s like to live with very similar challenges. Sharing your experiences and emotions in a safe environment can help provide a healthy outlet, on days when symptoms are difficult to manage or your life feels overwhelming. In many cases, emotional support from others who understand can be quite literally invaluable.

Learn Through Group Discussions and Sessions:

Most patient support groups include time for discussion and/or questions about health issues, potential treatments and ways to manage. Often, the online patient groups include large groups of people gathering from all over the world, exposing you to many new ideas and concepts. You might learn questions to ask your healthcare provider or receive valuable information from peers who have faced similar experiences. Additionally, you will likely be exposed to new resources (e.g. books, research, teachers, courses etc.) and alternative therapies (e.g. meditation, acupuncture, yoga, medical massage, Reiki etc.) that may be beneficial for your own symptom management or needs. Conversing with others who deal with the same or similar struggles can increase your overall knowledge base, giving you more tools and strategies for staying resilient despite the incredible hardships that you face.

Find Helpful Resources and Practical Advice.

In addition to providing emotional support, many patient support groups provide access to helpful resources and practical advice for managing common challenges that many of us experience occasionally. Group members openly share their personal experiences in coping with side effects; information they have recently read/researched, financial aid tips and more. Furthermore, being part of an online patient support group, can introduce you to a larger group of individuals with varying backgrounds and education allowing for unique recommendations from fellow group members for patient support services.