Support group

What Is a Support Group?

A support group is defined as a group of people who come together regularly to support each other through talking about a similar problem that affects them. Support groups contain people who share similar issues such as addiction or substance abuse problems, illness, major life changes, relationship problems, personal issues, and more.

Support groups are designed to bring people together to help them cope with the challenges they are facing. Support groups offer connections with others and the ability to discuss problems and issues they are facing with others in a similar situation.

Types of Support Groups

There are several types of support groups that help bring people together in a variety of different situations. Some common types of support groups include:

  • Addiction and substance abuse (Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous)
  • Families of addicts (Alanon)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Bereavement
  • Grief
  • Eating disorders
  • Domestic violence
  • Co-dependency
  • Gambling or gaming addictions
  • Infertility
  • Survivors of sexual abuse
  • Suicidal ideation and suicidal prevention
  • Breastfeeding
  • Miscarriage
  • Gay, lesbian, transgender

How Do They Help?

A support group typically meets in person, although there are countless support groups that can be found online. A support group may also meet by phone. It is a meeting of a few or several individuals that share a common interest or health issue. Support groups are usually formed by a person with the condition, or someone who is familiar with the condition. They may also be started by mental health clinics, non-profit organisations, and other organisations. They are typically informal and should not be confused with group therapy, which is guided under a licensed counsellor or therapist.

Benefits of Support Groups

There are several benefits associated with attending a support group. Not only will individuals connect with others who share a similar problem or experience, but emotional support, advice, and tips are also offered to help people feel more at ease with what they are facing.

Some common benefits of support groups include:

  • The ability to talk honestly and openly about one’s feelings
  • Overcoming loneliness or isolation
  • Decreasing depression, anxiety, or worry over the situation
  • Achieving a sense of control or empowerment about the situation
  • Increasing coping skills
  • Receiving advice about resources and treatment options
  • Gaining a clear understanding of what to expect with the situation
  • Developing relationships with others who share a similar experience

Support Groups FAQ

What are the use of support groups?

Support groups bring people together that share a common problem, such as addiction, mental illness, or physical illness. They are used to allow people to discuss their problems, gain support, and share different ideas.

What are drug and alcohol addiction support groups?

Drug and alcohol addiction support groups help addicts at all stages of recovery by getting people accustomed to substance abuse together to discuss coping strategies, personal experience, and various ways to maintain sobriety. The most common addiction support groups are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

How do support groups help people with cancer?

Being diagnosed and living with cancer is one of the most stressful experiences a person can face in their lifetime. Cancer support groups offer emotional and mental support to individuals facing cancer, as well as hope for survival with stories shared by other group members. A support group offers a safe place for cancer patients to share their fears, challenges, and emotions.

External Links

Stress management, Mayo Clinic

Support Groups, WebMD

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