Support Groups Are Not Created Equal

Support Groups Are Not Created Equal
Christine Tender Points If you’re lucky enough to have a fibromyalgia support group where you live, you’re lucky enough! However, be aware that support groups vary greatly. Hospitals often sponsor the best ones. The staff can be helpful in scheduling speakers to attend meetings and providing accurate, relevant information. The useful groups keep you informed and offer true support. Others can be nothing more than gripe sessions that often dissolve into doctor bashing. Attending one of these meetings can leave you feeling drained and hopeless. The common cause is usually lack of leadership. Folks who have the illness themselves often lead these groups out of necessity. No one else is willing to do it. Patient leadership, in itself, is not a bad thing. The current state of health of the leader, or leaders, determines the quality of the programming and the group’s very existence. I know, as I have led such a group myself. The most important thing I learned from my experience is the importance of having a co-leader. Chances are, both of you won’t be having a flare at the same time. I currently participate in a rather unique group. It is wonderfully led by the caring husband of one of our members. Not ill himself, he selflessly devotes his time and energy into providing a wonderful resource for his wife and her fellow fibromites. If you’ve never participated in a support group, you’re probably wondering what such a group can do for you. There are two main
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