Mental health is a state of being emotionally, psychologically, and socially stable. It has a significant effect on our feelings, thoughts, and actions. Good mental health is essential throughout life, from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. But, there are times when you get weak mentally. During these times, you want to reach out to people who can understand your problems without judging. These people may be your friends, family, lover, or any trustworthy person. But sometimes, there is a feeling of embarrassment and shyness when it comes to family and friends. So, you want to reach out to people who you don't know but understand your problem. Fortunately, there is a system that serves this purpose, called support groups.
What are support groups?
A support group is a system that brings together people who have had similar experiences. If you have or are going through a severe illness or stress, you don't have to be alone. Support groups are here for just that.
A support group provides an environment where people share personal experiences and feelings, coping mechanisms, and information about various diseases and treatments.
How to find a support group?
Most communities and complexes, no matter large or small, have support or self-help groups. Often, one can find these groups in local newspapers, your phone books, and even online. Usually, self-help organizations and support groups get listed in phone books and online. You can also get information on self-help and support groups from your doctor and therapist.
In rare cases, you might have an issue for which existing self-help or support groups might not be relevant. At that time, you might want to consider starting a group of your own. That will bring in people who have similar experiences as yours. You will not even have to make the effort of finding a group. You will have to list your group online and let people know about it. You can then also make it public by using community pages of your newspaper and posting and distributing flyers everywhere.
What are the benefits of a support group?
Some benefits of a support group include;
- Realizing that you are not alone- you get a feeling of relief when you sit and hear other people talk about the same thing that you are feeling. When you see other people talk about their past experiences, which might be your present suffering, you feel a sense of security and realize that you are not alone. Your mind kind of calms down knowing someone went through the exact thing and recovered. So, you, too, will recover.
- Reduces distress- it is natural for you to notice a reduced level of stress and discomfort once you work through your problems in the group.
- You can express your feelings- you will voluntarily want to express your feelings once you know that other people have been through the things you are going through.
- You gain hope.- when you work with other people who have progressed in their journey to recovery, it makes you feel that recovery is attainable, and you see a ray of hope.
- You learn helpful information- when you sit and talk to people with similar experiences, you learn a lot of valuable information that might help you in your journey. People who have recovered already know what worked for them. They then provide you with those tips which further benefit you on the road to recovery.
What are the disadvantages of a support group?
Some disadvantages of support groups involve;
- Requires people to overcome stage fright
- It might be uncomfortable for some people
- Suicidal patients are not candidates for group therapy
- Aggressive comments from other people may not be endurable by fragile people
- There is always a risk of breaking confidentiality
When to See a Doctor?
Sometimes, if support groups no longer remain an option, you can visit a therapist to aid emotional stability.
Request an appointment at Apollo Spectra Hospitals, Kondapur
Call 1860-500-2244 to book an appointment
Mental health is a serious issue that is taken lightly almost across all of India. Human beings need to be social. It is in nature. Being alone while going through something can affect the mental severely. Just like physical illness, you can visit Apollo Kondapur in the case of mental illness. Being among people who understand you and have been through a similar situation can have a significant and positive effect on mental health.
No, support groups are an additional help while you see a licensed therapist.
No, support groups are not therapy and should not replace it.