WHY A SUPPORT GROUP? - Matching the appropriate level of support for those who suffer with depression can often seem like a daunting task. It may even impact the consistency with treatment regimens. Depression is oftentimes overwhelming and due to its chronic nature, can make sufferers feel disjointed and alone. However, with the comradery and guidance that support groups bring, those suffering with depression can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
WHAT IS A SUPPORT GROUP? - People who suffer from mental health disorders like depression often find that their depression symptoms are better managed with outside support such as a support group. Depression has a tendency of causing a patient’s perception to be impaired and significantly reduces their awareness. With participating in a support group, people can feel encouraged, empowered, and assist them with ways of effectively managing their symptoms. Discussing how depression has impacted their life with others who have had similar experiences can greatly improve a person’s outlook and emotion regulation. Support groups come in all sizes, formats and may address many concerns such as grief, addiction, or trauma.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A SUPPORT GROUP? - A support group for Depression or other mental health disorders is not intended to substitute other therapeutic treatment methods. A support group pursues the route of giving patients a safe space to talk about the challenges that come with their disorder and allows them to give and receive support and encouragement to face life’s challenges. The benefit of attending a support group is that it can assist in alleviating isolation and other negative feelings, but it should not take the place of prescribed medication or other treatments.
HOW CAN A SUPPORT GROUP HELP SOMEONE WITH DEPRESSION? - Persons suffering with Depression often report feeling ashamed, unseen and sometimes unheard. Many have lost hope and even their voice when dealing with Depression, but support groups have the potential to turn that around. For those wanting to try a support group for the first time, it’s helpful to remember that there’s nothing wrong with just listening. Attendees aren’t forced to participate but are welcomed to hear other member’s stories and receive encouragement that may impact their own lives. At times, members may find just this small act can reduce the intensity of their symptoms.
Group participants may find that sharing information and personal stories can be empowering for survivors of depression and demonstrates to them that there are others fighting in the struggle with them. Support groups may aid those newly diagnosed or those who have recently started treatment in finding encouragement and care in a group setting to model that there is help available for depression sufferers.