If you’re depressed or suffering from anxiety it isn’t always easy to talk to friends and family. They may tell you to suck it up, and get over yourself. What is really annoying is when they tell you to count your blessings. Yes, you should count your blessings, but right now you have problems to solve, and need advice on the best way to proceed.
This is where a self-help support group can help you put things into perspective. You feel more at ease because everyone there needs help with something. Members are encouraged to share their stories and you might find the missing pieces in your life by listening to others.
Here are five good tips to help you find the right self-help group:
What Are Your Issues?
This is where you need to do a little research to find which self-help group is going to be more beneficial for you.
It seems like some self-help groups try to lump many problems together. People suffering with depression will not benefit as much from a Generalized Anxiety group, and need to join others who are depressed.
Consult Your Doctor
Ask your doctor for some support groups he may know about. Your conversation is confidential, so you won’t have to worry about the doctor blabbing all over town that you are depressed and need a self-help group.
Location of Meeting
Is the meeting near your house, or will you have to take an extra hour up the freeway, with a handful of rude drivers getting on your last nerve? This may turn out to be a convenient excuse to skip the meeting and you may feel even more depressed.
Go As a Guest
If you can, talk to the group coordinator and tell her you would like to attend as a guest. Listen carefully, and if you feel the spirit, you can share some of your story. The good thing is that you don’t have to talk and can just listen, or you can even leave early if you want.
How Do You Feel Afterwards?
Did you feel more positive and that the meeting really gave you comfort and hope? If you aren’t feeling too positive after a couple of meetings, that group isn’t for you. You’re there to get better, not to get worse.
Are your symptoms improving? If you answer yes to this question, that’s great! That means the self-help group is working for you. Keep going to meetings and continue to improve.
Once you have found the right support group for you, make a commitment to attend the meetings and participate in the process. You’ll feel better and may make some new supportive friends along the way.