How Chronic Illness Support Groups Help You Deal With Your Diagnosis
Even though your diagnosis is new to you, it’s old hat for many others. When you’re first diagnosed, one of the best things you can do is find community. Anyone who’s ever been diagnosed remembers what it was like: scary, overwhelming, life-changing. But that’s only a moment in the rest of your life. Finding others who have gone through it can help you figure out what comes next.
Support Groups Have Resources
One of the best resources for you after your diagnosis is your local support group. Whether you can make it to a meeting or if you can just connect online or via email, they can point you toward local resources.
- Who’s the best doctor? And how do I get the most out of my doctor visits?
- Where’s the best place to get IV treatments?
- Where are the best places in town to support you in your new lifestyle?
These are the questions a local support group can answer for you.
Support Groups Offer Emotional Support
The logistical changes of new medications, new appointments and new lifestyle changes are hard enough, but the emotional toll of a diagnosis can be even harder. Support groups can help you feel less alone. You can also get tips for self-care strategies specific to your diagnosis. And you can get practical information about your treatment options from people who have been there.
How to Find Your Support Group
The first place to ask is your doctor. They may already be aware of and able to offer connections regarding local support groups. Beyond that, a quick Google search should point you toward local and national organizations. A great example is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, which has both national and local chapters that provide educational and training programs and facilitate connections between patients and families managing these diseases. Other options include: