Advantages of Support Groups

By: Jacquelyn Buffo
Published on October 14, 2011
Last Updated on Sunday, July 19, 2015 at 10:50 AM
Total Updates: 5

In today's society, it would be difficult to identify someone who does not have a significant issue in their lives that impedes their everyday functioning. It could be financial, personal, familial, emotional, or physical. Whatever the issue is, there comes a time when you may feel that your friends or family simply do not understand what you are going through and maybe you may even feel as if they do not want to hear about your issues anymore. In addition, you may require more intensive support to deal with your presenting problems. When that time comes, remember that there are support groups available both online and in person that can provide you with social support and assist you in overcoming your issues.

Support groups can take two forms, either online or in person. Despite what you may think, support groups are not just for recovering addicts. Nowadays, support groups are offered on a variety of topics and available across the country. One the main benefits of an in-person support groups is that they are free of charge (most operate on a donation basis) and they are readily available. Another advantage is that they do not require formal membership so anonymity can remain intact if you so desire. Being in the physical presence of others who have experienced the same challenges creates a sense of unity among you and the members of the group. In addition, physical support groups become a social support that may be lacking from your life. Relationships can be built and maintained through support groups.

There are numerous online support groups available including and You may be surprised to know that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of support groups online that are free and easily accessible to anyone that owns a computer. Another advantage is that you can choose how much or how little you participate. There are opportunities to not only share your stories and struggles, but to listen to other members share theirs, as well as to give and receive advice. In an online format, you can be as open and honest as you want without feeling embarrassed or ashamed because you remain entirely anonymous from your name and how you look.

If you ever find yourself feeling misunderstood or feeling burdensome because of your present issues, know that there is a support group out there that can be a listening and understanding ear for you. Furthermore, support groups can provide hope and inspiration and create feelings of normalcy regarding your issue that you may not feel around others who have not experienced what you are going through. Take advantage of all that support groups have to offer.