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Finding the Right PsA Support Group

When I was at my lowest point of my chronic life I longed to connect with others who had the same diseases. At first I found comfort in knowing that others were struggling with the same issues that I was. Unfortunately, the more time I spent in these groups, the deeper my depression and anger grew.

Feeding the beast

The problem with the groups I had joined was that they were negative in nature. Rarely did anyone have something positive to say, and if they did they were quickly dismissed or shot down. Everyone complained about their illness, pain, family, friends, and pretty much every aspect of their lives. Each post would produce even more negative replies. It was as if the members were competing to see who had the worst life. The anger and sadness that was expressed post after post consumed me, and my depression grew deeper.

Power of positivity

The purpose of a support group should be just that, one that provides support. That is why I love Psoriatic-Arthritis.com. It’s a community of people with the same disease who want to see each other do better, live better, and experience less pain. I follow the same concept in my own Facebook groups. Surrounding myself with people who want to improve their lives, even if they never physically improve uplifts me. I love hearing and learning about their successes and draw strength from their determination to keep moving forward.

What I look for

The rules I follow when joining a support group are the same whether they are online or not. Rule number one is that they have a positive impact on my life. How do I emotionally feel after I leave? Have I been uplifted? Am I depressed? Did I learn anything? While it is impossible to never complain about living with a chronic illness, if that is the only focus of the group it is no longer a support group. How do the members react to those who complain? Do they join in and turn it into a pissing contest or do they try to help the person who posted? How are those who post a positive comment treated? Are they ridiculed or made fun of?

What do you look for when joining a chronic illness support group?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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