Fibromyalgia can be a very difficult illness to have to deal with. Not only can it cause symptoms of widespread pain and fatigue, but it can also severely impact upon your daily lifestyle, making depression and other mood disorders a reality for many sufferers. Though you may feel alone in your battle against the illness, it is important to realize that there is help out there. Joining a fibromyalgia support group might be just what you need to learn more about the illness and how to stay positive during these difficult times.
What is a Support Group?
A support group usually consists of a number of different men and women who share a common problem, illness, or concern. These people come together as a group to discuss this shared concern, finding out new information and providing comfort and support to one another along the way. A fibromyalgia support group can consist of sufferers of the illness, as well as friends and family members. Support groups can be small, community-based groups, or they can be large, national or international organizations. All support groups focus on providing an empathetic, personal, and supportive environment to members.
Who Uses Support Groups?
Support groups are used by thousands of different people all over the United States. Ranging from children, to adults and senior citizens, support groups can provide all types of people with a sense of hope and identity. Support groups exist for a variety of different causes, including:
- chronic illness
- addiction recovery
- bereavement support
- physical and emotional abuse support
What Types of Fibromyalgia Support Groups Are There?
There are a number of different types of fibromyalgia support groups. There are support groups for:
- sufferers of fibromyalgia
- friends and family members
Fibromyalgia support groups can be informative in nature or they can focus on working through the emotional concerns of facing a chronic illness.
What Happens at a Fibromyalgia Support Group?
Depending upon the type of support group you decide to join, different activities and discussions may take place. Generally, at all meetings, new members are asked to introduce themselves to the rest of the group. Then, a variety of activities may take place, including:
- guest speaker seminars
- field trips
- personal discussions
- topic discussions (based on nutrition, exercises, and other forms of therapy)
- in-class exercise routines
Where are Fibromyalgia Support Groups Held?
Fibromyalgia support groups are held all over the United States, in most major towns and cities. Support groups are often held in community centers, hospitals, churches, and palliative care centers. They can also be held in the homes of group members or on particular website accessed through the Internet. Whatever your needs, there is sure to be a support group out there for you.
How Can A Fibromyalgia Support Group Help?
Support groups can help fibromyalgia sufferers in a number of different ways. Support groups:
- Offer Information: Support groups are often a place where information about new exercises, medications, or alternative therapies are introduced. Many support groups can provide you with a list of fibromyalgia health care providers that practice in your area. Because support groups are comprised of a number of different members, there is always lots of new information available at meetings.
- Let You Know You Aren’t Alone: Fibromyalgia can be a very isolating condition. If you are suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome, you may feel as if no one around you can truly understand what you are going through, even friends and family members. Support groups are there to show you that you aren’t alone, and that there are other men and women who can relate to your condition.
- Provide You with Hope: Fibromyalgia is often seen as a hopeless illness. Because there is no cure, many sufferers feel that they no longer have any hope in their lives. Support groups foster positive thinking and an optimistic outlook by encouraging activity, therapy, and action.
Where Can You Find a Fibromyalgia Support Group?
Fibromyalgia support groups can be found in many cities throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Here are some links that will help you to find a support group in your area.
- National Fibromyalgia Association: This groups provides information, support, and links to all those suffering from fibromyalgia in the United States.
- BC Fibromyalgia Society: Offers information and support for those living with fibromyalgia in British Columbia.
- Toronto Fibromyalgia Support Group: This group offers support to those living with fibromyalgia in Toronto
- The Fibromyalgia Association of Montreal: This organization offers support to those living with fibromyalgia in Montreal.
- Fibromyalgia Association UK: This website offers information and online support for fibromyalgia sufferers throughout the UK.
- Fibromyalgia Support in Northern Ireland: This website offers comprehensive support for fibromyalgia sufferers living in Northern Ireland.
- Welsh Association of ME and CFS: This association provides support to fibromyalgia and CFS sufferers living in Wales.