Article Index

by Nancy B. Smith

Purpose of support group meetings

  1. Emotional and social support
  2. Provision of information on the illnesses, treatments, resources
  3. Engagement in local community activity on illness issues
  4. Connection with other CFIDS/ME and FM organizations and resources

The support group is a place to offer a safe non-judgmental environment in which patients, family and friends of patients and perhaps medical personnel can reach out to share their experiences, educate each other and share information such as which doctors are good versus bad.

Isolation is one big issue patients have. Support Groups serve a purpose to help end that feeling, as well as realizing there are others in the same position. Face-to-face communication is a good way to go. It helps because it is through understanding and being understood that experiences can be shared with the illnesses: how we obtained a diagnosis, successful ways of coping, treatments tried that have helped or not helped. Denial of being ill, frustration and anger are often attitudes seen in patients but usually, they all get along.