of California Support Groups
A support group
provides an opportunity for patients and others to
attend to learn more about hepatitis. Many people feel
that they can get a better sense of reality on their
disease by meeting others. A support group provides a
means to obtain more education and facts about
challenges. It is also a place of hope, with caring
individuals with the same concerns that you might have
about your liver disease.
What is a meeting
like? It is often not easy coming to a group meeting the
first time. However, once in the door you should find a
wealth of information to help you develop your health
plan and understand your disease. Becoming an advocate
for your own health is an important goal.
You may want to bring
your friend or spouse to a meeting. It often helps to
have the support from someone you are close to, and the
meeting gives them a chance too to learn more about what
you are experiencing, such as side effects and anxiety.
Sometimes our loved ones have concerns that may be
alleviated when they are given an opportunity to meet
other people at the meetings.
Not all groups are
alike! You will find that every support group is
different in some way. There are groups that offer
support with a specific educational component, other
groups have speakers each month, some meet during the
day, others meeting monthly in the evening, and they
vary in size due to attendance. Try to attend more than
one group in your area.
The support group
forum, in the comfort of an open circle, should provide
quality time for interaction and to ask questions that
are on your mind. It should also be a confidential time.
Participants in a group should keep personal information
within the group setting. What is said in the group
should stay in the group!
studies indicate that people who learn self-care
techniques and participate in support groups are less
depressed, less anxious, less stressed, gain more
knowledge, and rate the quality of their lives higher
than those who do not participate. One theory is that
these types of groups enable people to better comply
with medical advice and adhere to wellness techniques
through encouragement from other members. Members often
become more responsible for their health and more
knowledgeable about their condition.
Hepatitis C Resource Center www.hepccalifornia.org