Why Start ADHD Support Groups
Some might ask, why are ADHD Support Groups helpful to people with ADHD?
One reason is while there’s a lot of information online on ADHD, I have 3 websites on adult ADHD with hundreds of pages of information and information can be useful, but, as someone who has started the Vancouver adult ADD Support Group in 2003 and still leads it, one of the things my members tell me is they find it really nice to be in a room where they can relax and not have to explain what ADHD is to other people.
It’s nice to be in a room with people like you. Who understand you. Where you can be yourself.
People who can give you feedback on your ADHD problems from the perspective of someone who understands ADHD vs someone who is ignorant about ADHD and says dumbass counter productive irritating things like “you just need to try harder”, “you just need to focus more”, “you just need to want to change” etc.
Who can tell you of other ADHD resources and tactics they’ve tried to deal with ADHD that you might want to try or modify. See some of the Adult ADHD Issues from my Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group meetings.
Plus we’re not boring people:)
Here are some articles on the benefits of support groups.
“My years as a medical practitioner, as well as my own first-hand experience, has taught me how important self-help groups are in assisting their members in dealing with problems, stress, hardship and pain…
Today, the benefits of mutual aid experienced by millions of people who turn to others with a similar problem to attempt to deal with their isolation, powerlessness, alienation, and the awful feeling that nobody understands.” – former Surgeon General Koop (in the book, Self-Help: Concepts and Applications, edited by A. Katz, et. al,Charles Press, 1992 from the self help group sourcebook online
From a Scottish government site. This discusses the concept of a family support group and examines why people become part of these groups.
It also looks at the potential benefits of family support group membership and the difficulties that groups and individuals face, and provides some examples of family support groups and points the reader to further resources.
Here are some excerpts on the benefits of family support group memberships:
“Members become part of a collective voice.
The group is non-judgemental. This creates a safe environment for members to disclose their problems.
Members become more informed
Reduces likelihood of member becoming dependent on the support from a one-one relationship.
Reduces stress experienced by the family member. The sharing of information and experience can reduce the anxiety of members and the isolation they feel.
Builds confidence for coping. Being able to discuss their circumstances enables members to look at how they cope, think about the advantages and disadvantages associated and adapt their coping strategies.
Empowers the family member. By acquiring new knowledge, skills and growth in self confidence gained from attending the group, the family member can increase their capacity to manage internal and external issues affecting their lives
Development of skills.
Improved communication with other family members.”
If you’re facing a major illness or stressful life change, you don’t have to go it alone. A support group can help. Find out how to choose the right one. By Mayo Clinic Staff.
Structure of support groups
Benefits of support groups
Support groups may have drawbacks, and effective groups generally depend on the facilitator to help steer away from these problems. These problems may include
Benefits of online groups include
Risks of online support groups include the following
How to find a support group
Questions to ask before joining a support group
Exploring the Utility of Self-Help Groups: Does Self-Help Group Membership Enhance Mental Health? Research Study.
“Research studies indicate that self-help group members experience an increased sense of belonging, of being understood, and of normalcy.
Groups impart practical knowledge and skills for dealing with the relevant problem, facilitate increased coping and provide a sense of control and personal agency. Members have increased self-confidence, self-perception and feelings of empowerment.
Self-help group membership also improves personal and familial relationships, increases social support and decreases family burden.
Each of these benefits has the potential to enhance at least one, if not more than one, of the mental health characteristics articulated by the CMHA.
Thus, it is the position of this paper that self-help group membership, at a minimum, has the potential to improve the mental health of every self-help group member
Research evidence suggests that self-help groups can have a positive impact on members’ mental health.
All the reviewed studies, in one way or another, confirm the intentions of self-help groups, providing members with emotional and practical support and facilitating information exchange.
Additionally, each ascribed benefit, in one way or another, enhances the mental health of self-help group members by improving their ability to enjoy life, be resilient, achieve balance, be flexible and self-actualize.
The intention of this paper has been to demonstrate to HCP that self-help groups positively influence the mental health of their members. Having accomplished this, HCP can feel confident recommending the use of self-help groups as a way to promote and improve the positive mental health of their clients.”
By Elaina M. Kyrouz, Ph.D. and Keith Humphreys, Ph.D. Veterans Affairs Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California.
Very comprehensive list by category (mental health, addiction-related recovery bereavement, cancer, and chronic illnesses, caregivers, diabetes, elderly,and weight loss) with brief summaries.
“We focus here primarily on studies that compared self-help participants to non-participants, and/or gathered information on multiple occasions over time (that is, “longitudinal” studies).”
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