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I have been talking with my therapist and she keeps suggesting I join a support group or a womens group. I havent done any kind of group therapy or support groups since my mom was in AA the first time (about 10-12 years ago).  Im just not sure what I can expect. I have a really hard time talking to people who know whats going on in my life let alone people I have never met. Im a notorious crier. I imagine it would be pretty stressful for me. Has anyone ever tried out a NAMI or other support group? Any youd like to suggest? Things you liked/didnt like?

 

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I have some insight...

 

I went to NAMI for a while. They were pretty much the only organization who offered peer to peer support groups.  At first I was skeptical, after a while I liked it. Then later I kinda just fell out, and lost interest.

 

At the time it helped when I needed it.

 

I wasn't thrilled about some aspects, but it's all really a personal opinion.

 

Its worth a try though. You don't have to make a commitment to begin. Just contact NAMI and get the basics, try it out and see how you like it. If you like it, great. If you don't atleast you tried.

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I go to a support group for Autistic women, and I like it a lot. I've never been or wanted to go to any other support group, and I know (tdoc has confirmed) that group therapy would be a really bad fit for me. But-and I was only diagnosed last summer, right before my 40th birthday-getting to know other women on the spectrum has been really interesting and useful and fun. It's the only group of people I've ever been part of and really felt part of.

 

So I guess it depends on the group you choose and whether or not you like to play with others.

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Gearhead brings up a point, which I want to clarify...

 

Support Groups & Group Therapy are 2 different things.

 

A support group is generally lead by a MI peer who knows no schooling (or degree pertaining to) actual therapy techniques.

Group therapy is lead by a therapist (or professional) who has knowledge and college pertaining to *group* type.

 

I, myself, do not do group therapy well. I find it difficult, sometimes boring, and sometimes offensive. However, I took to a support group well.

 

Most of NAMI's support groups are peer-to-peer to their groups pertaining to (MI peers, family peers, friend peers, boss peers, etc.), and not actual group therapy. Usually you have to go through your doctor to receive group therapy, but a support group is pretty much go-at-your-own-device.

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Great point about support groups vs. group therapy. I liked group therapy in my partial hospitalization program, but hated it in an outpatient clinic (it felt like I was being ganged up on - maybe it was the people in the group, the leader, or the fact that it was CBT-based, which I hate). I had a very positive experience with one support group when I was in my 20s because the group was made up of people of similar age and life circumstances. I had a mediocre experience with a different support group in my 30s when I was the only person in my age group and the only person in my life circumstances.

 

It's worth a shot - I've heard good things about the NAMI groups for what it's worth. One piece of advice is to go maybe five times before passing judgment on the group, because groups tend to be uncomfortable at first and you don't want to write off a good one right away. If you give it a good shot and it still doesn't feel right, at least you tried. 

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I've taken part in group therapy and have found it quite helpful.  Just being with others that have an MI and who understand what its like to live with it day in and day out is a comfort.  I also like having a tdoc there to keep the group moving and serve as a soundboard.  The group I attend is all women.

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Thank you guys so much! Im definitely feeling a little more at ease about it. There are a couple NAMI meetings in my city, so I think Ill start there and see how I feel. I think the reason I most want to go is to feel less crazy. Its hard, especially within my relationship, to feel like Im "normal". My partner has been amazing with helping me through the tough times but I know there is only so much she can do because she doesnt really understand whats happening in my mind and my body.

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