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Wednesday, January 21, 2009 Derrick, Community Member, asks

Q: Do peer support or support groups really help?

I have mixed emotions. I have attended many support groups, various types, when I am not in my "agoraphobic" state, and found that some groups are helpful and some are not. How does one get support when they are housebound? My travel radius has been reduced to about 10 miles now. Many people have social and anxiety being in groups of strangers.  Anxiety disorders, in my opinion, are sometimes the most bothersome and persistant but get moved to a lower classification compared to other mental illlnesses when it comes to the medical communities. I know many who are rural have little or no support (peer or support group). Also in public mental health people with anxiety are grouped into other forms of mental illnesses which tends to add to "am I going to end up like this", which we don't in the majority of cases. It is a challenge.

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1/21/09 1:03pm

Derrick - Your experience with support groups is probably similar to that of lots of people who have tried them. Some are a really good fit and others aren't, and there is no way to know which it will be without attending for a while. Identifying supportive people who will travel with you to support groups can make getting there more managable and potentially improve the overall experience. One of my clients finds some real benefit from interacting on www.patientslikeme.com. When your agoraphobia is particularly bad and you can't get out of your house, this might be a useful tool. Just be careful to thoroughly investigate any suggestions you might get and check them out with your therapist or psychiatrist.

 

Rick Wirtz

 

Rick Wirtz is a Psychologist, not a psychiatrist or medical doctor. Although the majority of Psychologists are not authorized to prescribe medications or give you specific advice about them, they typically have experience working with patients who take a variety of medications. The response above is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical or mental disorder. Any information given in a post about medication is for educational purposes only and primarily to aid you in having an informed discussion with your own physician

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By Derrick, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/26/10, First Published: 01/21/09