Schizophrenia.com

Has anyone been to a support group?


#1

Hi it’s me again! Has anyone been to a support group for people with mental illness?
What was your experience? I’m looking to go for my first time on Friday. Any help would be appreciated! Are there young people or mainly older? I’m 25 by the way.
Thanks,
Jess


#2

I’ve had no luck finding support groups in my area(Kansas). I did go to a few a NAMI meetings but it was just a bunch of moms crying about how their kids took drugs. It’s tough to find support, these forums are about all I got.


#3

My therapist wants me to go to a bipolar support group in the area. Since I have schizophrenia and bipolar - SZA I do not think I would fit into a pure bipolar or mood disorder group


#4

I don’t know you, but I tend to not think so, either.


#5

I did Recovery inc. meetings for about 10 years and I found they were helpful with dealing with some symptoms of mental illness. The books are a bit hard to read and some members can tend to treat the organization like a cult, but there is some good stuff they offer as far as techniques for dealing with anxiety and anger. The meetings tend to be pretty structured if they are done correctly so there doesn’t tend to be a lot of haphazard complaining during them.


#6

If you miss one session do cultists tar and feather you? :grinning:


#7

I wish I had some in my area, I really have been feeling the need to connect to other people who “get it”.


#8

I’ve actually been to quite a few. Some were good some were bad. I was in a high-functioning group back in 1981. The members were parents or had jobs etc. They talked about those things. They were anywhere from 20 to 55. But I started to relapse so I got demoted to a less functioning group. They talked about WANTING jobs and families. I went downhill and finally ended up at the bottom group of people.They were actively psychotic and delusional and paranoid. They talked about their delusions.But I was in a group there years later. Medium functioning. Groups can be anywhere from 6 to 12 people. At least most of mine were.
In 1999 I joined a group. Best group I was ever in. I wasn’t afraid to talk and some of them actually liked and accepted me. But most groups are not complicated. You show up and sit in a circle and share your problems. Some groups have two or three people running them. It’s supposed to be a safe place to talk.


#9

I have been one for a while. I haven’t been going as much as I used to due to my summer schedule and groups sort of transition. There were times in my life that my group really helped me. There are times in my life where I was pretty happy to be able to help others.

Sometimes they rub me the wrong way, other times it feels great to be in a group of people who completely understand. I’m beginning to think that how you do in a group depends on the mood you bring to it.


#10

I dunno, my cousin in bi polar, and bi polar has a psychotic part to it, she and I have compared notes, and the psychosis is all the same. she’s been very helpful, and she can finish some of my sentences and we laugh about the delusions :slight_smile:


#11

Yes thats true, bipolar type 1 with psychotic features can include hallucinations and delusions - i can get psychotic from both disorders - schizophrenia and bipolar - a double whammy of sorts


#12

me too, like if I forget my thyroid medications, I can go crazy over that. I think I did that last fall, I went for a bike ride in the heat, went crazy, and ontop of that, while crazy with that, forget to take my thyroid medication, a double whammy. I totally understand :slight_smile:


#13

I’ve been to one or two. But It was very depressing. It didn’t help me much because it wasn’t very structured. I felt that it was just a bunch of people sitting around talking about depressing things instead of trying to be positive and looking for ways to improve their lives. I stopped going after a few visits.


#14

No never been to one. I heard the Nami connects group where I used to live was drawing only about 3 or 4 people a week and this is in a city of 100,000. I have however recently got set up with my local community mental health center which apparently has groups that meet.

I’ve got most of my support at the clubhouse I’m a member of the past few years. It’s a good place to connect with others who live with mental illness as well as a good way to get involved in the community. I was elected to a six month seat on their BOD and they also flew me out to St. Louis last November to represent them at the international conference.

The other options are peer support centers but the one where I had been living was more of a “drop by drunk and high center” than any sort of support from what I’ve heard. The center where I live now however is supposed to be much better though.

Perhaps i’ll look around and see what sort of other support groups are in my area.

-e


#15

I am very highly functioning and 90 something % symptom free due to my effective medications. I found it was depressing after the first time. The first time, someone who’s son was having the first episode of paranoid schizophrenia was there and I shared my knowledge about the situation as a recovered schizophrenic and a psychology major. I felt like I really helped them. The second and third times were rather depressing and I think the leader who had Bipolar Type I was actually a little too enthusiastic…I do better at sharing my experiences and advice for people who ask for it.


#16

I’ve been attending a support group 3 days a week. It helps me to be around other people and learn coping strategies. I’m 33.