Has anyone ever been to a NAMI support meeting? If so, what is it like?
I went to one last week it’s pretty cool if u wanna meet other people with mental illnesses.
I went to a family one for awhile…they separated me from my parents and they did their thing while we did ours…I had a lot of fun and felt really supported…we did different activities that helped us understand our illness…than we’d meet with the parents and they’d discuss what they did, which was usually talk about how they cope and how they started to understand the aspects of the illness, but it was really a step in the right direction for me…
I like the NAMI group I attend; they’re all different.
I go to Family Support Group more often because it fits in my schedule; everyone in the group knows I am also diagnosed and I just focus on trying to find resources for my family member with sz in that one.
The peer support meetings are generally very open with basic guidelines: a check in with everyone and then a conversation. Whomever attends can choose whether or not to speak. The peer support group here lets people get up and leave the room if we need to take a break or feel triggered. Very open and free form with no pressure to participate if a person doesn’t feel comfortable.
Most of the people are really supportive.
I’m curious, what other types of mental illness were represented at your group?
Bipolar, depression, anxiety, PTSD, borderline, sza
It seems like the most represented dx was bipolar one, but that is just one group in one place
Seeing this thread inspired me to check their group meeting times out. Bummer…none near me. The website is a disaster too.
I’m a member of a support group at NAMI. There’s about 15 people usually, sometimes people drop out and sometimes we get new members. I should venture a guess here and say that not all groups are the same. Most all of them involve support, and talking about your problems but it’s usually the clients who shape your experience in a group.
Unfortunately, if you put together 10 or 15 adults who have a mental illness there will be clashes between personalities and occasionally hurt feelings. But the majority of people are civil and polite. Not everyone is going to like you and you’re not going to like everybody there but that’s normal.
I just saw your post so I guess my post is too late. Maybe someone else will get something out of it.
The counselors or therapists who run it will try not to let anyone pick on anyone else or abuse another member but occasionally it might happen. I’ve been to various groups in my thirty five years with schizophrenia and I really don’t remember anyone being badly attacked.
On the whole it is a safe place where people can talk about life issues and what problems they are having. The counselors and the other members can offer advice or support if they want. I’ve always kept my diagnosis to myself but other people freely share their diagnosis in front of the entire group.
Another thing that I want to say is that while very serious problems, situations, and topics are discussed, the meetings are not all doom and gloom. It can get light-hearted and pleasant. People can laugh or people cry, depending on what’s being discussed.
When you’re in a support group for mentally ill people you may not want to talk about your delusions or weird thoughts I personally don’t tell people all my weird stuff, some people do. Once you go to your first three or four meetings and get comfortable with the group, you may feel comfortable enough to talk about your delusions, but the first few meetings you go to just kind of sit there and listen to what other members share and get the feel of what goes on in your group, what people say in the group, and what kind of things they talk about.
Anyway that’s kind of what they are like.
I don’t know how much support group really help.
But in my experience there are two basic, positive things about groups (there are more positive things than just two but these are the most basic, bottom line benefits to me). 1#. It puts you with people. Just physically being there among people is a benefit
2#. At the least if you go the group you are doing something for your recovery. What I mean is that you are making the effort to help yourself (and others in the group possibly) and going to a group gives you a feeling of accomplishment. These two things are the bare minimum of what I get from attending support groups.
If you connect with anybody else there that is just a pleasant bonus.
Great reply! Thank you.