Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a life-altering moment, causing you to feel a wide range of emotions and justifiably so. It is common for people to feel alone in moments like these, even if you are surrounded by friends and family. Thankfully, there is help available through support groups.
Benefits of Support Groups
There are a ton of benefits to joining a support group. These advantages extend to the person diagnosed with cancer as well as their friends and family members. Having a community you can turn to makes you feel less alone, which prevents depression and wards off anxiety. It also gives you a group of people you can ask for help and advice on practical matters as well as emotional ones.
Patients often find support groups to be invaluable, as it can be so helpful to talk with someone who is experiencing the exact same thing. These groups often have doctors and other medical professionals as facilitators, so you can obtain practical medical information as well as companionship and support.
Groups for friends and family members are also geared to providing practical and emotional support. There are people there who know what it is like to worry about someone you care about and who understand that unique feeling of helplessness. These individuals can also give you practical tips on how to help your loved one and how to carve out time to care for yourself.
Drawbacks of In-Person Meetings
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to attend an in-person support group. Patients are often busy trying to balance treatments, work, and family obligations. Those who are supporting them may also have little time to attend a conventional meeting thanks to increased caregiver tasks.
Online Support Groups
Thankfully, there is another option. Online support groups exist to help people in this very situation. These communities are open 24/7, giving you instant access to a group of people who understand your situation whenever you need them most. Some groups are still run by doctors and medical staff, with people who are currently sick with cancer as well as those who are well into remission. These communities can give you all the benefits of an in-person group, with the added perk of being accessible when convenient for you.
You and your family members do not have to struggle through this uncertain time alone. Joining an online support group can give you the sense of community, compassion, and the support you need to cope.