People who are struggling with mental health issues like bipolar disorder usually improve through treatment approaches like medication and individual therapy. However, support groups can also have great benefits for those who are learning how to navigate their diagnosis and manage their symptoms. Support groups allow individuals a safe space to discuss personal issues and struggles that may be affecting them regarding their disorder.
In these groups people have the opportunity to discuss some of the common challenges they face and even open up about things that they find hard to tell anyone. People with mental illnesses like bipolar disorder may have a sense of shame about living with the illness. In a support group they can be surrounded by people that are experiencing the same problems and understand what they are dealing with.
The groups are usually begun by a co-facilitator who overviews the agenda for the meeting and discusses the rules for behavior in the group. Then each member of the group can introduce themselves, say general things regarding their disorder and about how they are currently feeling. Then people in the group can discuss any topics that they would like to address and people can take turns speaking if they wish to.
The topics discussed during these meetings are issues that affect everyone with bipolar disorder and each member of the group is likely to have their own point to make or story to relate about the topic. Members can also discuss solutions for these issues and offer advice and support for people that are struggling.
Support groups provide people a place to discuss things that they find difficult to talk about with family members and loved ones because they simply won’t understand. Groups are the best place to meet other people with similar problems so that you can turn to each other for help and support.