Finding a PTSD support group
There is support out there for PTSD. More on what is PTSD here. Support groups hold live, face-to-face meetings, virtual meetings online or even by email. The major benefit of getting PTSD help from others who have been through it is that we can all learn from one another and be a support person for others. Everyone’s story is different, but hearing of others who have had tough times somehow helps us not feel so alone.
Whatever group style you choose, however, be careful not to get into a victims group that focuses on being victimized. Be proactive to listen, and read the ongoing comments. Ask yourself if what is being discussed is helpful and growth oriented. You may find someone who can pass on info that will help you grow and mature as an individual.
Additionally, if possible I would recommend staying with the same gender. Quite often people who are suffering from PTSD or other disorders will react in one of two ways in a mixed group. They may either be triggered by the opposite sex and transfer issues onto other opposite sex group members, or they will pick out someone in the group that they will try to overpower and manipulate to prove to themselves that they are worthy and strive to get acceptance from that person.
Important PTSD support group tips
- Be deliberate in your PTSD support group goals
- Become committed and active
- Don’t allow support meetings to become boring and predictable
- Don’t give up
- Focus on how you can help others
- It is important not to have a pity party
- Seek God’s will for you and the group
Top 3 places to find PTSD support
1. Go online for PTSD support
The best starting place to find an STSD support group is online. Spend several hours searching from the huge selection of support groups and forums, one that is right for you. The types of groups range from returning Veterans of war to mental, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse survivors.
Looking online, I have discovered groups that have ongoing symptoms of anxiety, depression, memory flashbacks, and might include people that have been diagnosed with Bi-polar, MPD, PTSD, and Borderline Disorders. I believe it is important to find those people you can relate to. Most all of these disorders tie into a past of some sort of real or perceived trauma.
NOTE: You can optimize your search by combining words such as “war veterans PTSD support group”, “bi polar PTSD group” or “sexual abuse survivor support group”. If you want to make sure that the group is about PTSD only, add “+PTSD” to your search box.
2. Major U.S. cities offer more PTSD support groups
Finding a nearby major city is number two on the list of my suggestions for finding support for PTSD. It is important to find a local support group that can get together and compare notes. I don’t mean just any notes. I am talking about people who have suffered for awhile – sharing their survival and coping skills. A support group that share the successes and struggles. And this kind of contact can really help you in the healing proces
3. Starting a PTSD group
It is also possible to start your own PTSD group. Please wait awhile on this one, though. It is a bigger responsibility than just showing up for meetings.
To accomplish starting your own group I would suggest you connect with at least 3-5 people online that are all interested in starting a group. It can be a project that you do together that will cause bonding and team participation. Different websites that offer groups can help you begin the process.
I would suggest war veterans stay with other veterans and abused wives stay with abused wives. It is very important to have topics and maybe each week have an individual share different researched information. Have each member share how that info impacted them and if they agree or disagree.
When starting a group, decide what is appropriate to share and not to share with others outside the group. Decide the size of the group and if the group is closed to certain disorders or open for all who want to join.
Until next time…