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Laura Yeager: "Bipolarl Illness Support Groups"

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I’ve said previously that I don’t like bipolar support groups.

The reasons why are as follows:

1. Most of the people at these groups are very sick.

2. Sicker than I am.

3. They complain a lot.

4. They bring me down.

5. I can’t get a word in edge-wise.

So I don’t go to support groups. I find my support other ways–through family, friends, church and God. And through creating this blog.

But this doesn’t mean that you won’t love support groups. I recommend that you go to several to see if you like them and if they help you.

Your experience might be totally different than mine.

Everybody’s craziness is unique.

This is one good thing support groups can show you–the uniqueness of people’s diseases.

At the last support group I went to, I saw a beautiful, thin, sexy woman there. In my dreams, I would never imagine she had the problems she did.

She looked great, but she was a mess.

These are the kind of surprises you can find at support groups.

I’ve done my time in support groups. The only way I’d consider going to a group now is if I led the group. If I could have a leadership role, I might want to take part in them.

If you wish to try a support group, contact your local hospital. Many groups are held within the confines of hospitals. Or get in touch with NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They might be able to give you leads for where to find groups.

One more thing–be careful at these groups. Use common sense. Don’t be too trusting with the folks until you get to know them well.

And keep their secrets. One would hope they’ll keep yours.

That’s how it works.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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