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Question
Posted by: Jakes | 2006/04/06

Support Groups

Some comments, please CS, on what Seneca the Roman writer and philosopher said :

Maliuolum solacii genus est turba miserorum. (A crowd of fellow-sufferers is a miserable kind of comfort)

Or do we get strength from such a crowd. I titled this post "Support Groups"

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Our expert says:
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Interesting challenge, Jakes !
And what an erudite quote ! In my experience there are support groups, and support groups. In some, where they gather to share their strengths and strategies, it can be most helpful. In others, where they gather to share their misery and compete as to who suffered the most, its miserable indeed. I like Chelle's pont about the value of such a group having a mix of people at various stages of coping with whatever the focal problem is.


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Our users say:
Posted by: Aletta | 2006/04/07

Jakes, I am still alive today because of a wonderful support group. You see, I WAS actually given more than I could handle, and I had no reason left to go on living. (Frusty, sorry to burst your bubble, but this does happen to people.) And no matter how strong I thought I was, I could not cope on my own. Then a 'real' friend dragged me off to a support group, and into a great group of people who have never let me go.
I agree, its value probably depends on the individuals making up the group, but in my case, it has literally given me back my life.

Reply to Aletta
Posted by: lady nina | 2006/04/07

hi there

i don't agree with you jakes

2 years after my separation i joint a divorce care group and it made me feel so greatfull for what happened and how far we've come - we were shown videos and had discussion that was relevant to the issues we had to deal with

i found it so helpfull...

i think it all depends what your attitude is
if you see the cup as half full you will experience everything negative
but if your a positive person you will always tkae the good from any situation no matter how negative it is

nina

Reply to lady nina
Posted by: Frusty | 2006/04/06

It all depends on the personalities of the fellow sufferers, really. You get people that enjoy wallowing in self-pity and moaning about their predicament and then you get people that use their predicament to their advantage and learn from their experiences. If you choose to have a support group where most of the people are from the latter, then I would think that you will benefit from it.

However, steer clear of people that enjoy their own misery! They do so much harm to themselves and will eventually harm you as well.

I firmly believe that we are never given more than we can handle, even if we don't realise it at the time. And finding something positive in any given situation is always guaranteed to boost you.

Strength comes from within you, not from others. You can only use a support group to lean on, but not to heal.

Reply to Frusty
Posted by: Chelle | 2006/04/06

Maybe it's a miserable kind of comfort, but it's a comfort nontheless.

A decent support group should have a mixture of people - people who are still going through whatever the support is based on, and people who have recovered or who are in a better place - and people at various stages.

The idea is also not to rely too heavily on one support group - but I suppose that all depends on what the support is needed for.

Reply to Chelle

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