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Why do people hesitate to join support groups?

Discussion in '12-Step Support Groups' started by shilpa123, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. shilpa123

    shilpa123 Member

    A friend of mine, who is an alcohol addict, is advised by the doctor to join support groups. But nothing in this world can make her join the support groups. I do not understand what is she exactly scared of about support groups. Many people have tried explaining it to her about it, but nothing in this world can change her mind. So what is your opinion on this matter?
  2. AFKATafcar

    AFKATafcar Community Champion

    I think a lot of people are afraid to confront their addictions, or they're afraid to see other people confront their addictions. It's not always easy facing the truth, even when you realize a problem exists. Jumping headfirst into a support group and facing your problems, along with those of everyone else in the support group, isn't always easy. I can see why some people resist support groups.
  3. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    Most people are scared of support groups. They are not really scared of the people there but they are scared that they have a problem they can't solve by themselves.
    It's not easy for them to accept the truth but after some time they'll get used to it and seek help by themselves.
  4. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    I think the reason why some people doesn't like going on support groups is that they're in denial that they have a problem with addiction and that they need to reach out to people to get it fixed. They just need to accept it and know that they are in good hands.
  5. Daniel Lucky

    Daniel Lucky Active Contributor

    Let me speak from experience, for me I would hesitate because I was ashamed. I didn't want my friends and family to know I was struggling with drug addiction. Another reason I was always wondering "do I really need help" I juggled with the fact that I was really an addict back and forth thinking sometimes I was not. So this keep me away from seeking the real help I needed. Something else was my level of comfort I didn't know how comfortable I would be in that type of setting because I would be with strangers. In the end the different support groups that I joined did help!
  6. Daniel Lucky

    Daniel Lucky Active Contributor

    If you are someone struggling with this my advice would be to go to one thats is as far away from your neighborhood as possible. What this did for me is I felt that well if I didn't feel comfortable with talking about my problems because I didn't want to feel judged, well these people will never have to see me again and thats what got me to start going.At first I would go to different ones until one day I had found a group of people that really helped at making those who came out comfortable. Then I joined theirs on a regular. I hope this helps someone, good luck!
  7. LifeM1

    LifeM1 Member

    I think it really depends on the person. Some people simply do not believe in support groups, or think they can do it themselves, or feel it would be a waste of time. Some could just be lazy, or embarrassed. I would be able to give a more direct explanation for this, but I can't actually say too much besides something broad without knowing why your friend is refusing. Has she given a reason, or does she just say she is scared? Have you tried asking her to elaborate? These are things that would be very helpful to know, shilpa123.
  8. I think it really differs person to person. There can be a lot of different reasons. Some people just don't think they work, others are afraid to talk about their addiction to somebody else, and some people just aren't completely on the road to recovery, now, I'm not saying you HAVE to join a support group if you are, but it can definitely help out in the long run. I would try talking to her about it, and ask her reasoning, just listen to her, don't be pushy or really give your opinion, just tell her that you're curious. I wish the best for your friend in her journey to recovery.
  9. stagsonline

    stagsonline Active Contributor

    Support groups can just be as intimidating as trying to request for a sit-down with an alcohol addict. The problem is admitting that she has a problem that needs to be solved. The mere thought of seeking help with others that you don't know makes you feel odd. However, assure her that after a few days in the support group, she will feel relieved a lot. Just tell her to give it a try, just once and offer to be with her during the first day to show support.
  10. jackslivi

    jackslivi Active Contributor

    Have you ever been to a support group? Let me tell you, it is scary. I recommend going with your friend. They will feel at ease that they at least know someone. I had to go into a few for my college course. It was fun and to hear the people's stories is amazing. I went to open meetings of course. It is amazing once you get your foot in the door. Go with your friend, or family member. It will for sure help them relax and it provides more support! =)
  11. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    This is just my guess, but it's probably because joining a support group would cement their own perception of themselves as being "that person" who is so down on their luck that they need to be in a support group. There is a negative connotation of these groups I guess since most who go here are next to hopeless, but admitting your own hopelessness should really be seen more as a sign of strength rather than a weakness.
  12. sammy

    sammy Active Contributor

    I totally agree with fear being a factor for people not choosing to go to a support group. With the exception of the most outgoing people, it's tough to walk into a room full of strangers in a new location to a meeting format you are not familiar with. The thought of doing this probably gives some people anxiety attacks just thinking about it.
    jackslivi likes this.
  13. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    I have taken many people to support groups for their first time. I knew what to expect, they did not. The unknown is always scary, from the first day of school to a new job. There was one time I took a newbie to an NA meeting and when I asked to buy a copy of the blue book/big book, the chairman said, "Is this your first meeting, REALLY?" Well, it wasn't, but I wanted the book for someone who was too scared to ask for it. That group gave the books free to new people. I said something nasty, then told him to keep his book, I would go tap the ATM and get money. I later learned that after that meeting there was a "home group" meeting, and that man got yelled at for the way he treated me.

    Bottom line: People are not perfect. Not the newbie, not the veterans in support groups. Everyone is entitled to have a bad day. People are scare, ashamed, uncertain. They don't know what to expect, and the formats can be confusing until you get used to them. Each group has their own way of doing things also. Eventually, you get to know faces and fit in.

    Ask if she wants you to go with her. Maybe that is really what she wants but is afraid to ask.
  14. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    It really does depend on the person. Think of it like this: How many people do you really know that are comfortable speaking in public?

    Add to that the nature of the discussion. It isn't so easy. Even if it does eventually prove helpful, getting started can be very difficult.
  15. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    Not everyone likes to talk about one's experiences. And not everyone likes to hear about other people's experiences. I also avoided support groups as I didn't like the "emotionalism" of it all. I wanted to deal with my problem by myself and the help of a wonderful friend. It worked for me, and I am sure that your friend will also find her own unique way of getting the help and support that she needs.
  16. bourge_21

    bourge_21 Senior Contributor

    Some people try to clean their mess themselves before reaching out to others. We all have this conscientious guilt that tell us subconsciously that we have the responsibility to correct our mistakes. We then reach out to others when we have reached our limit.
  17. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    Bourge, I see that as a big problem for a lot of people. It's very understandable to feel that way; I can completely related. Still, trying to wait until we clean ourselves up some before asking for help can be very dangerous. It's a "come as you are" thing and we have to realize that everyone else is in the same boat.
  18. bourge_21

    bourge_21 Senior Contributor

    As I am saying, this action we do is very idealistic. Thus, when we cannot anymore rely on our strength to solve the mess we have, we seek others' help. Indeed, this is a big problem because we lose our self-esteem, worse than before. However, this is our nature.
  19. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    People feel vulnerable when they have to talk about their problems and struggles in life. It is fairly common to struggle to trust others with deep life issues and secrets. She may feel ashamed and not want to admit her issues to anyone, even if they have issues too, or she may struggle to believe that there won't be someone in the group who would talk about her behind her back, she may feel like she will be judged by some of them as "worse than them" or something like that. I hope she overcomes her fear and gives a support group a try because it can be really helpful, but there are also ways to get support outside of a formal group if she has friends and family willing to set aside time to be there for her or to be available to call whenever she needs to talk.
  20. Twinsmommy31

    Twinsmommy31 Active Contributor

    People are afraid to put their problems out there for others to judge. Its hard to be vulnerable and admit when there is a problem. Even though there are times that we need support it is often hard to ask for the help.
    LindaSuzanne likes this.