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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. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    I have not gone to a support group, but I think I would enjoy it. I like to talk to people about my problems anyway, so all the better if people there are going through what I am. But for some people that don't like to air out their dirty laundry. Some may still be in denial. Maybe they think people will judge them unfairly. I feel there are all kinds of reasons people may be hesitant.
  2. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    People are different to start with. If she doesn't like it, it might be hard for her to recover in that kind of environment. Some people are like her because for one thing, they are not comfortable opening up to other people. Or they may be thinking that they can cope on their own better. Some are just not the sociable type. They tend to be more withdrawn when in a group.

    So maybe, ask her what she thinks can make her recover. Then let her try it. If it does not work, then perhaps, talk her into getting in a support group. Sometimes, people just do not know they will eventually like something until they give it a go. Or you can tell her to just try the support group for several sessions because who knows, she might like it there.
  3. c9h2ua

    c9h2ua Member

    That's because they think they can handle it by themselves. I am not saying they don't have the ability to control themselves, but some of them are not having a strong will and they can be affected by others easily. Therefore, they may avoid joining support group because they don't know they need help from others.
  4. Nate5

    Nate5 Active Contributor

    Some people don't like to put their problems out in the open. They are afraid of being judged, even though the people surrounding them in those situations are in the same boat. Some people don't want to confront their problems. You are your own person, and only you yourself can change your own actions. You can nudge your friend to the right path, but you can't control her.
  5. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Yeah, it sounds so simple and easy on the surface but for the one who's actually going through it all it's probably a lot more complex and confusing than we think. Surely there's already tons of issues going through their heads and on top of that they would also need to decide on a lot of things regarding their treatment.
  6. MissLisa

    MissLisa Member

    I think that some people don't like to share their personal issues with people they don't know. Even though while participating in the group setting everyone is getting to know each other, the fact that it would be a new and unfamiliar experience could turn them away from the idea.
  7. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    This is just an attempt to understand what your friend is going through so what I'm going to say now may or may not hold water, depending on the actual truth. I do think that when someone hesitates to join a support group, he or she hasn't completely accepted the situation. Some people prefer to overcome addiction by themselves, either because of pride or they're simply embarrassed to drag other people into the mess they got themselves into. It's not so much on the support group but on the thoughts swirling through their heads that they refuse to join.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  8. wulfman

    wulfman Senior Contributor

    There are a lot of factors why someone would hesitate. They may think it is not for them or be in denial about their addiction. They may think it is a waste of time. They may not be a social person and want to interact with others.
  9. Denise

    Denise Member

    I have to go to a 12 step meeting as ordered, but I hate it. I have been to several different groups and kinds. It's either listening to people whine and cry about their life, or tell and brag about their drug days or to sell drugs. I grew up going to alanon and I dont remember it being such a drag. But meetings work for some people but for me I will be glad when I am done. I dont get anything out of them. I feel worse leaving than I do coming in.. but to each her/his own.. live and let live..
  10. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    I think it could be helpful if we can take a different route in trying to help your friend.If she loathes support groups,you can arrange for her to visit a counselor who can recommend a psychiatrist since i suspect she has some deeply rooted fears in her mind.
  11. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    It's true that opening up in front of others is hard to do, but it can be difficult to listen to other people's problems as well. It's good to know we're not alone, but other people's suffering can be painful for us as well. These are things we need to try to work past in order to offer and receive support from others. Of course, it's much easier said than done.
  12. I know it was very intimidating for me to walk into my first meeting and I even had someone else with me. I can't imagine how scary the thought of it must be for someone who has no support or anyone to walk them through it. Not knowing what to expect can be very frightening, have you considered accompanying her?
  13. juno

    juno Community Champion

    I think for a lot of people it is the time involved in joining a support group, which they are not willing to commit to. For others, I think they are hesitant about letting their guards down, being seen by others in the group and feeling exposed. They can be intensive and you have to open up as well as follow a lot of rules.
  14. DTracy3

    DTracy3 Active Contributor

    The first step would be to except your an addict and that you need help. This isn't as easy as it sounds. Many people say things to themselves like "I can beat it on my own", "The support group can't help me anyway", "I control my addiction" or "I'm not really an addict I can stop at any time". Most of these are excuses, which is something addicts like to do, since the reality where they have to admit that they may really need help cause they are going towards rock bottom is a really hard reality to swallow.
  15. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    I reckon it could be to do with, being judged and wandering what if others will think about me differently or that they may not want to know me and talk about me to others. Some people find it best going to a place where they won't run into someone who they know and than that person could tell the family or friends and person may feel embarrassed by the problem. The person may believe they do not have a addiction and can't see the truth in front of their eyes or that what they are doing is causing others a problem.
  16. CrimsonAdder

    CrimsonAdder Member

    I think a lot of it comes from a social stigma that support groups are useless, without direction and just a way to meet even more people that could send you down a dangerous road. This is why I created my 12 Steps Support Groups thread, so I can help skeptical individuals have a place with some real insight into the realities of such groups.
  17. RingoBerry

    RingoBerry Senior Contributor

    There is always the fear of being judged. It can be a little intimidating to talk about our lowest times in front of people we don't know when in the first place most people succumb to addiction because they feel alone and no body understood them and no one tried to help. Others hesitate because they feel like they have no where to come back to even after getting better. They feel like anybody is waiting for them.
  18. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    You can't force her to join any group she doesn't want. She has to believe for herself that it will work for her in order for her to join any support group. She has to be in the right frame of mind to join that group. If she is in any way forded to join,then it will be counterproductive.
  19. LitoLawless

    LitoLawless Senior Contributor

    I really think it's because it will put them out there as having a problem, and most of the time they don't feel as if they do. They may also think that they are the most messed up out of all of them, which may also be false as well.
  20. ryan0039

    ryan0039 Active Contributor

    A lot of support groups near me have religious basis and that's why a good friend of mine and myself both were very skeptical to join, and we had to wait and find a group that didn't have a religious basis so that we could find a group. Alas, none ever showed up, so we had to basically start our own of us and a couple other people who still show up. I do think people are scared of showing others their emotions as well...plenty of people with addictions struggle from anxieties, which may include social anxieties, and many people probably feel embarrassment as well.