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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. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    People will get embarrassed. Many people do not want others to know that they have a serious problem. It is demeaning and just not fun at all.
  2. moreno58

    moreno58 Active Contributor

    I think that some people may be a little shy about being in a group or maybe even a little ashamed . I'm sure it could be because they are afraid of being judged as well. Sometimes people can really say mean things as well to make a person feel really insecure in groups too.
  3. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Truth is that many people are skeptic about supprt groups, and some of them even about doctors. I wouldn't had joined a support group either regardless of the person advising me to do so. Who knows, maybe she is able to recover at home, and also more comfortable with it? At least let her try, and give some support as well. And if she doesn't succeed, recommend her to join a support group again. Maybe it will change her mind.
  4. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    Most folks are afraid of facing up to their demons. The other big issue is that they feel like a failure if they need assistance from a support group. A big part of the blame falls on the mainstream media which has helped paint this picture in people's minds. On the contrary, a winner is always someone who seeks help to deal with a problem that he or she is encountering.
  5. moreno58

    moreno58 Active Contributor

    You have a point there. Some people aren't as comfortable talking around others about there problems and may also feel like they can't be helped even. It is hard to say, maybe some are better off with a different approach if it were available. I don't really know, I guess it would really depend on the person, but then again some after siting and listening to others they might start to open up alittle.
  6. Jane

    Jane Active Contributor

    I think most people end up avoiding them because of the shame or embarrassment. It's one thing to admit you have a problem to a doctor or to yourself, but it's another to admit it to a room full of strangers.

    Many people don't think their problems are severe enough for support groups or don't think they would actually help. The idea can be really stressful for some.
  7. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    I think that some people just need a one on one counseling experience in order to get better and get off of whatever substance or habit they are addicted to. Group therapy is definitely not for everyone, and that is just a fact of rehabilitation.
  8. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I think it's a few different reasons. I think it can be pretty confronting for a person to admit they have a problem and to go out there and seek help. A support group is a public admission that a person needs help and that can be a lot for a person to do. I think also there's an element of embarrassment and shame for some people - no one wants to admit they're struggling so that's hard for people.

    Also it can be a matter of finding a support group - some people might not know where to look or may not even have a support group nearby.
  9. LindaSuzanne

    LindaSuzanne Active Contributor

    I think perhaps it's a fear of being judged. Maybe you could get your friend to just read what people are posting here and see that there are all kinds of people who visit this forum. She doesn't have to post unless she really wants to. Its anonymous, she doesn't have to reveal her real name and there are plenty of people here who have been through or are still going through what she is.
  10. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    So true. I do not think that anyone likes their problems being out and open.
  11. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I think a lot people is afraid to join this kind of groups because they don't know how it works. I was also a bit afraid the first time I went there, because I had no idea what I could expect, but the environment in that place turned out to be very calm and relaxing. People there tend to be very nice and not pushy at all, of course it varies from group to group... because I once went to a group for binge eaters and wow... were they rude! They swore a lot and the environment there wasn't good. I guess the people who run that place are the ones to blame.
  12. mooray

    mooray Active Contributor

    Some people are not just comfortable telling their problems to strangers. In a perfect world, everybody would gladly do it but humans just like to judge.
  13. PLP Rob

    PLP Rob Active Contributor

    There are several reasons a person might not want to join a support group.

    1) The Religious Angle: Alcoholics Anonymous may turn some off for its mention of God and a "higher power." I realize the higher power doesn't have to be the Judeo-Christian god, but many people are repelled by the mention of it.
    2) Loner: Lots of alcoholics are anti-social by nature and dislike the idea of sharing their innermost secrets (and shame) with strangers. Can't say I blame em there.
    3) Success Rate: Research indicates that AA members relapse with roughly the same frequency as those who quit drinking on their own.
    4) Not Ready: At the end of the day, this one's the be-all, end-all. No one who isn't determined to quit drinking is going to quit drinking, with or without a support group.

    Just my opinions. Respectfully, I wish everyone the best with his or her struggle.
  14. Sarasmiles

    Sarasmiles Member

    I did not feel brave enough to join a support group for so long. It takes a lot of courage to go, and a friend who was a member encouraged me. He asked friends in the group to give me their phone numbers and talk to me. I was invited out for snacks with the group afterward and once I saw how friendly everyone was, I felt better and wanted to come again. Everyone there has similar struggles and funny stories, so it's actually fun to talk to everyone. Just getting past that initial fear of being the "new kid" is all it takes to warm up to meetings. Good luck and take care!
  15. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    It is true that support groups are helpful when one wants to quit alcohol but she maybe not be getting the message because of the way you are trying to relay it to her. If she does not want to attend to online support chats, it doesn't mean that she don't want to join support groups. You can get videos for her to watch at her own time, you can also buy for her magazines talk about support groups and related articles. At last she will come to realise what you were telling her earlier.
  16. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Some struggling addicts hesitate to join support groups probably because they are afraid of being misunderstood, of being judged, of being labeled, etc. There are actually various reasons why they are scared to participate in such meetings, but once they realize that you're just really concerned about their welfare, and future, they might open up, and consider it.
  17. danjon

    danjon Senior Contributor

    I had anxiety issues initially, and this stopped me seeking out help, whether that was support groups or professional healthcare providers. Give your friend time, they might come round. If not, have a look at the threads here which discuss online support groups and Skype therapy. This might be a good first step for them to take.
  18. LovesBigFool

    LovesBigFool Active Contributor

    Wow. There are so many possible answers.

    I will just add my own issue. I am very much an introvert. So much so that the very thought of going anywhere is incredibly stressful. Add to not wanting to leave home the issue of being in a circle of other people for an hour and a half and it becomes near impossible to move.

    I realize that it is unlikely this is their problem, but it should be considered.
  19. Mojo11

    Mojo11 Member

    I cannot speak for anyone else's reasons for being hesitant to join a support group, but I can share my reasons. I live in a small town with a large drug problem. There is one NA meeting here, and that is all there is available for quite a few miles.

    I have been clean now for 8 years next month. I had been clean for around 5 months before that relapse. I relapsed when I went to a meeting and a particular running buddy of mine was there, and we went from there to a dealer and boom, I relapsed.

    That may not be a problem for many people, but for me, the biggest thing that has made it easier for me to stay clean the last 8 years has been cutting all ties. I simply cannot hang around any of the people in that crowd, even if they are now clean. That is what works for me. Too many old "friends" in the support group.
  20. MsLucy

    MsLucy Active Contributor

    You know, I have attended one support group. Before going to the group meetings I was very hesitant. Something about having to share my pitfalls, afraid that I may be worse of than everyone else among other things detoured me. I didn't want to be judged, or told over and over how harmful my addiction is to my well-being. Only after sitting a few sessions did I become comfortable. For the first time I felt like they were really trying to help me, not just shame me for my mishaps.
    deanokat likes this.