Support groupsare a platform for social and emotional connection, encouragement and information exchange. Joining a support group often improves the quality of life and empowers those with endometriosis to make informed decisions about their health.
Not only have we discovered these benefits, but research has also revealed the array of benefits online support groups provide to endometriosis warriors.
“The most frequently cited affordance of online support groups was the ability to connect with others, and participants used this connection to support each other, exchange advice, and to try to overcome feelings of loneliness.” (1)
Support is one of our biggest values at EndometriosisWA, after all, we started as a small support group in 2013! Our private Facebook support group now has over 3,600 WArriors and counting. We know the challenges endometriosis can bring, and want every WArrior to feel included in a community of individuals supporting each other through similar experiences.
In addition to our online support group, we run bi-monthly educational and supportive events for our members, to further build a supportive community.
1. Shoebotham A, Coulson NS. Therapeutic Affordances of Online Support Group Use in Women With Endometriosis. J Med Internet Res. 2016;18(5). eng. doi:10.2196/jmir.5548. Cited in: Pubmed; PMID 27160641.
How do I support my family member, friend or colleague who has endometriosis?
Educate yourself! There are many valuable resources online explaining the ins and outs of endometriosis and how it affects the individual.
Advocate for them! Believe their symptoms and experiences, and validate what they are feeling.
Be aware of the emotional effects of living with endometriosis and related chronic conditions.
Remember that endometriosis affects every person differently, and the symptoms can change day to day.
Assist with day-to-day activities or chores, such as tidying and cleaning, doing the grocery shopping or cooking a meal.
Be mindful when discussing possible treatments. It's nice to share your research, but what works to improve symptoms for one person may not be helpful for another.
Understand that they may have to cancel or reschedule social and professional meetings.
Understand that endometriosis is unpredictable and difficult days often come without warning.
Understand that severity of endometriosis does not equal the severity of pain and other symptoms.
Understand that being unable to share time and affection during flares is not a reflection on your relationship.