Participating in a support group for people with diabetes may offer unique benefits: the chance to connect with people who are facing challenges very similar to your own, an opportunity to learn other people’s successful strategies for managing their diabetes—and more.
Finding the right fit can make all the difference. Before deciding on a group, attend a few meetings—one visit usually isn't enough to make an assessment. Once you find a group you like, become a regular attendee. Participate by talking and asking questions. Of course, not everyone is comfortable opening up to a group. If you're the quiet type, be mentally present, listening to others. And go into a group with a positive attitude. Remember that you’re going there for support, and keep an open mind. The best support groups promote active self-care, and don’t dwell on what a person with diabetes can or cannot eat or do.
And before you go, brush up on a little bit of support-group etiquette:
DO open up and share stories about yourself, including challenges you're facing or successes you've enjoyed.
DON'T monopolize the conversation.
DO offer support to others in the group.
DON'T judge what others say or share their medical information with people outside the group.
DO ask questions, however minor they might seem, because chances are you're not the only one with those issues.
DON'T focus only on the negatives of living with diabetes. When you spend time with other people with diabetes, it’s easier to focus on what you can do about managing your diabetes and staying positive about your diagnosis.