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Research: Participate in An Online Support Group

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  1. Is there a research study being done in the USA on the use of online support groups? I think this is a great idea. I think so, because I know, from personal experience, that there is a wide range in the level of support available in different groups out there on the ‘net.

    I’ve been a member of online groups for over 5 years. They’ve helped me quite a lot. But, here are some of the negative experiences I’ve had, too. Some groups are quite controlling in what is allowed or expected so that the natural flow of expression or even slight disagreement, (as opposed to arguements or flamming) is cut short; threads closed arbitrarily. Others are too loose; it becomes a free for all, and certainly not condusive to those of us who suffer from depression or anxiety. And sadly, there are those whose mods and admins have been known to be bullies and perpetrate abuses on the members. They use the “rules” when it suites their purposes, and ignore them when they want to. And they change the rules to “get” particular members they don’t like. (This last one sickened me; I was a mod at the time, and knew my time was up when I couldn’t stomach this type of abuse.)

    That being said, I want to reiterate that I’ve been helped alot by online sites. Peers sharing their experience, strength and hope helped me to recognize that the sun will always rise again. And when something happened, I didn’t have to wait for the next appointment — someone was online almost always. And sometimes, it just helps to get it out.



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