Parkinson's Support Groups
Do I need a support group?
Many people find that support groups are tremendously effective in helping them cope with the day-to-day realities of having Parkinson's disease. Groups come in different formats -- from large, formal meetings to smaller "living-room" get-togethers -- and you probably won't be equally comfortable with or get the same benefit from all. If you don't like the first group you find, it's worth looking for one that suits you better. If you can't find any you like in your area, consider starting one. If you are unsatisfied with the available options, it is likely that you're not the only one feeling that way.
Other places to find support
With that said, support groups aren't for everyone. If you're dead set against the idea, there's little point in forcing yourself. Support groups work best for people who want to be there. Many resources are available to help you find a support group, including: Your neurologist or treating physician (or a member of his or her office staff), local hospitals (community outreach or similar services), community calendars in local newspapers and Web sites of national Parkinson's disease organizations.
What about online and virtual support groups?
Web sites, Internet groups and forums serve as online support for many patients. They can be informative and inspiring, and often alleviate the feeling of isolation that can make life with Parkinson's disease more difficult. Keep visiting the Web sites of the national Parkinson's disease organizations, as well as state and local support group sites, for news about opportunities, events and fellow patients in your area. Be sure to check out their links to other recommended Web sites. Or, start one of your own. Learn more about resources.