You Are Not Alone: Arthritis Support Groups

Millions of Americans suffer from arthritis and arthritic conditions every day. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone in your suffering. Although at times you may feel like the only person who is affected by this disease, there are others who feel the same way. Arthritis can be a very hard disorder to understand and many patients who suffer from arthritis feel alone and confused. However, with a little outreach, you can meet and talk with others who also suffer from arthritic conditions. By joining one of the many arthritis support systems, you can feel better about your condition and have a better outlook on life.

The Arthritis Foundation is the only non-profit organization that was formed specifically for those who have arthritis. There are over 100 different arthritic conditions, and the Arthritis Foundation works hard to address the needs and concerns of people who have each kind. This organization helps distribute information about arthritic conditions, as well as works as an advocate for arthritis patients. They also sponsor medical research on this condition in the hopes that we can someday prevent and cure arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation partners with many other organizations and companies to bring patients the services they need. Their website is helpful for both those suffering from arthritis and family members or friends who want to learn more about arthritis or donate money towards arthritis research. Online you can also join this organization and benefit from their many membership services.

If you are looking for something on a more personal level, however, your first step to finding a local arthritis group is to talk with your doctor or another medical professional. Often times hospitals will sponsor such groups to help people cope with disease and illness. Arthritis is no different. At a local group, you can meet others who are dealing with arthritis and get feedback on how to cope in daily life. These community groups also go on trips and to events and they cater especially to your specific needs. Other members of the group can be lifelong friends and help you live more optimistically. You can check your local newspaper if your doctor does not have information about such a group-or you can start your own. If no such support exists in your neighborhood, there might be a strong need from someone to lead this type of a project.

Support groups are especially important for children suffering from arthritis. Because arthritis is often seen as a condition that develops in old age, many children with arthritis feel outcasted from other childhood friends but cannot connect with typical members of a support group since they are usually much older. The children's wing of your hospital may be able to direct you to a children or family support organization. No matter what your age, you can benefit from the community of a support group when you have arthritis. Look online or talk to your doctor for more details.

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