The Research Shows That A Peer Support Group Will Fast Track Your Lyme Recovery...

Researchers have studied the effects of peer support groups with landmine victims, professional athletes, cancer patients, mental health challenges, PTSD, addiction, abuse in the home & chronic illnesses.

Across the board, the research shows that if you are going through a longer-term challenge like Lyme Disease you will get through it faster & feel better if you partake in a peer support group.

Cancer, Diabetes & Chronic Illness Studies

One of the most comprehensive studies done on the power of peer support focused on Diabetes. Similar to Lyme, Diabetes can affect every area of a person’s life, often for decades. The research found that a peer support group compliments and enhances other health care services because it offered emotional, social & practical assistance that helped people do the things they need to do to get & stay healthy.

The same conclusion was made in similar studies around individuals with Cancer & HIV: Study 1 | Study 2 | Study 3

Anxiety & Depression

With the lack of energy, exercise & social life its common for people recovering from Lyme Disease to experience anxiety and depression. Lyme can often be accompanied by a number of psychiatric symptoms.

There have been many studies done around depression comparing peer support group to the traditional recommendation of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT – aka talk therapy with a counsellor). The studies conclude that peer support groups were as effective in reducing depression and in some cases more effective than CBT.

Other studies have been done around peer support groups and psychiatric symptoms. The peer support groups resulted in less days in the hospital, larger social support networks, enhanced self-esteem and social functioning.

Why Peer Support Works So Well

Researchers observed that Peer support Groups were helping people recover faster but they couldn’t clinically explain why. So in 2002 Mark Salzer studied why Peer Groups are such an effective means of support and a number of other studies followed. The conclusion was that Peer Support Groups legitimately help an individuals recovery for primary 5 reasons:

  1. SOCIAL SUPPORT – Social support is the positive interactions with individuals where there is a shared experience, concern & mutual trust. Positive interactions and relationships can buffer against the many stressors and challenges by providing emotional support (reassurance, attachment & esteem), information support (advice, guidance, and feedback), practical support (services & goods), and companionship.
  2. EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE – People obtain specialized knowledge and perspectives from living through an experience like Lyme disease. They have often have first-hand experience with things you may be considering (Healthcare professionals, treatments, diets etc.) and their advice can be unique and pragmatic. The studies show that when shared this knowledge contributes significantly to increasing quality of life.
  3. ROLE MODEL INSPIRATION – Because your peers in a peer support group have undergone and survived relevant experiences, they are more credible role models for their peers. Conversations with group members who are successfully coping with Lyme Disease are more likely to result in positive health advances. Peers will leave interactions with optimism and positive goals to move towards.
  4. SOCIAL COMPARISONResearchers observed people are more comfortable in conversations with individuals that are in similar life situations. It creates a sense of normalcy that is calming, assuring and aids recovery.
  5. HELPING HEALS – One of the most interesting takeaways from the studies on peer support groups is the theory that individuals who provide support to others via a support group, benefits as much as the individual being supported. People supporting others via a peer support group experienced increased self worth, a sense of purpose, learning through another’s challenge & social approval. All benefits of giving that help speed up the giver’s healing.

Get The Support You Need: Click Here For More Info!