How to find the right psoriatic arthritis support group

Use these tips to guide your search for a group that provides a sense of belonging.

A psoriatic arthritis support group can provide a sense of belonging and a chance to meet others who understand what you're feeling and experiencing. Whether they're online or they meet in person, support groups provide an opportunity to learn from others and share what you've learned, too.

If you're interested in joining a support group for people with psoriatic arthritis, here are some tips to help get your search started:

  • Get some recommendations. Start by asking your doctor, as the office may keep a list of support groups in your area. Your doctor may know of online groups that have been helpful for other people with psoriatic arthritis. You might also seek out recommendations from nonprofit organizations that advocate for people with psoriatic arthritis, such as the National Psoriasis Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation.
  • Find a format that works for you. Some support groups are in person and some are online. Some groups are more informational, with lectures or webcasts from experts that allow time for questions. Some groups are more like social clubs. Many groups offer something in between.
  • Pick a group that's moderated. Start with a support group that has someone who keeps things on track. Sometimes this is a trained professional and other times this is a dedicated group of moderators. Good moderators will keep the group focused on the topic at hand and keep distractions to a minimum.
  • Keep it positive. Find a group that focuses on finding solutions and celebrating accomplishments, rather than just providing a place to vent frustrations. It's normal to have bad days and you should feel comfortable sharing that with your support group, but the responses you receive should be encouraging.
  • Join in. Choose a support group that's welcoming to new members so that you feel comfortable joining in the discussion. You'll get more of a benefit if you're an active participant.

As a new member in a support group, you might be nervous about sharing with people you don't know. Start by just listening and see if you feel more comfortable with the group over time. A support group can reduce feelings of loneliness and give you a sense of empowerment. It can also be a great place to make new friends.

Jan. 03, 2020 See more In-depth