Severe asthma can impair your stress levels and emotional well-being as well as your breathing. You may fear an asthma attack and avoid particular settings or activities, or you may be angry or frustrated about having to live with a chronic illness.
These emotions are valid, and you don’t have to bear them alone. Joining a severe asthma support group might help reduce feelings of isolation.
These groups can also be a safe place to talk about your struggles, discuss information, and connect with others who understand.
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In-person and online severe asthma support groups exist. Find one that meets your needs here.
Online asthma support groups
Online support groups allow you to talk with people about your experience without leaving your house. Some are run by private and non-profit organizations, while others are hosted by regular people with severe asthma.
In an online support group, you can choose to reveal your true identity and health information. Review the online group’s rules and privacy policies before joining to ensure you’ll be comfortable.
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Here are some online severe asthma support groups:
* Facebook Asthma Support Group The group has around 30,000 members. It is moderated by numerous monitors and has a set of community norms to keep discussions civil.
* BBN. The Better Breathers Network is run by the American Lung Association (ALA) and is for persons with asthma, COPD, and lung cancer. The network also offers on-demand webcasts, condition management tools, and e-newsletters.
* Asthma by Inspire More than 8,000 people have joined this online support group hosted by the ALA. It provides materials and opportunities to learn from others.
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* AAFA (AAFA). Joining AAFA gives you access to its support forums and other resources. The organization can also keep you informed about upcoming programs for Black women with asthma.
Local support groups
A local support group might help you meet other people with severe asthma. This can help you learn about local asthma resources and feel less alone in your town or city.
A virtual conference allows participants to engage remotely during periods of physical distance, like as the COVID-19 epidemic, or if they prefer online connection.
Here are some places to look for a local severe asthma support group:
B.B.C. The ALA has been facilitating in-person support groups for persons with asthma and other lung illnesses for over 40 years. Find a local support group using the website’s search engine. AAFA Groups. AAFA offers local support organizations in many states. Each group has a doctor. If there isn’t one already, help the AAFA start one. Your medical team. Local support groups aren’t always easy to find online, but your doctor and other members of your healthcare team may be able to help. Another option is a clinic or a community center.
Finding the appropriate support group
Like any other social gathering, a support group may be better for some people than others. You may need to try several support groups before finding the ideal one.
Most support groups are private and based on mutual respect and trust. Learn the group’s ground rules before joining to ensure your personal ideals are upheld.
Other suggestions for finding a supportive group:
* Get a reference. If you have severe asthmatic friends or family, ask them about their experiences with support groups. Your healthcare staff may also be able to refer you to specific severe asthma support groups for young adults or African Americans.
* Study the group. The group is often unknown until you join. In some circumstances, you can find out who started and sponsors the group ahead of time. This can reveal if the group is sponsored by a corporate, associated with a reputable non-profit, or is administered by a local community.
* Know the facilitator. Many support groups are run by people with severe asthma. Some, like AAFA, have a doctor. The question is which type of group works best for you.
* See how the group works. Some support groups allow drop-ins, while others want members to attend on a regular basis. The group’s meeting hours and location can be key factors.
Severe asthma might affect your mental health. While living with this disease can feel lonely, you are not alone. Joining a severe asthma support group might help you connect with others who understand your situation.
Others meet in person. It’s all about finding a group that works for you. Try out several groups before settling on one or two.
There are numerous other resources available for emotional help. Your medical staff and a therapist can help you manage the disease and the stress it produces. You can also rely on friends and relatives.