Support groups work for a reason: it can be extremely affirming and comforting to meet with other individuals who are facing the same challenge you are facing. Whether the challenge has to do with weight, addiction, a health issue, a phobia, or ADHD, meeting and talking with others can be a powerful help.
Most support groups are safe, non-judgmental spaces in which members are able to share their joys and fears, their success and sadness about life with ADHD. This may be the most significant benefit of participating in a support group.
In addition, you meet a group of people who could potentially become understanding friends (or parents of potential playmates for your child) outside of the group. This is a big benefit for people who previously had no one to talk with freely about ADHD.
There is often information shared in a support group. Attendees share insights and strategies that have worked for them or their family members. Sometimes they share resources such as books, magazines, web sites, or the names of specialists they recommend (or do not recommend).
Unfortunately not every community offers support groups. One place to search for one in your area is on the website of CHADD (Children and Adults With ADD), a national non-profit organization devoted to educating and supporting individuals who have ADHD in their lives. CHADD chapters around the country offer groups for adults, teenagers, parents, couples, and more.
Choose your state in CHADD’s Chapter Directory and you will be shown a list of the CHADD Chapters in that state. Click on the chapter closest to you, and you should be taken to information about any support groups that are offered.
Another place to find support groups is on the Meetup website. Many CHADD support groups (and some ADHD support groups unaffiliated with CHADD) list their meetings through Meetup. If you register on Meetup, you will be notified by email when meetings are coming up in your area.
If you feel alone in dealing with your ADHD, support groups can help.
Linda Swanson is an ADHD Coach in Warrenton, Virginia. She and her husband, Neil, are partners at Free To Be Coaching, LLC, where they coach in person or by phone, Skype, or FaceTime. They coach students from middle school through college as well as adults of all ages, and they also facilitate two support groups for parents of children with ADHD. Linda and Neil are both graduates of the ADD Coach Academy and are credentialed by the International Coach Federation and the Professional Association of ADHD Coaches. Linda can be reached at email@example.com or (703) 508-4774.