Research continues to show how friends or social support can play a significant role in maintaining good health. One of the studies published in 1992, in the Journal of the American Medical Society, examined 1,368 heart patients over time. The Duke University study found that those persons who lacked a spouse or confident were three times as likely to die within five years of diagnosis than those who were married or had a close friend.
In an article on the study, ( in New York Times of February 5, 1992, page’s C – 12), it was noted that the Duke University researchers had concluded, ” a support group may be as effective as costly medical treatment. Simply put, having someone to talk to is very powerful medicine.” American self-help clearinghouse, Denville, NJ 07834.
As any member of a 12 step support group, or mutual aid group can testify, just being able to share one’s own story with others like ourselves, can produce healing and hope. To know that we no longer have to suffer alone is in itself a great source of hope!