Support Groups R Us

Monday morning I was talking with my therapist. We were chatting about finding me another outlet to deal with some of my problems. One 50 minute session a week wasn't enough and I needed some advice.

Sadly, at the exact time of my therapy session, Robin Williams' body was found in his California home. Suicide...unable to deal with his depression.

While our problems were very different, they both were very real. The good news is I'm finding ways to deal with mine. The bad news is Williams couldn't.

My issues deal with physical things. The last couple of months, I've been feeling real crappy. My tremors, which had been minimal, have increased. My balance, which has always been my biggest problem, is now off the charts. I walk like Gayle Sayers returning a punt....weave to the right, cut to the left.

And then there's sleep. Nighttime not so good...daytime, out like a baby.

In other words, my Parkinson's is progressing. The stories that seemed so funny at the beginning are not so much anymore.

I'm sure in the last couple of days you've been reading and hearing a lot about depression, drugs and therapy. Many people wait months to find an available therapist and then have to deal with insurance issues to cover the treatment.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I only waited a month to start working with my first therapist. When she took another job, it was only two weeks before finding another one.

One of the things my therapist recommended was finding a support group. I'm surprised I never thought of it because it was a Parkinson's Focus Group that gave me the idea to start therapy and also to write this blog.

There are plenty of support groups out there. Just Googling Support Groups Chicago gives you over 45 million results. Depression Support Groups Chicago has over 4 million results.

The group I'm looking for, Parkinson's Disease Support Groups, has almost 3.5 million listings. It's just a matter of finding one in my area and getting started.

My point is this. There are plenty of places available for anyone who is hurting and needs to talk. The bigger problem is getting to the point where you know you need some help.

What happened with Robin Williams is heartbreaking but avoidable. Help is just a click of the mouse away.

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