IC support groups are gatherings where people can learn more about interstitial cystitis (IC) and talk to others with the same condition. IC patients will often express profound relief when they first talk to someone who shares their symptoms, concerns, and frustrations. Talking with another IC patient over the phone, via the internet, or at a support group can be an important first step for a patient in breaking through the mental and physical isolation many feel after being diagnosed.

Today, IC support groups can take on a variety of forms. Some groups function completely online via email lists or message board systems. These formats are particularly beneficial for patients who live in rural areas or for those patients whose condition makes it difficult to travel. More traditional IC support groups meet at a common location, offering patients valuable face-to-face time with others who have IC.

IC support groups are informational and not intended to be group therapy sessions. These groups are more successful when they are not monopolized by an IC patient seeking group therapy or support for mental health issues related to chronic illness. These types of groups are best left to professionals.

Revised Monday, August 31st, 2015