Impact of Social Health and Community on Living With Illness
Last updated: October 2023
Social health communities positively impact life with illness. Connecting with others and sharing stories is powerful. You share triumphs and challenges. It changes how you feel about your condition. We recently asked members of the Social Health Network, “What impact has social health/social media/community had on you?”
You shared the significant influence social health communities make in your lives.
I’m not alone
Living with illness often feels isolating. Connecting with others living with your health condition helps you feel less alone. Social health offers opportunities to more easily find others living with your condition.
“Social health has made me feel less alone, that there are others in this battle with me!” – dgarlit
“It has helped me see I’m not alone and that sharing my story has helped others be diagnosed and/or use their voice for the treatments and care they wish to try.” – baldballerina
Social media support
Technology and social media are excellent tools for building relationships! When going out is difficult, you can find or form support groups online. The connections you make are empowering.
“If it weren’t for Social Health and social media, lung cancer would be a very lonely place. I found my community online when there wasn't a nearby in-person lung cancer support group. I have close, lifelong friendships from all over the world that developed from social media support groups.” – plh4lisa
“Social media has been a huge support and avenue of connection for me. I personally don't know many people with IBD [inflammatory bowel disease], but social media has brought thousands of people into my life who are now friends and people I can count on for advice and guidance.” – lightscameracrohns
“I look to social media for connections and relationships. I 'know' dozens of people across the world that I can relate with through my disease, that I would never have that opportunity if not for social media.” – stephen.huff10
“Most of my advocacy work has been done through social media, so it has had a huge impact on me. Having access to support 24/7 is amazing!” – MustStopMS
The common experiences you share with others feel affirming. You are less afraid of facing this disease, knowing others are walking a similar path. Those who guided you inspire you to help others who are new to the journey.
“Sharing experiences with folks further along in the journey was like being tossed a life raft in a stormy sea.” – RickRed52
“I love this community because it offers me an opportunity to help others and learn from others as well.” – twistedpink
“Being able to share my journey with others all over the world.” – Petey the Prostate Crusader
Social health communities taught you about yourself. You found new ways of using your voice. You create change by making a difference in many lives.
“It’s given me a voice when it felt as if I had none.” – susanarahn
“The impact has helped unleash a newfound strength that I never thought I had within myself. I’ve always been a reserved person and had difficulty in expressing my true thoughts and feelings. However, this experience has helped me overcome those barriers. I’m now able to advocate not only for myself but so many others.” – The Genetic Diabetic
“Becoming an active member of the Migraine community has changed my life positively in so many ways. It helped me heal after I was forced to stop working and pivot to volunteer roles with advocacy organizations. In doing so, I have met a wonderful community of individuals dedicated to making life better for those with Migraine.” – jennheater
We appreciate everyone who shared with us!
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