The Importance of Social Interaction during Social Isolation
Many studies show how important social interaction is for our health and well being. As we join together as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, social isolation has become our new normal. But just because we are staying home doesn’t mean we are all alone. Online support groups and communities are extremely useful and important for social support. Now more than ever during this coronavirus crisis, it’s important for people embrace reputable online groups so they are not isolated socially, despite having to be isolated physically.
The social connection our bodies crave are often driven by our need for emotional connection. When we are placed in isolation, with no real face to face contact with the outside world our state of mind can suffer quickly. Have you noticed yourself binge watching depressing stories on the news about the world around us? You find yourself in a rabbit hole of watching the programming, then your brain spirals into the “what if?” of everything they are saying.
This is just one example of why social interaction is so important! While we are required to be physically distant from those we normally have daily interaction with, technology has proved to be a wonderful way for us to be connected during this unprecedented time. Below are a few great resources to connect to others during this time.
PRMA Patient Advocates – Breast Reconstruction Support: This Facebook group was created for PRMA patients and their loved ones to find support along their breast reconstruction journey. The mission of the group is “We have created a safe space, private from your personal timeline posts, for individuals seeking breast reconstruction information. Please ask questions, offer advice and provide support. We ask that no pictures be exchanged on posts or in comments, but they may be sent via private message. As a reminder, we always recommend patients reach out to their surgeon or nurse for medical advice for the most accurate assessment of care. We would love for you to introduce yourself and share your journey! Sadly, less than 25% of patients know about all their breast reconstruction options following a mastectomy. It is our mission to change this statistic and we need your help!” It is a safe space for all to share questions, frustrations, and concerns about their journeys!
The Breast Advocate App: Breast Advocate® was founded by Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo, an internationally recognized expert in breast cancer reconstruction and shared decision-making. Shared decision-making occurs when the health care professional and patient work together to make a treatment decision that is best for the patient. The best decision takes into account evidence-based information about treatment options, the physician’s knowledge and experience, and the patient’s preferences and values. Multiple studies show this collaborative approach improves patient outcomes and satisfaction. A lot of people are feeling they are ‘stuck in limbo’ right now as so many surgeries have been put on hold during this Coronavirus pandemic. Now is therefore an ideal time to use this the Breast Advocate® app to research your breast surgery options moving forward. The app’s community is also great for users to connect and chat.
DIEPC Journey – Breast Reconstruction after Mastectomy: This Facebook group is home to an abundance of personal experiences of individuals who have gone through breast cancer treatment, and or are undergoing them currently. The group was founded by PRMA patient Terri Coutee. “The purpose of this group is to inform those who are facing or have had a mastectomy about their breast reconstruction options and choices. Women and men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or have tested positive for a gene mutation have much to consider and research when considering breast reconstruction surgery. This forum will share personal choices and experiences, answer questions, and call upon experts in the field to guide you through the process. Know that you will get advice here from those of us who have been through this as well as from professionals in this field. It is imperative that you discuss your final options and decisions with your health care provider. I hope this will make your walk through your own personal decision an easier Journey.”
Beyond the Pink Moon: The Facebook group was founded in 2010 and named after Nicki Boscia Durlester’s memoir. It is a private international support group providing an active forum for discussion and information regarding breast cancer and ovarian cancer, as well as genetic mutations increasing hereditary cancer risk including BRCA 1 and BRCA 2.
For more great ways to stay connected click here –> Resources_for_Connecting_in_the_Time_of_COVID-191.pdf (Resource provided by Marianne S.)
Author: Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo and Delaney Crawford
Now more than ever during this coronavirus crisis, it’s important for people embrace reputable online groups so they are not isolated socially, despite having to be isolated physically.