Finding Support

Finding Support
EDS Support

Needless to say it is very helpful to find any support system you can to deal with this lousy systemic life-altering and sometimes disabling condition, diagnosed or not, so I’m providing some of the best support group leads here:

(Yes, I’m based in the western US so am North American centric. I welcome links to other groups worldwide thanks.) Last Updated November 23, 2022

US Based Support Groups

  • The Ehlers-Danlos Society (formerly the EDNF in the US before 2016) has virtual group meetings since 2020, lead annual conferences worldwide (virtual and in person since 2020). They have gone virtual (so available worldwide) since COVID in 2020 thankfully. And now run hybrid conferences in 2022.
  • Chronic Pain Partners – aka Ehlers-Danlos Awareness, very supportive organization that will help you form a support group in the US or elsewhere if there are none nearby. They also offer many free educational webinars on all things related to EDS including MCAS. Note November 2022: John Ferman, founder, is under the weather at this time, and may not respond to emails for a bit. But hopefully later in time, or someone else will. Thanks for your patience.

Canadian EDS Support Groups

Worldwide

EDS focused clinics around the US:

  • Adult Genetics clinic at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center – Claire Francomano heads up an EDS clinic here now since 2017, but has a LONG waiting list accordingly. ETA: Dr. Francomano moved to Indiana in 2019 I believe. Unclear if the original Center for Excellence remains in Maryland.
  • I heard rumor there was an EDS clinic in Utah but have no details and am hearing conflicting info. Please email if have current news: info@ohtwist.com thanks. (Sorry to get anyone’s hopes up if false.)
  • Dr. Osvaldo Schirripa specializes in diagnosing the EDS and HSDs in central Oregon
  • Dr. Diana Driscoll (patient and clinic director) runs POTS Care in TX
  • November 2022: I’m pretty sure there are a couple more I don’t have listed. Please apprise me of any other such Centers you know of TY! info@ohtwist.com

Online Only

  • The International Ehlers-Danlos Society now (2019) also hosts several worldwide online virtual support meetings on the Zoom platform for different cross-sections of our community here now ( patients, parents and caregivers, men, rare types only, vEDS only, more): https://www.ehlers-danlos.com/virtual-support/
  • The Inspire Community (allows anonymity unlike Facebook, the EDS support forum started by the EDNF but has worldwide members going back years). That said, some people have found themselves censored or blocked by TEDS on this forum for not agreeing to everything they say.
  • Open Facebook EDS Support Group (visible to anyone in the world, not anonymous, join and post accordingly. There are other closed groups too.)
  • My private OhTWIST Facebook Support Group (please answer the three screening questions thoroughly thanks)
  • My private OhTWIST MeWe Support Group (please answer the screening questions thoroughly here too thanks)
  • Twitter where I highly recommend following my stream of course, but also the hashtags #NEISvoid, for No End In Sight Void as well as #EDS Update November 2022: we are still there, despite the current chaos being generated since Elon Musk took over. How much longer remains to be seen, but I full intend to remain until the bitter end if one comes. After that, I may migrate to Instagram where there are other people and pages to follow already of course. Some are also already migrating to Mastodon, but I’m not versed in this yet, so will start with Insta first. And it’s also very possible a couple of Twitter “clones” may spring up in the next year or two, and slowly rival each other, until one emerges as the “keeper” (victor) in the market of ideas. NB, all tweets are public however, unlike posts in Facebook and MeWe private groups. But it’s a very “organic” and powerful platform for connecting and learning things. Especially if you’re autistic. (Check out #ActuallyAutistic there too.)
  • Instagram – I’m not on there yet (November 2022) but giving it the hairy eyeball (a closer look) now that Twitter is taking on water (getting chaotic and unsteady and people are leaving). However, many others are. I’m pretty sure you can just search for hashtags like #EDS and #EhlersDanlos there too, just like on Twitter to find people and organizations to follow. (I’m preparing to do a deep dive shortly, and probably join.) But again, all posts there are fully public, just like on Twitter.

A Word on Facebook Support Groups

There are many EDS support groups on Facebook besides the ones above, including others which are “closed” (membership list is visible to all on Facebook, but not what you post which is only visible to group members), and others that are “secret” (only visible by invitation only from Facebook friends, so quite “protected” and safe as long as all members are discreet with the information they are privy to).

You might also search for Facebook groups starting with the words “Ehlers-Danlos”, “Hypermobility” or “Hypermobility Syndrome” as well as for groups specific to your particular type of EDS if known. E.g. Vascular EDS, Classical EDS, etc. Or for your specific area or state. (E.g. “Oregon Area Ehlers-Danlos…”)

There are also Facebook groups for Chiari malformation support, Austistics and Mast Cell Activation Disorders as well as an official page managed by The Mast Cell Diseases Society. (Formerly known as The Mastocytosis Society prior to 2019.) Basically, there are groups on Facebook for just about any interest you could think of. (They are easy to start).

All groups have their own rules and screening questions to join, please respect them for the sake of the volunteer administrators, and please respect your fellow members privacy and do not share what you learn in any group anywhere else without their express permission.

Likewise, post accordingly – know that anything you post even in a “secret” group may end up getting shared inadvertenly or otherwise by a group member, so use your discretion. (We cannot control anyone else’s behavior or level of discretion, and not all are as mindful as others.)

Not all members are “out” with their EDS diagnosis or condition, nor their autism, as they may be trying to maintain appearances to keep their jobs or school going, so please keep this in mind also.

Connect!
Connect!

Other Ways to Connect

I realize not all are on Facebook nor wish to be (I don’t blame you!), so there are several other ways you can connect anonymously or not via the internet including:

Please feel free to email other suggestions to me at info@ohtwist.com or via the contact form in the menu above thanks. Last updated 3/10/22.

One Comment

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.