One of the less obvious predictors from the NWCR surveys is depressive symptoms. So depression awareness is something that would be important to discuss in a maintenance support group. I am not a doctor or therapist, but if you experience symptoms of depression please get in touch with local resources.
What is Depression? (from NIH)
“Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness.
Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.”
Link to signs and symptoms
One of the key strategies that the STOP Regain study looked at was how different levels of support affected maintenance, including depressive symptomology and demotivation. The control group received a newsletter, and then there was an interactive website group and a face to face group. The newsletter group regained the most weigh on average and had the most participants regain. The Internet group regained nearly as much weight on average as the newsletter group, but the number of participants who regained was close to the face to face group (which met with a professional counselor). So Internet support had mixed results, at least in 2006.
Developments with Web 2.0 could hold more promise for maintenance support. There are communities of maintainers on sparkpeople, reddit, and wekeepitoff.com. Other resources (like this one) are being developed. The action step for this week is to investigate options for support in your maintenance.