2

They agreed to stay connected for hours in their provisional support group, looking for answers in their counterparts.

I want to change the bold part to say that they all shared the same problem. Might end up using one of the above, but I feel like I need some more options to weigh in.


Edit for context: they all share the same rare cognitive impairment

  • comrades, perhaps? – Barmar Mar 5 '15 at 16:29
  • "Compatriots" is another option. – Hot Licks Mar 5 '15 at 22:45
  • 2
    Or: coequals, compeers, coordinates, counterparts, equivalents, fellows, like, matches, parallels, companions, cronies, hobnobbers, mates, allies, collaborators, confederates, buddies, chums, confidants, familiars, friends, intimates, pals. – Hot Licks Mar 5 '15 at 22:51
  • 1
    @HotLicks Hey. Must be some group then. – anemone Mar 5 '15 at 22:53
5

There's the straightforward co-sufferer: "one who suffers with another." (Free Dictionary)

5

Personally, I think it's just a little bit "dated, formal, poetic", but OED has

fellow noun 5a
One who shares with another in any attribute; one belonging to the same class
[emphasis mine]

Note that the near-equivalent peer (someone/something of equal worth or quality) usually implies equality in respect of something desirable, so it wouldn't necessarily work for OP's context (unless you really admire people who go to support groups! :)

But although in principle you could use unqualified fellows to mean people with the same drawback [or advantage, background, etc.] as you), in practice most people would go for

fellow sufferers

(Hyphenated or not - but as the NGram link shows, usually these days we don't.)

  • 3
    +1, FF, I feel "fellows" is best, but we native speakers wouldn't be likely to look for answers "in" our fellows so much as "from" or "among" our fellows, no? – user98990 Mar 6 '15 at 2:25
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    @Little Eva: Yeah, I'd probably use from myself, but it kinda depends on exactly what nuance you want. To me, looking for answers in [something, someone, some group] more strongly implies you will "make the running" in the search (quizzing them, actively drawing out the answers). To get your answers from [source] suggests the source more proactively pushes answers at you. But that's just my take. – FumbleFingers Mar 6 '15 at 14:06
  • @FumbleFingers that's what I was also thinking. Thanks ;] – joeav Mar 6 '15 at 17:14
2

There is also fellow victims; fellow victims.

"Men weren’t really the enemy — they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill." Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique

1

I would say in their peers.

peer (n.):
1. one that is of equal standing with another : equal;
especially : one belonging to the same societal group especially based on age, grade, or status

The fact that there is a shared problem is already expressed by the phrase "support group".

  • 1
    I can't really endorse this one - as I pointed out in my own answer, unless used "facetiously", your peers almost always share something advantageous (or at least neutral - I don't really think it works when what you have in common is a problem). – FumbleFingers Mar 5 '15 at 17:44
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    @FumbleFingers Would you consider to visit this link? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_support – anemone Mar 5 '15 at 17:53
  • Actually, I'd forgotten about "peer support groups". But even though I'm quite familiar with that usage (effectively adjectival, equivalent to "self-help groups"). Years ago I did actually go to "group therapy" sessions, but I personally probably wouldn't have referred to the other participants as my "peers". Although maybe that's just because the sessions were overseen by a "non-peer" therapist. Whatever - I'm glad I didn't get carried away and downvote your answer, because it's obviously quite defensible. But I just wouldn't be likely to use it in OP's context. – FumbleFingers Mar 5 '15 at 18:47
  • @FumbleFingers "That's not how we say it" is, obviously, a heavy blow, coming from a native speaker. To my understanding, however, you're making a weaker claim here: "That's not how I say it". Correct? – anemone Mar 5 '15 at 19:53
  • Yes, in light on your reminder about "peer support groups" I have slightly weakened my position (and edited my answer accordingly). It might be worth noting that we can and do skirt the issue using the compound noun fellow sufferers, but idiomatically you can't do that with peer sufferers. I would also add that I can more easily imagine a professional counsellor saying to someone in a PSG "I think that's a matter you should discuss with your peers" than the other guy saying "Let me discuss that with my peers". But I suspect they'd both probably say "...with the peer group". – FumbleFingers Mar 5 '15 at 21:58

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