Grieving ... A Process Patients with Chronic Illnesses Go Through

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member


    Most of us are familiar with the stages of grieving: denial and fear; anger; bargaining; depression; acceptance.

    For some people, the cycle is connected to a death—a reaction to a loved one’s passing on.

    While that is certainly the case, grieving is a process patients with chronic illness must also navigate—and that includes people diagnosed with fibromyalgia. As we are well aware, the chronically ill are not always able to maintain the same lifestyle they enjoyed before they developed their illness. It’s important to take the time to grieve the loss of that way of life—and to prepare to embark on a new life.

    The life of an FM patient may be radically different from the life that person envisioned before chronic pain and fatigue became unwelcome companions. But different doesn’t necessarily equate to “worse.”

    The National Fibromyalgia Association believes wholeheartedly that is important to maintain a positive outlook. It is vital for patients to continue to seek out treatments that can help them better manage their symptoms, and it’s equally necessary for patients to seek out activities that allow them to enjoy the sense of productivity and pleasure that their employment and hobbies offered them before they developed fibromyalgia. But in this newsletter, we’d like to focus on the grieving process, and offer patients some pointers on going through the process successfully—as well as hope for what they can experience when they reach the stage of acceptance, and are ready to begin their new lives.

    Remember, too, that grief need not mean constant, unrelenting sadness. Moments of joy can spring on you unexpectedly even in the midst of your grief—and that can be the best management technique of all. A recent study from University College in London, England, says that happiness leads to lower levels of stress-inducing chemicals, and as all FM patients know, that can keep fibro-flares more manageable. Levels of cortisol—a stress hormone—were 32 percent lower in people who reported more happy moments.

    Our advice: don’t shirk any of the stages of grief in your hurry to get it over with, but keep your eyes open for opportunities to experience joy—with your loved ones, in an activity you enjoy, in work that will help others, or just in the beauty of a lovely day.

    Source: NFA

  2. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Nice post.

    For years I held onto the person I was. And now could not be. I did not want to "give up."

    Now I have changed my focus, no.. I have not changed who I am but have found new outlets of interest that do not drain me of precious energy, vitality.

    There are always set backs but the less time I take forsaking those incidences, the quicker I can return to my new course.


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