Needing perspective on psychological impacts of CFS/ME

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dvonstack, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. dvonstack

    dvonstack New Member

    Hello everyone - I am new to the site and I am close friend of someone who has CFS/ME. I am hoping to gain some insight into some of his challenges and how I might support him. As I am new to the site please bear with some of my questions and wording. My first question is how can I support him from a psychological perspective? What is the best way I can approach him to find out how he is doing without actually asking him straight out - how is your M.E. today? I want to sensitive of constantly reminding him of the DD.
    Thanks all
    Donna (a.k.a DvS)
  2. dvonstack

    dvonstack New Member

    Hello everyone - I am new to the site and I am close friend of someone who has CFS/ME. I am hoping to gain some insight into some of his challenges and how I might support him. As I am new to the site please bear with some of my questions and wording. My first question is how can I support him from a psychological perspective? What is the best way I can approach him to find out how he is doing without actually asking him straight out - how is your M.E. today? I want to sensitive of constantly reminding him of the DD.
    Thanks all
    Donna (a.k.a DvS)
  3. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    First of all, I don't see anything wrong with just coming out and asking. I've been sick for almost 20 years and I don't mind people asking at all. What bothers me is when people try to minimize the illness, or act like it's not there. Also what bothers me is when people push me too hard to try to find "answers." I spent probably the first 10 to 15 years of my illness working my butt off trying different therapies. Most of the therapies were ineffective, and some of them made me worse. I find I do better doing "minimal" things for my condition, rather than maxing myself out trying too many things. I think just being a good listener is important, and don't contradict your friend. One reaction I have gotten from people that really bugs me is an uncomprehending, open-mouthed, skeptical stare, which seems to say, "Well, that can't be happening," or "that SHOULDN'T be happening." This disease is what it is. God bless you for being a good, supportive friend.

    Hippo
  4. dvonstack

    dvonstack New Member

    Hippo-Thanks, this really helps a lot. I appreciate it.
  5. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I read this post and intended to say all sorts of things, but then I saw that Hippo had already said it, and perfectly!
    Klutzo
  6. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    To the board Donna, it seem Hippo has made all the high points for you! Good work Hippo!

    Come back whenever you want, these members here are really sharp!

    Shalom,Shirl
  7. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    I wanted to add another thought to the above. My sister, who is EXTREMELY SUPPORTIVE, tried to convince me I could work in a dress shop or something. She was thinking of some kind of small retail store that gets very little traffic, and I could sit on a stool most of the day. Even though she mostly "got it," she still didn't quite comprehend what I was dealing with. I can guarantee you that I could not and cannot sit on a stool all day. So my point to you, Donna, is that if your friend says he can't do something, just accept it, even if you feel like he must be exaggerating and that he ought to try harder. Trying harder is what makes us sicker. Thank you again for asking and for being so supportive. I wish there were more like you.

    Hippo
  8. garyandkim

    garyandkim New Member

    complaine too often and looking into there eyes and posture, apperance can tell a lot. If you are close enough to him. Doing things like laudry, shopping, cleaning and cooking once in a while can be a real major help. Sometimes a nice back run helps to relax some. Researching. Just ask and sometimes you have to just do if you see something needs doing. Being able to understand when he just says not today or you notice that he is not doing well to cancle going out saying you don't want to go you'd rather stay in. Just being there. It is hard because so of us become perminantly disabled and so many run. Understanding moodiness. Openess in asking is the best way but, don't always expect the truth. He may feel like crap and say fine. Use your intuition and his body lauange. Being here shows how much you care. Intervening when people or friends or co workers don't get it.

    He is one lucky man to have you. We would like to say Thank you. You are one special person. We both have FMS and CFS. Take care and welcome, Kim and Gary

    PS Forgot have him come here and you to.
  9. dvonstack

    dvonstack New Member

    Gary & Kim, Hippo,
    Thank-you so very much for your advice and for all your kind compliments. I am very lucky to have happened upon this site. What a wonderful forum.
    I think the hardest part some days is not to take things personally. He is a very independant and proud man and he has made little "jokes" about me helping with the housework etc. Now I will go ahead and just "do". I will also now be more aware of the subtle "hints" he drops here and there. I have also bought a book on theraputic massage and I hope that will help.

    Thank-you again - All the best - Donna
    PS I also told him about the site