Talking to Your Friends & Family About Fibromyalgia

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Talking to Your Friends and Family About Fibromyalgia

    Family and friends may react in different ways to your illness, and their responses can create added stress.

    Some people close to you may not understand what fibromyalgia is, so they can’t understand what you are going through.

    You may find others who offer sympathy. They want to help you, but may not know how.

    There may be a few people who doubt your illness altogether, because they just don’t know much about fibromyalgia.

    This can cause the greatest stress on you and on your relationship.

    Talk about how fibromyalgia affects you ....

    Talking to your friends and family about fibromyalgia can be hard, but it’s still important to help them understand what you are going through. You may not always want to go into every detail about how you feel. But remember, family and friends can often provide comfort when you need it most.

    Keep the lines of communication open, because talking regularly is key. As you learn how to give and receive care and compassion, your relationships will grow stronger. Your friends and family are a vital support network for you, so it’s important to open up and be honest about how you feel and what you need.

    How to talk about your fibromyalgia ....

    * Make it clear what you can and can't do

    * Talk about your pain–how it feels and what makes it worse

    * Don't have important conversations or make big decisions when your pain is really bad

    * Try to be positive, even when you are in pain. Make it clear to others that being positive does not mean that you have no pain

    * Tell those you trust most about your problems, fears, and doubts

    * Don’t be afraid to let your loved ones know when things are a bit better

    What your family and friends might say ....

    Here are some common questions and comments you may hear from your friends and family who are unfamiliar with the causes of fibromyalgia or the stress of living with fibromyalgia:

    * What is fibromyalgia? I don't understand it.

    * How long will you be sick?

    * I’m sorry about your situation. What can I do?

    * Maybe you have some other illness.

    * Maybe this is all in your head. You must be exaggerating or making excuses.

    * How are you doing?

    * You look fine.

    * Why don’t you want to do the things we used to do?

    Source: FibroTogether