May 12th is the 30th Anniversary of the International Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. Will you join us to spread awareness?

Discussing Fibromyalgia With Your Loved Ones

Understanding Fibromyalgia Pain – for the Whole Family

As you struggle to come to terms with your condition, your family and friends do, too. Missed activities aren’t just hard on you. And it’s never easy to see a loved one in pain.

Although awareness of fibromyalgia is increasing, many people don’t understand that it is a real problem. This can be true even for the family and friends of people dealing with fibromyalgia. You have to be candid and patient when talking to people about your fibromyalgia. Try covering these points when you’re explaining it:

  • Fibromyalgia causes chronic pain that often moves around the body. It also often causes extreme fatigue and problems with sleep.
  • Fibromyalgia can’t be cured but the symptoms can be improved.
  • Stress often makes fibromyalgia symptoms much worse.
  • Some days, fibromyalgia symptoms are really bad; other days, they aren’t. Predicting how you’ll feel next week or next month is impossible.

Education is important. The more your loved ones understand fibromyalgia, the more supportive they might be. For example, people with fibromyalgia may have problems with their memory (sometimes called fibro fog). If this is true for you, explain to your loved ones that you care about what they tell you. But fibro fog is a common fibromyalgia problem.

Communication is important too. You need to be aware of how your illness is affecting your family and friends. How are they coping? How can you help them?

The best way to find out? Ask.

Be Open With Your Loved Ones About Your Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Communication works both ways. You probably don’t want to be seen as a “complainer.” Many fibromyalgia sufferers try to put on a happy face.

But in order to let your loved ones help you, they need to know what kinds of things might make your symptoms worse. The following list might help you get this conversation started.

In a survey conducted by the National Fibromyalgia Association, people with fibromyalgia reported that the following symptoms factors aggravated their symptoms.

You Are Working Toward the Same Goals

You want to feel good. You want to get back to life. Your family and friends want that too. The journey to feeling better may not be direct or easy. But the fact is your loved ones’ support will help you greatly along the way.

Source: | Fibromyalgia For Dummies, 2nd Edtition

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