How to Explain Fibromyalgia to Family

Aches, pains, chronic fatigue, restlessness and insomnia are just some of the symptoms you're likely suffering with if you are a fibromyalgia patient. Since many myths surround fibromyalgia as a medical condition, you may be facing yet another challenge in explaining fibromyalgia to your family. Having the support of your loved ones is essential in reducing your stress level, which, in turn, can help diminish the severity of your symptoms. Therefore, helping your family understand this complex condition will be of benefit to you and to your loved ones.


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      Because there is no definitive test for fibromyalgia and there is no one specific source of pain to identify the syndrome, family members with no knowledge about fibromyalgia are often left in doubt of it's reality. The National Fibromyalgia Association's website provides a wealth of information for family members who might be interested in reading about the condition you are struggling with.

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      For a family member who may seem resistant to listen to your explanation of fibromyalgia, "Newsweek" provides a very informative and up-to-date article detailing the facts from the myths over the years of this little-understood syndrome. Printing this out and placing it on one's nightstand may awaken their curiosity to peak.

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      It is essential that family members understand that stress is, undoubtedly, a trigger for the flare-up of fibromyalgia symptoms. However, this does not mean that they must suddenly become fault-free people to protect you from suffering. Your pain, fatigue and other fibromyalgia-related ailments are not necessarily from mental or emotional stress but can also be the result of a lack of sleep, overuse of muscles or joints, or nutritional deficits. While your family should be aware of your stress sensitivity, guilt should not overwhelm otherwise loving and caring family members into fearing that they are somehow responsible for your pain or suffering.

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      Explain to your family members that fibromyalgia, in and of itself, does not cause death. While it is possible that the stress caused by the symptoms of fibromyalgia can create other life-threatening complications (such as heart conditions), the pain and other symptoms can be controlled to an extent whereby many patients with fibromyalgia live full and long lives. The key is to attain a high quality of life by remaining as pain free and healthy as possible. With your family's support and understanding of your syndrome, this is a realistic goal that you--and your family--are sure to achieve.

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