Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How To Explain Fibromyalgia to Other People

One of the most common questions I receive is, "What is the best way to describe fibromyalgia(FM) pain to people who have never had it?" When many people try to describe their condition to family members and friends, they tend to receive looks of confusion suggesting everything you just said went right over their head. First of all, everyone with FM has had to face this tough and uncomfortable conversation and unfortunately some still receive looks and comments of disbelief. Regardless of the remaining skepticism in the medical community and social arena, this doesn't make the pain and discomfort of FM for you any less real.

[1] In general, your explanation to others about fibromyalgia should be straightforward and uncomplicated. You might say something like, "Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic disorder that causes muscle tenderness, pain and fatigue." If the other person doesn't understand, you might make your explanation simpler, such as "Firbomyalgia is like arthritis in the muscles." Of course, this explanation is not entirely accurate, but it should be readily understood. You might also obtain some literature on fibromyalgia, such as the Arthritis Foundations's guide Good Living with Fibromyalgia, to share with family and friends who would like more information.

In addition, you might help others understand FM better by explaining in clear language how it affects your. Be careful to avoid complaining, but be honest and open about the symptoms and how they affect your daily function. You might even want to practice what to say here, it can be so easy to fall into a conversation about how bad you feel all the time without realizing it, leaving the people you are trying to educate with the all too common "doubt brow" and sour taste in their mouths. If friends or family offer, you can then tell them how they may be able to help you (or not help you). In the end, honesty is the best approach.

[1] Kristofer Hagglund, PhD


  1. i just got diagnosed with fibro...its diffacult to understand, but i can tell you that a negative person in your life can make things so much worse..like someone calling you names like stupid, overdramatic,crazy,dilusional,nut....ect...if someone around you makes you feel crazy or anxous address it now!! if you dont you will eventually start to believe all theas things are true if you have the symptoms and are thinking its all in my head its not i did that for around 7-10 years and it def. made it worse on me!!!

  2. I can understand and have experienced your pain on this issue. From speaking with so many other sufferers like us, it would be fair to say this is one of the most difficult issued to deal with outside of the symptoms. I hope that you have found some support in your life and if you are looking for "like" situation patients please check out our website http://www.fightingfibromyalgia.ning.com