Fighting against the struggles of fibromyalgia is not an easy task to face alone. If your loved one is facing a fibromyalgia diagnosis, learning how to support them is essential. With the right fibromyalgia support tips on your side, you’ll be able to provide care and respite while maintaining a healthy, positive relationship.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects your muscles and bones. It can cause pain, exhaustion, irregular sleep patterns, and things like brain fog. It is so important for spouses, friends, and family to learn about coping strategies and how to provide fibromyalgia support. You will want to be able to be an anchor for your loved ones and know how to be there for them.
9 Fibromyalgia Support Tips To Help You Comfort Your Loved One
While you don’t know how fibromyalgia feels, you’ll want to give as much tailored support as you can to your partner.
Here are nine fibromyalgia support tips to help you be a rock for the ones you care about.
1. Recognize That Fibromyalgia Is A Real Disease
There is a large disconnect between those who have fibromyalgia and those who don’t. Those without fibromyalgia don’t know what the pain and discomfort feel like.
Many people still don’t even acknowledge that fibromyalgia is a real condition. Because it is an internal condition, most people can’t accept that it’s not something they can see.
By recognizing fibromyalgia as a real condition that affects real people, you’re creating a bond of trust between you and your partner. You’re letting them know that you are there to support their needs.
2. Be Super Flexible
You can’t control fibromyalgia symptoms…and those symptoms can come and go at any time. That’s why it is so important to learn flexibility.
Your schedule may need to be completely rearranged in one day to support your partner. But by providing fibromyalgia support, you learn how to work around these bumps in the road.
Keep an open mind when you schedule events or make a to-do list. By recognizing that your plans could change, you are able to adapt to the change if it comes.
3. Get Ready To Provide Fibromyalgia Support By Doing Your Research
You may never understand what someone with fibromyalgia goes through. That doesn’t mean that you can’t try your best to be there for them through knowing the condition.
What’s the best way to learn about something you’re unfamiliar with? Research!
Educating yourself on fibromyalgia and its symptoms is another way you can connect with your loved one. It opens up more trust and better understanding. The more trust there is, the better fibromyalgia support you can provide.
4. Help Your Loved One Find An Excellent Doctor
Treatments for fibromyalgia have made strides in the past couple of years. Patients have the option of several different medications that can help ease their fibromyalgia symptoms.
In order to get the best treatment, you need to find your partner a good doctor. Many doctors are part of the non-believer community. It is important to find a doctor who will accept your partner’s condition and recognize the reality of it. By doing so, you’re enabling your partner to have a better opportunity for support of their needs.
5. Know That There Will Be Bad Days
Fibromyalgia is a condition that comes with highs and lows. Many people experience “bad fibro days.” These are the days where their symptoms are at their worst. This can lead to significant mood changes or bouts of depression.
As their support system, it is your responsibility to accept the idea of bad days. Be patient and kind to your loved one—they are struggling with immense amounts of discomfort and pain. Accepting their feelings and being by their side is what you can do to help.
Try reframing your mindset on your partner’s bad days. By establishing a more positive attitude, you may be able to help your partner feel more at ease and like themself.
6. Prioritize Yourself, Too
Providing fibromyalgia support is critical. It forms a connection between you and the person you care about.
But it is also essential to take care of yourself, too.
It can be easy to get lost in all things fibromyalgia. But focusing on your partner all the time can be overwhelming. Your own passions are a priority, and you need to make time to do other things that you love.
Try pursuing activities that help you relieve tension. Going for walks or running, learning how to paint, and taking trips to the bookstore are all great activities that allow you time away from fibromyalgia.
You can even do these non-chronic-pain-related activities with your loved one! Finding activities outside of the realm of fibromyalgia can serve as a distraction from the symptoms they’re facing. It can also strengthen your connection of support and love.
7. Find Your Own Fibromyalgia Support System
Everyone who’s providing support for someone else needs their own support system. Support and encouragement are universal. Having other people to talk to about what you are feeling can further help you and your partner.
Many spouses or partners attend formal support groups to talk about their feelings or experiences providing fibromyalgia support. For others, having a close group of friends or family to talk to helps relieve tension.
8. Remember That A Huge Part of Fibromyalgia Support Is Open Communication
Communication is key for any sort of relationship! But it is especially important when relating to fibromyalgia.
By establishing open communication, you’re opening up the lines of trust and acceptance. You want your loved one to be able to talk about how they’re feeling and how you can help. Remember that it goes both ways. Being able to talk about your own feelings will continue holding the trust in your relationship.
9. Be Patient, Especially When It Comes To Intimacy
Because of the pain and discomfort that fibromyalgia causes, it can be very hard for people to withstand physical touch.
You need to be patient with your partner. Whether it’s sexual intimacy or casual affection, those without fibromyalgia don’t understand their loved ones’ aversions. It can be frustrating to maintain a relationship without intimacy or affection. But there are ways to combat it!
Work toward finding common ground. By finding what your partner is comfortable and uncomfortable with, you can establish boundaries for intimacy that satisfy both of you.
As someone without fibromyalgia, you are not going to understand the symptoms your loved one faces every day. What you can do is provide fibromyalgia support. Following these nine tips can help you and your partner stay connected while fighting fibromyalgia.