10 Things to remember Not to Say to Someone with Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Someone you know and love has Fibromyalgia or suffers from some sort of chronic pain.  And, at some point you’ve said something to them that hurt their feelings. You had no idea you did it. It’s unlikely that they told you. Below is a list of 10 things that you’ve likely said at some point to someone you care about, and in doing so you unknowingly made them feel even worse. Don’t do it again. These are things you should never say to someone with Fibromyalgia.

  1. You just need to lower your stress level.  – While lowering our stress levels may improve our pain and fatigue, it won’t cure us. Having someone tell us to lower our stress level is actually rather stressful, and just makes us feel worse. It reminds us of all the reasons our stress level is high and of why it’s so difficult to lower it.
  2. It can’t hurt that bad. – You have  no idea how bad it hurts. Your theory that because we aren’t lying in bed writhing in pain means it doesn’t really hurt that bad, is wrong. We get up each day and do what we can, because we must. We learn to tolerate higher levels of pain than most people will ever feel, because it’s the only choice we have.
  3. It’s all in your head. – If medical tests and studies have proven that it’s not all in our heads, then you need to believe that as well. Fibromyalgia is real. The pain we experience is real. Just because they’ve yet to find what causes our pain, doesn’t mean we aren’t feeling it.
  4. It’s a “woman thing”. – There is a mistaken idea that only women suffer from Fibromyalgia, or chronic pain in general, it’s not true. Fibromyalgia is often treated much like “hysteria” 100 years ago; that it’s just women wanting attention.  Trust me when I say that we don’t want attention. In fact, we’d love to completely ignore that we are sick. But, we can’t.
  5. Just push through it. – If you just ignore it and work through it, it’ll just go away. It doesn’t just go away if we work through it. Most of us try to just ignore it and work through it for years before we finally can’t take it anymore. Even once we give in we continue to try to just work through it, but it only makes it worse.

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Author: Hamid Mahmood

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