For the millions of people suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome it is very real. The general population tends to think of physical disabilities as something that you can see with your eyes. If you look what is considered to be normal then everything must be normal. Family and friends are no exception to the rule. When a family member is affected by these disorders, which are quite debilitating, family and friend start trying to justify what they don’t see or understand and come up with explanations which can be very hurtful and not very supportive. A common response is “it is all in their head” or “they are just lazy” how about “they are seeking attention” and my all time favorite “they have always been a chronic complainer.”
One of the biggest problems right now is that there is not conclusive testing for many these diseases and many of the signs and symptoms are overlapping with other disorders making diagnosis difficult. Problem two is finding a doctor who specializes in a particular disorder, and dealing with the cost of treatment if there is a treatment plan. Problem three is lack of support from family and friends due to lack of knowledge and understanding of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.
One common denominator with these disorders is stress. Stress must be avoided, which is easier said than done.
We can all make a difference
We must acknowledge that physical disabilities do exist, even if they are not visible to the eyes. If you have a friend or loved one with any of these disabilities, help them seek out specialist in the field. Look into treatment options. Acknowledge the disease and be supportive and understanding. Join support groups either on-line or off line Contact organizations that do research and have information on the particular type of disorder your friend or loved one is dealing with.
If you have Fibromyalgia or CFS:
You are not crazy, it’s not all in your head, and your symptoms are real.
Get plenty of rest, exercise, work and play in moderation
Eat right, even on those day you have no appetite
Drink plenty of fluids, even if you are not thirsty
Join a support group, there are many great on-line support groups, forums, bulletin board and chat rooms
Find a doctor that specializes in your particular disorder.
Educate yourself, your friend and family.
Learn to meditate and do visualization techniques, they are great stress reducers
Acknowledgement + Acceptance + Attention + Affection = Harmony and Happiness
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