The Stigma of Fibromyalgia

The many symptoms of fibromyalgia are real and we are more likely faking our wellness than our illness, to put you at ease. We are not seeking sympathy, just understanding. When I talk about support, I mean, don’t take it personally when I have to cancel plans, or can’t travel far to visit you. Don’t criticize or compare, I am doing the best I can. But most importantly, don’t buy in to the stigma. If you care about someone with fibromyalgia, educate yourself, it is the single most important thing you can do for them.

The social stigma of fibromyalgia is a hardship that all sufferers have to endure. It can come from doctors, coworkers, well-meaning friends and family. These people base their understanding on outdated medical information, stereotypes and an inability to see our pain. We are told we are lazy, over sensitive, weak, fakers, complainers, attention seekers and emotional. We are told that we should try harder, exercise more and improve our diets; that all of our symptoms are rooted in something we are doing wrong.

To say that fibromyalgia is not real, is completely outdated and ignorant. Historically a woman’s disease, it was originally labeled as an emotional disorder. You can still find this stigma hiding between the lines, implied all over the internet. It is 2016, this thought process is so insulting and demeaning that I want to get on a soap-box, but I won’t.

pain

Instead, I’ll just write about…

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