How do I handle other people's reactions to my fibromyalgia?

You will probably experience a range of reactions to your fibromyalgia from friends, family, coworkers, and others. Some may question whether fibromyalgia is a real illness, or tell you, "But you don't look sick!" This can be frustrating, but try not to let it get you down. Save your energy for the important things you want to accomplish. Some friends and family may be in denial about your fibromyalgia, and act as if nothing is wrong. You may want to broach the subject of fibromyalgia with them gently and remind them that it's okay, and healthy, to talk about your condition. Be open and responsive to any questions others may have about fibromyalgia. You can be an educational source for them.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
How you handle other people's reactions to learning that you have fibromyalgia will depend a great deal on how others react, of course. Some people will be immediately concerned, sympathetic, and supportive. But you should be prepared for less-positive reactions, such as skepticism or outright denial. People close to you may feel anger and frustration about your condition.

Don't let having fibromyalgia harm your valued relationships. Talk about what you're experiencing. Encourage others to share their feelings. If you encounter a doubter, make sure he or she understands that fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that is widely recognized by major medical groups. Open communication can help you handle the range of reactions you're bound to observe in your friends and relatives when you tell them about your fibromyalgia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.