It is shocking to know that currently it is projected that fibromyalgia affects 7% of the world’s population. The cries of fibromyalgia rent everywhere from blogs, online forums, Facebook posts, as well as in-person reports. So, what’s the major problem that is seen throughout? People with this condition feel like no one believes, understands or wants anything to do with them. Being heard does not necessarily make the pain go away. However, it energizes you to fight on and improve your mental as well as emotional well-being.
Why a support group could help a patient with fibromyalgia
The struggles of fibromyalgia patients lead to trouble with domestic chores, socializing, psychological changes, and family finances.
Building a support network
The support network: One person may burnout as a result of taking care of a fibromyalgia patient. So, there should be more than just one person taking care of someone with fibromyalgia. A support network can have a membership of at least five people who meet various needs such as socializing, practical help, emotional support through listening, and giving insight.
Have a coach: A person with fibromyalgia can seek a coach, or someone you turn to have an objective view of your life. A coach helps you develop confidence and self-belief so that you can make improvements on your appearance, behavior, abilities and skills that you have lost due to low self-esteem. This role can be performed by a counselor, a close friend, husband/wife or someone who suffers from fibromyalgia. A spouse, for instance, may remind you of your limits, and on the other hand, encourage you when you feel discouraged and are kind of giving up on things. A fibromyalgia patient as a coach, on the other hand, may suggest to you new strategies to deal with your condition including methods that have worked for them or seen work for others.
Role models: Your chance of adjusting to fibromyalgia is accelerated when you interact with members having similar conditions and have accepted their situation with success. The family should also follow the same approach as they seek practical models for a more fruitful adaptation. A role model will provide you with success stories ranging from acceptance, discipline, recovery to hope. Sounds good! You can greatly reduce your symptoms based on the experiences of people that give you hope.
Professional support: Psychotherapists and counselors can offer professional support to fibromyalgia patients. Search for the specialist who specializes in chronic illness. When you join a support group it is a sure source of leads in identifying professionals.
Support groups and classes: Receiving support from others suffering from fibromyalgia is crucial. Why? Having contact with a fellow patient counteracts isolation and provides an experience that you are supported as well as acknowledged. Think about this for a moment, as the support group can provide vital information about the condition or better provide names of doctors located where you live. Also, a group helps you counteract the loss of self-esteem resulting from serious illness. Lastly, a support group can provide models of successful coping and dispel fear.
Different fibromyalgia support groups
Fibromyalgia meet-ups: This is a face-to-face gathering of people locally who suffer fibromyalgia to allow them to discuss, laugh, share info, tips, tricks and further conquer misconceptions about their condition. You can join an existing group, or you can always create your own meet-up. There is a website called meetup.com which allows you to search for meet-up groups and even make your own. A face-to-face meeting helps you to be open and honest. You can even swap resources or just hear what works well in each person's case. There is one thing that’s for sure - you can cry and feel the comfort of people in a room full of people feeling exactly the same way as you do.
Online communities: If you cannot get out of your bed to attend a meet-up, there are other alternatives such as Fibromyalgia Facebook groups, Forum and Support groups and Online Chat rooms. In addition to that, you can opt to make a phone call or do video or Skype session to reach out to a group.
How to find fibromyalgia support groups: If you have internet access you can simply Google “Fibromyalgia support groups”near you. At this point you will get excellent resources in your search results like National Fibromyalgia and Pain, offering state-by-state records of groups especially for fibromyalgia patients. And if you feel uncomfortable with a newly found support group, don't be afraid to start your own. After all, you need to find a solution to fix your current situation.
Reasons for joining a network
- To get encouragement
- To develop an understanding ear
- To get some friendly advice
- To acquire education
Benefits of joining a Fibromyalgia group
Sense of belonging: A fibromyalgia condition may make you feel isolated and unappreciated. Therefore, a support group presents an opportunity for you to share your experiences, get advice, and vent out your frustrations.
Sense of encouragement: You not only learn positive ideas about your condition, but you get fresh understanding. Your knowledge is renewed with new tricks and solutions from the encouragements offered by other members of the group about common health issues.
Better understanding by the family: Family members and spouses also benefit from support group meetings when they attend such discussions. Imagine what it would be like if you as a family member attend a fibromyalgia support group and listen to discussions and contributions from members about the condition and challenges of the pain of your loved one. By attending, you will get better educated on how to deal with your loved one's condition and have a better understating of the pain they go through. Support groups offer a helpful support basis that can be useful in your residence. With proper support in the house, a patient naturally experiences more relief in their everyday living. Your pain may not fade, but family and group support will help you perform your normal tasks.
Hear about current therapies: Fibromyalgia support groups can comprise the prospect of hearing about new cures or therapies that your current healthcare provider does not offer. A local support group occasionally brings in a guest speaker to deliberate on different treatment alternatives or talk about present-day perspectives on handling fibromyalgia. Have a discussion with your doctor to get more information about support groups available where you live.
Things to keep in mind when looking for a group
Not all support groups will provide you with positive experiences. So keep in mind that it might take trying a few out before you find the one that's right for you. (Never forget the option of creating your own, either!) Evaluate the support group prior to joining. You’re in a never-ending battle, so choose a group where you feel a sense of belonging that can give you something positive to carry home. Let the group inspire you and give you tips to live successfully with the illness. Also, joining a support group doesn't mean you should stop seeing your doctor. You have to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider for your specific health needs, and you can share what you've learned at your support group with your doctor.