Fibromyalgia & Relationships
Our doctors spend a lot of time asking us questions like ‘what are your symptoms?’ and ‘how’s your sleep?’ So why is it that no one seems to ask us how fibromyalgia is affecting our relationships? Our spouses, our children, our friends and our colleagues – all of them are affected when it comes to fibromyalgia, but to what extent?
The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association recently posted a survey asking about fibromyalgia symptoms and the impact that fibromyalgia had on relationships with partners/spouses, children, and friends. The survey was completed by over 6000 people with fibromyalgia, making it one of the largest fibromyalgia surveys. The results were published in the medical journal Musculoskeletal Care.
Out of those who participated, 96% were women and most were between 45 and 64 years old. The results were as follows:
Relationships with significant others:
Over one in four people reported that their spouse/partner did not understand their fibromyalgia, and half of people said fibromyalgia had damaged a current or previous relationship with a spouse or partner. 10% said fibromyalgia contributed to a break-up of a relationship.
Relationships with children:
Over 70% of people surveyed said they had children who were old enough to understand their FM. One in three said their children resented when they couldn’t participate in activities with them, and one in four said their children thought they exaggerated their pain.
Relationships with friends:
In general, those surveyed explained that fibromyalgia had less of a negative impact on friendships than with spouses/ partners or children. That being said, many people felt that having fibromyalgia resulted in eventually losing friends, as many stopped calling or extending invitations.
Here at The Fibro Clinic, we don’t want your relationships to suffer on account of your fibromyalgia. We are constantly taking new research and information into consideration when finding the correct treatment path for our patients, and strongly believe a multidisciplinary approach to treatment can help manage symptoms for a better quality of life.