Fibro Daily

Dealing with Fibromyalgia Prejudice

Fibro Daily August 19, 2016

Fibromyalgia patients experience a range of symptoms, some seriously debilitating.

Still, the disease continues to find itself at the center of controversy, and many patients must endure accusations of faking sickness. The controversy causes stress. The controversy can even creep into a fibromyalgia patient’s brain, leading to a patient second-guess everything he or she knows in their gut.

Stress and abnormal situation heightens pain. It might even send a patient into a fibro flare.

In addition to the controversy, some people show prejudice toward fibro patients.

Having fibromyalgia requires patience against prejudice—-or perhaps I should say patients against prejudice.

Detach from the Negative

People say that Fibromyalgia is an invisible illness. Technically, most diseases are invisible. Symptoms can be invisible or visible. A large portion of the public demands to see symptoms before verifying a disease or illness. In some cases, this proves understandable. At other times, it only prevents understanding and progress.

It’s a particularly cruel part of the human existence, as even terminal illnesses don’t always produce obvious symptoms, especially not in the beginning stages.

And then there is the disease of prejudice. Just like fibromyalgia, it’s not always visible at first. Eventually, it produces an array of overbearing symptoms that require little effort to see. Or hear. Or feel.

People with fibromyalgia will find it best to steer clear of contagions related to prejudice. When steering clear proves impossible, a cool, professional demeanor as well as performing deep breathing exercises works wonders.

Think of detachment as the world’s best Rx against fibromyalgia prejudice.

A Lack of Sleep in Fibromyalgia Patients Heightens Prejudice in Others

A lack of sleep affects your perception, ability to assess information, moods, reflexes, energy, and balance. Studies show how sleep strengthens and weakens the overall being. For more information, the Sleep Foundation provides excellent resources.

The fibromyalgia community knows that sleep deprivation proves rampant among the ranks. Patients who suffer that kind of exhaustion might find it difficult to relay health issues to their doctors or work information to colleagues. They may suffer difficulty interacting with loved ones. All the interference can make fibromyalgia patients crumble from stress.

As much as I hate to say it, sleep deprivation might cause people who view fibromyalgia with prejudice to take an even more negative view of fibromyalgia patients. That’s because sleep deprivation sometimes presents in the same way that drug and alcohol abuse does. This causes prejudice people to do things like ridicule fibro patients. It may even lead to arguments. If dealing with a medical person who refuses to acknowledge the existence of fibromyalgia, then it may mean a lack of appropriate care.

Planning ahead helps lessen the gravity of such situations.

Fibromyalgia patients need to arrange for a few contacts to call in case a situation arises that requires someone else to help explain health issues or other information. Make this option available for both emergencies and scheduled appointments. Doing this may require giving contacts HIPPA approval so anyone considering this method must make sure to understand the ramifications of that access.

Another option consists of making a video or checklist that details medications, the overall course of treatment, comorbid conditions, diet, allergies, and other health or life issues. All contacts need copies of this information. Additionally, fibro patients need to keep a copy with them just in case contacts can’t be reached or they want to remain private about their concerns.

A little planning calms the nerves, reduces fear, and helps maintain cool when dealing with intentionally ignorant people.purple-butterfly

As always, FibroDaily wishes our fibromyalgia family the best of luck—fly free!



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