If You Love Someone With Fibromyalgia, Here’s Everything You Need to Know

If your loved one has Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue, there's a lot they wish you knew, even though it's hard to find the words sometimes.

Here is everything you need to know.


hi everybody I'm here with dr. Andrew

miles the author of the fibro Bible and
today we're going to talk about what you
need to know if you have a loved one
who's going through fibromyalgia chronic
fatigue or any other chronic pain that's
less in a long time thank you so much
for helping me on this is really really
crucial because having fibromyalgia it
doesn't just affect the individual but
the entire family as well so if you're a
family member and you're wondering about
this the first thing that you need to
understand is that fibromyalgia is
physically causing your loved ones
nerves to disintegrate they're in a
state of active inflammation and it's
not completely mysterious to you you've
been in the state of inflammation
yourself if you've ever had a severe
fever however one or two days when
you're in that mental fog and you're
getting general aches just understand
that for your loved one it's like this
only turned up and the pain and
inflammation they're not able to get it
down very easily so if they are
irritable or short with you just
understand that it's not you it's not
even them it's the state of inflammation
that's causing a degradation of the
neural connections that's not making
them who they used to be that's
something you just have to understand is
that they will get short they will get
you a table as we all would in that
situation and also understand that it's
not going to be a forever kind of thing
that as we get the inflammation down as
you work together you know as a family
as a group as friends you can lower that
inflammation and they'll come back there
are so many times that people are
married and the fibromyalgia leads to a
divorce because the partner doesn't
understand that these kind of anger or
outbursts are just what you would find
you know with anybody you know a herd
animal or someone in a state of torture
sleeplessness inflammation they're going
to be short with you at least for the
first you know while until we can get
the inflammation down
and just don't take it personally don't
fight back when they say in that state
of pain the worst things that you can
imagine you're just really for yourself
have to remember that it's not first of
all it's not okay it's not justified but
it's also not intentional they're not in
their best state of mind right now and
just do your best to be understanding of
that the second is that there will be
days when they seem completely normal
especially as we go through the program
where it'll be two three weeks and then
a flare will come and they'll be back up
to a stage eight pain and you think what
is going on here everything was going so
right we're just set to have that day
where we went to the beach with our
family and now you can't go and you're
angry what is going on and you can't see
that's different but if you had a loved
one and you know suddenly they were in a
car accident you would be completely
understanding but because we can't see
the internal damage that's happening to
the nerves it can be very very hard to
empathize especially in the long run
when you see someone up one day and then
they're down the next just understand
that this is part of their unique
physiology the other thing is when
somebody cuts you off in traffic maybe
you'll get a stress response and over
the course of the day you get over it
that's because your liver isn't under a
lot of inflammation to the point that
you're not able to get those stress
hormones out of your body
for the person with fibromyalgia the
stress hormones and pain go up but the
physiology isn't in place to catabolized
those hormones and get them out of the
body which means that a stress response
from two weeks ago
may still be in their body today causing
them to be in an irritable State it's
gonna be harder for them to let go of
things so what do you do about this
first of all you're gonna do a news fast
you're not going to have the radio or
the news on anything that you're paying
attention to needs to be what's in your
sphere of control yes kids are starving
and getting blown up in all parts of the
we're not going to save them until we're
in a state of personal strength so
you're going to shut off the news that's
the first thing no talk about politics
or anything upsetting because anytime we
get that information to our ears our
eyes it causes us to go into a
fight-or-flight response in it changes
our hormones now for your loved one with
fibromyalgia and that change in hormones
is going to be degrading their nerves so
maybe for someone in a great state of
health they can watch the news but what
I want you to imagine is that every time
they're hearing something negative it's
as though you're taking a knife to one
of their nerves that's what's happening
internally so we're gonna shut off the
news we're going to avoid all drama in
life that's number one number two is it
can be very hard for someone
fibromyalgia to discipline themselves
and get to bed on time so suggest blue
blocker glasses to block out blue light
dim the lights or shut them off when the
Sun Goes Down this is good for everybody
and it sounds a bit extreme I know but
in the early stages in particular this
is one of the best ways that you can
support someone with fibromyalgia as we
go through some of these exercises there
are some self massage exercises if you
can take off some pressure from your
partner by helping them with these
massage exercises that can be tremendous
the fatigue that people with
fibromyalgia have it doesn't look normal
it's not like the rest of people when
they're you know your average person
will get going in the day and then they
kind of taper off for someone with
fibromyalgia it may do this it may come
up and then just crash and they're done
and you know it may think well how can
you be halfway done doing the dishes and
the music is on you're feeling great and
then you're just done and in pain it
seems like that kind of behavior we tend
to associate with obstinate children but
for people with fibromyalgia they're not
making the same kind of mitochondria you
are to produce the energy they're not
producing the kind of ATP
so when they're you know they're chipper
and doing things in their old pattern of
behavior that's not really attuned to
fiber mail John they're just done so as
a partner what you can do is as you see
this go up stop them stop them from
doing too much take pressure out of
their hands when they're like no no I
got this take over for them and
encourage them to go back and do the
self-care exercise that we'll be
outlining you'll you're the life of both
of you will drastically improve because
there's so much guilt and shame that
goes along with fibromyalgia people feel
like I need to be functional or else I
don't matter in life or else I'm gonna
be left behind or else I'm not going to
be loved
these are fears everybody has you lose
your job you lose your ability to give
in society we all feel that fear of
that's very primal now someone with
fibromyalgia it doesn't matter if you
have the best marriage in the world when
when they're in that state if you know
if you're working with someone you're
married with or you're partners with
there's this fear of being abandoned and
especially as people over the long term
of having fibromyalgia so many people
end up alone because the people around
them just don't understand what is going
on and how they can help so as a person
who is a friend or family member who
loves somebody with fibromyalgia there's
also this frustration because you want
to help but you don't know how and what
helps one day hurts the next and it's
just it's really difficult it's like
what's wrong with you how do I help this
frustration dampers relationships and
causes people to be increasingly
isolated though we have to take a
systemic approach here as they're going
through these self-care exercises
understand that these self-care
exercises are probably going to be great
for you to do it with them help them
with it so that it's something that
you're doing together let's remove the
stigma and just look at how we can all
make ourselves more resilient and
healthy so if you go through that with
them remove the stigma and just know
that they have your unconditional
support then the time of the pain
inflammation in fibromyalgia can drop
faster the time in between flare-ups can
be longer and longer you'll go from a
few days to a few weeks to a few months
and that's where your life is back so
it's not forever don't take it
personally do take over everything you
can for them
take as much burden away from them as
you can remember that they're gonna snap
at you
in spite of your best intentions and
it's not your fault it's not even their
fault just understand that it's part of
the process and you'll get there
together there are so many people who
have you know marriages get better
interpersonal relationships get better
this education is for you and it's for
them get stronger together thrive
together as a group that's what it's
thank you so much that was wonderful
I think that'll help a lot of people I
hope so