Helping Others Understand Your Pain

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • Do you find it difficult to explain to family, friends or co-workers what it's like to live with chronic pain?  Do others ever accuse you of being a hypochondriac, lazy or weak?  Do they question your need for opioid medications?  If so, you're not alone.  Every week I hear from people who are frustrated and discouraged because people in their lives don't understand. 

    In an effort to help, I've written two letters that can be shared with people in your life who are having difficulty understanding what you are going through.  One is to help improve understanding of chronic pain in general and the other is to help improve understanding of fibromyalgia specifically. 

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    Please feel free to print these letters and share them with whomever you need to; or send someone a link to the letter online.  If you're sharing one of the letters with someone who needs to understand more specifics about you, you could use this letter as a starting point to open the conversation, then you can explain more details about your particular physical condition and what they can do to support you. 

    I hope you'll find these helpful.  Below are links to the letters:

    Understanding Chronic Pain – An open letter to anyone who has a chronic pain patient in his or her life

    Understanding Fibromyalgia – An open letter to anyone who has a fibromyalgia patient in his or her life

    Wishing you love, joy and much less pain,


Published On: April 08, 2009