How To Support A Friend With Fibromyalgia

If someone you love has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, you might feel helpless, but you don’t have to be.  Friends play an essential role in helping those who live with a chronic illness. It’s important that people with fibromyalgia feel truly cared about and that they are not forgotten, many people with this invisible illness are left feeling isolated; fibro affects mobility, lifestyle and independence.  They need your support.

How To Support A Friend With Fibromyalgia

How to support a friend with fibromyalgia:

  • Ask, “Do you want company watching TV or a movie? I could come over for a couple of hours.”
  • Burn a CD of your friend’s favourite songs or a selection of relaxing music.
  • Just sit and listen to how your friend is feeling. You may not fully understand how he or she feels, but let them know that you are there for them.
  • When you’re at the supermarket call your friend and say, “I’m here, what do you need?”
  • Offer to help with housework.  ironing-403074
  • Know that fibromyalgia varies in severity from day to day, or even hour to hour. Things they could do yesterday may not be the same as what they can do today. Don’t question that.
  • Enjoy a home pampering session together – face masks, manicure, pedicure etc.
  • Laughter is healthy – keep it light and make jokes.
  • Don’t criticize them for whining on a rough day.
  • Arrange for a hairdresser/manicurist/pedicurist to do a house call for your friend.fingernails-259972
  • Volunteer to watch his or her children. Take the children out to a movie to give your friend a break.
  • Don’t gossip about others. They will then worry about what you say about them to others.
  • Remember, just because someone else has the same illness doesn’t mean he or she will have the same experience. Don’t compare your friend’s fibromyalgia with your sister’s friend’s boyfriend’s aunt.
  • Buy a magazine subscription for them. Crossword puzzles or Sudoku or fashion or food or crafting magazines are great choices.coffee-791439
  • Ask, “What do you wish people understood about how fibromyalgia affects you?”
  • Don’t make your friend feel guilty about things that they cannot do.
  • Bring board games or a deck of cards – have some old fashioned fun!
  • Send an email or letter just to let them know you are thinking about them.
  • Don’t tell your friend about a cure that you read online.
  • Bake cookies, muffins or banana bread to show that you are thinking of them.
  • Buy a craft kit, such as a cross stitch kit or a sewing kit. It is good for your friend to feel creative and productive.
  • Offer to accompany your friend to their medical appointment.
  • Create a fruit basket, it’s such a thoughtful and healthy gift.fruit-basket-1114060
  • Prepare your friend’s favourite comfort food. Your efforts will be really appreciated.
  • If your friend doesn’t want to go out or doesn’t want company, don’t take it personally. Sometimes they might just want to be alone.
  • Put together a fibromyalgia cuddle basket. Your friend will love it.
  • Remember your friend is still the person you know and love, they are not defined by their illness.  Your friend needs your support and understanding.

Do you have any further ideas on how to support a friend with fibromyalgia?

Keep smiling 🙂

Claire

x

UK Fibromyalgia

This entry was posted in Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, invisible illness and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to How To Support A Friend With Fibromyalgia

  1. Lovely post, lots of lovely ideas x

  2. Rachel says:

    This is such a great list and certainly something to have in mind x

  3. This is a great post I’ve shared it on my Facebook page hope that’s ok x

  4. This is a very informative post. Don’t know anyone with this condition but you never know.

  5. StressedMum says:

    Such a great post, my Daughter has a very similar illness and all these are a great idea, I think the main thing is keeping in contact, even if it is just a text or a phone call, and just pop in from time to time. It is a very lonely illness x

  6. Vanessa says:

    I think this is wonderful and would like my Fibro friend to receive it too but she is not on Facebook and I don’t know of any other way for her to receive it. …PLEASE can anyone help me ….!!! I feel so desperate for both of us…ThankYou…

  7. Just never belittle your friend’s complaints and listen because sometimes they might be really suffering but not want to say it out loud or mention it too much. Let your friend know that you don’t care if they want to moan all the time, you’re there to listen. Then make them laugh as best you can 🙂

  8. LydiaA1614 says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    A dear friend painted my nails once and gave me a spa treatment for my birthday. This article is great for people who care for and about people with Fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses!

  9. indreamworld says:

    A great list there, and very helpful for those wanting to support but not knowing the best way to offer it.

  10. Great tips! I don’t know anyone who has fibromyalgia but I think it’s more common than you’d expect x

  11. Ana De Jesus says:

    Aw well said, because it affects your mobility it can be difficult to do the same things as everyone else and I love the idea of giving a fruit basket.

  12. Thanks for this post, It is something I am going to keep in mind now!

  13. Liz Mays says:

    This is really helpful. I wouldn’t have known exactly how to be supportive! Some pampering could be fun!

  14. Sarah Bailey says:

    This is such a great post – I’ve just shared it over social media as yes this is so so true. x

  15. Mummy Matters says:

    What a lovely post. A lady I used to work with suffered with this and used to struggle lots. She would have appreciated a friend to do this for her x

  16. This one illness which my wife has, amongst the long list of illnesses she has. Great ideas and great post. Thanks for sharing.

    John M.

  17. Lyn says:

    Great suggestions that will be helpful when I have my ‘acute episodes’ of sciatica. Others things that I would suggest are: 1. Reassure your friend that she/he is neither mad nor weak for feeling upset or afraid when the pain is bad and they feel like they can’t cope with it. 2. Don’t bother your friend with pointless questions like ‘oh is your back bad? Have you done this or that for it (e.g. do you have a lift key)?’ You mean well, but someone in a lot of pain does not have the energy for those types of questions at the time of the pain! 3. Don’t assume that your friend is not aware of the various treatments (conventional/alternative) available for his/her condition and needs to be nagged about them constantly!

  18. Nice list. Good reminder of the personal aspect of living with fibro.

  19. Too be honest I had to google Fibromyalgia but it sounds like a rather unpleasant condition. It’s a list with lots of lovely gestures and I am sure everyone appreciates it.

  20. Thanks for sharing such an informative post. My friend was diagnosed with fibro last summer so I think this will really help me xxx

  21. Very touching post this. Some great things that you could even do for anyone with an Illness, especially laughter it makes everything better

  22. Elizabeth says:

    Great suggestions here. It can’t be easy, especially with such an under researched illness as this. The kindness of friends must be invaluable.

  23. I have a few friends with this illness and have to say I know how miserable this makes them. One is worse first thing in the morning, my other friend later afternoon is her worst time.

  24. What amazing suggestions! I love them all, and certainly they would be very beneficial for some of my friends, Thank you x

  25. Great list although I could say that some of those are things that people should do ayway as real friends including not gossiping.

  26. Kara Guppy says:

    My friend has fibro and really suffers with it.I try and help where I can

  27. What a really lovely post full of great ideas!

  28. hijackedbytwins says:

    What lovely ideas to help a friend. This is a lovely post x

  29. Jessica Ayun says:

    First thing is to understand what fibromyalgia is then you can know how you can fully supoort someone who is suffering from it. Great points you compiled here. 🙂

  30. Such a lovely post with some kind and amazing ideas. I think everybody deserves a friend like this who does all of these kind things x

  31. Leanne says:

    What a good idea for a post. Very informative with some fab ideas!

  32. Great post, it is sometimes hard to know what to do for the best x

  33. korean doll says:

    Fibro is a painful and hard to deal with disease. I can only imagine the battle the person suffering from it as well as their families have to be burdened with and go through. Thank you so much sharing. This will be very handy and helpful.

  34. Estelle V. says:

    One of my cousin has fybro… Thanks for your advice! I think it will help helping her 🙂

  35. annalisanuttall says:

    I use to know someone who had Fybro, sadly she died at age 16. I didn;t know her that well but I remember people saying she has Fybro.

  36. Stephen says:

    I am not sure I know of anyone with fibromyalgia but from your post, this is an excellent idea of how to help when you feel so helpless!

  37. rachphillips says:

    Such good tips Claire. My friend has fibromyalgia and I hope I’ve been helping her. It’s a horrible thing, sending you love X

  38. rachphillips says:

    Such good tips Claire. My friend has fibromyalgia and I hope I help her. Sending you lots of love X

  39. Elle Sims says:

    Lots of great ideas here…

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