Disorders that force the sufferer to live with chronic pain rarely receive the attention they deserve from the media. This past month, Lady Gaga had to postpone some of her tour dates due to her fibromyalgia. It seems that the illnesses that we are unable to explain, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, often receive little media attention. Fortunately, some celebrities like Lady Gaga will unabashedly shine a light on these disorders, forcing us to take a closer look at what these problems are and how to help those afflicted.
In the case of fibromyalgia, the pain is a result of overactive nerves, but the cause is largely unknown. It has been known to come about as a result of a traumatic event, stressful life events, or car accident, but it can also arise seemingly out of nowhere. What we do know is that an overwhelming amount of women are subjected to the disorder statistically, and there’s no cure that will solve the disorder.
Be honest with what you can and can’t handle
Having chronic pain will inevitably take a serious toll on your overall mental health, but it will also inadvertently pose a threat to your relationships. It can be difficult to not take your pain out on other people, so it’s best, to be honest with yourself and your loved ones about what you can and cannot put up with while dealing with the pain. If you have a friend or family member that constantly complains about their life, you may need to explain that that type of negativity is not something that you can handle in addition to your disorder. If they understand, they’ll be mindful of what they are willing to do for you. If they don’t understand, it might be time to distance yourself from them.
Find a way to relax
Chronic pain can make relaxation seem incredibly difficult, but it’s not impossible. Figure out a way to allow your mind and body to relax and stick to it. Try out yoga and practice deep breathing. The important thing is to remember to try and calm your muscles. Be mindful of how you feel before, during, and after the relaxation exercise, and if it works, keep it up!
Make sleep a priority by avoiding alcohol
Sleep issues and chronic pain pretty much go hand in hand, oddly enough, sleep issues and alcohol use also typically go together. Sleep is essential for everyone, but it’s especially crucial for those living with chronic pain. If you find yourself to be tired all the time and don’t get enough sleep, limit the amount of alcohol you drink to gain more control of your sleep schedule.
To deal with your disorder, you’re going to need a strong support system. Talk to your friends and family about what you’re going through and ask them for help when you need it. Another way to expand your support system is by attending support meetings for those living with chronic pain. It may seem awkward at first, but these meetings will help you gain connections with those who know exactly what you’re going through.