If you’re living with fibromyalgia, you’re already aware of the impact the condition can have on your life — but chances are strong that other people in your orbit don’t know as much as they could about the disease. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness for the condition — particularly in the month of May, which is Fibromyalgia Awareness Month.
It can be hard when your friends and family don’t know what you’re going through. It can also feel difficult to say no to loved ones who don’t understand your situation, because you might worry about how your relationships will be affected.
Raising awareness of fibromyalgia is important so your friends, family, and acquaintances can better understand how to support you.
Before you can create public awareness by sharing information with others, it’s a good idea to understand the specifics about fibromyalgia. Learn more about the condition’s causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment options.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. Fibromyalgia can be treated, but there is no cure. The condition isn’t life-threatening and doesn’t shorten life expectancy, although it can lead to a lower quality of life and disability.
No one knows what causes fibromyalgia or how it develops within the body. Although fibromyalgia is sometimes categorized with arthritis, it is not a type of arthritis. Fibromyalgia is not an autoimmune disease like multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis. Fibromyalgia predominantly affects the nervous system.
Fibromyalgia is not considered a progressive disease. Symptoms may grow worse over time, but there is no predictable disease course. Most often, people with fibromyalgia experience disease flares, when symptoms become more severe, and periods of remission, when symptoms lessen or disappear.
After you’re armed with information about fibromyalgia, you can share it with others. The fastest and least expensive way to take action is through social media. You can post information about the condition, share details about fibromyalgia, and join communities of other people who are also working to raise awareness for the chronic disease.
You can follow organizations like Support Fibromyalgia on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Additionally, to ensure your messages on social media reach as many people as possible, consider using an appropriate fibromyalgia-related hashtag, like #FibromyalgiaAwareness or #SupportFibro. This way, your posts will be seen by more people who have the same interests, and they’re more likely to share and comment.
Social media helps raise awareness for the condition, and it also allows other people with fibromyalgia to realize they aren’t alone. Joining a fibromyalgia community online, such as MyFibroTeam, can also help you connect with others.
Another way to raise awareness about fibromyalgia is to participate in an activity dedicated to the cause. You can walk or run for fibromyalgia, play bingo, participate in fundraising events, or even create a unique event that works for your interests. You can help other people understand more about fibromyalgia while having fun and raising money for the cause.
If you are able, you can also donate (or encourage others to donate) to organizations like the American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association to support fibromyalgia advocacy and research.
In addition, remember to engage in self-care. It is emotionally taxing to educate others about your lived experiences, so know your limits and accept when to put your mental well-being first.
On MyFibroTeam, the social network and online support group for people with fibromyalgia and their loved ones, more than 282,000 people living with fibromyalgia come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with the condition.
Share your fibromyalgia journey in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.