Chronic Pain Syndrome
For Chronic Pain Syndrome Patients Everywhere

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#10 -Fibromyalgia



#8 - Back Problems



# 7 - Migraine Pain



#5 - What does it cure again?





#2 - Maybe you can look like you feel?

Where does it hurt?



Hopefully, below you'll send this page to your well-meaning friends who just have never lived in your world so one by one, you'll get the support you and all of us suffering from Chronic Pain so desperately need.  Go ahead - it's worth a try because they cannot possibly know what you go through hourly, daily, weekly, etc.; so, send this and tell them. All mean well.

PART 1 - The top 10 things not to say to any suffering from chronic pain, no matter how caring & well-meaning, the pain is real and constant.
The brain continuously sends pain signals = chronic pain syndrome.

10. We all get more aches and pains as we get older, it's probably just a touch of arthritis.
I've heard Fibromyalgia is just a diagnosis they give when there's really nothing wrong.

The pain of fibromyalgia is much more severe than the normal aches and pains associated with aging.  Little things that shouldn't hurt at all can be excruciatingly painful.  Plus, most people develop FM long before they should be experiencing age-related aches and pains. 


9.  I used to have chronic fatigue too – I just got active & it went away.

This shows a basic misunderstanding of the severity of the fatigue associated with chronic pain syndrome.  It is so much more than just being tired, it's an all-encompassing, overwhelming exhaustion.  You are drained of energy – every move during sleep shocks you awake & it takes heat or ice to reduce the pain to sleep again...until you move.  It's sheer, physical exhaustion.

8.  My friend has back problems and still manages to work.
You just need to get a job or hobby to take your mind off the pain.

Translation – you must be lazy.  The fact is, the severity of 'back problems' varies.  Unless you know what 'back problems' the person you're giving advice to has, consider it may be something like this scoliosis patient, try 'working' with this and then give advice.

7.  When I get migraines, a brisk walk outside always helps take it away.  You need to get out of your dark room and get active, eat something and get your mind off of it.

First of all, you've never had a migraine if a brisk walk outside took it away.  Your head is pounding with a pulsating headache. You feel nauseous, and you may even vomit. Light and sound are unbearable. In fact, any little noise or ray of light creates blinding pain and sends you back to bed to hide away in a dark room where you just want to be left alone. The pain is extremely intense, and it can go on for hours or even days in some cases. Often it repeats itself -- sometimes a week later, sometimes a month later. Sounds pretty miserable, doesn’t it?

6.  If you got more sleep, you'd feel better.

Well, duh!  One of the major problems with chronic pain syndrome is that something prevents the body from going into the deepest stage of sleep, when the body naturally restores and replenishes itself.  And most sleep medications do little to help you achieve that deep sleep.

5.  I read about this new product that cures ???.

This can be one of the toughest comments to deal with because it is usually said by well-meaning friends or relatives who genuinely want you to feel better.

4.  At least it's not fatal.

A lot of chronic pain syndrome patients response to this comment is, “Yeah, but sometimes I wish it was.  At least then I'd know there was an end to the pain.”  Understandably, people tend to be more interested in preventing death than in improving the quality of life.  Some actually say the first thing out of their mount, but most remain silent.

3.  You just need to exercise more.

Often this is another way of insinuating that you're lazy.  This comment in particular is always received as an insult because the pain makes exercise impossible and the weight is packed on, year and year - just like diabetics.  If more exercise were the answer, I'd be all over it.  Yes, exercise is an important component of most chronic pain treatment plans & could help, but it's only one part and it has to be approached slowly and carefully to avoid triggering a flare.

2.  But you don't look sick.

This comment puts the patient between the proverbial rock and hard place.  If we let ourselves go and show how we actually feel, people are uncomfortable and don't want to be around us.  On the other hand, if we manage to fix ourselves up and put on a brave face, no one realizes we're in pain.  If you think about it, most chronic illnesses are invisible.  Some people looked great until the moment they die from a massive heart attack.  Just because someone doesn't have visible sores or obvious deformity doesn't mean no serious pain is under the surface.

Ta Daaa...... Here it is - the number one thing you should NOT say to a chronic pain syndrome patient:

1.  It's all in your head - this one makes you want to scream!

This is the all-time worst and most insulting thing you can say to someone with chronic pain or illness.  Of course it's in our head's, you could say “You're right, it is in my head.
My pain management doctor has found that there is a problem with how
my brain processes pain signals.”

Remember, most of these people are trying to help & have no concept of day-to-day living with chronic pain is like physically, mentally and emotionally.  They can't possibly know, so try to receive the advice as it's intended - to say whatever they think will make you feel better.

PART 2 - The top 10 things not to say to any suffering from chronic pain, no matter how caring & well-meaning, the pain is real and constant.
The brain continuously sends pain signals = chronic pain syndrome.

Home ] What Is Chronic Pain Syndrome? ] Living With Chronic Pain ] Chronic Pain By Age ] 11 Tips for Living with Chronic Pain ] [ Top 10 things NOT to say to someone with Chronic Pain ] Chronic Pain Affects Women More Than Men? ]


Fiaz Jaleel, MD
5546 Lake Howell Road
Winter Park, FL  32792
Phone: 407-673-8999
Fax:  407-678-1246

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