How much Stressful Experience will Face by Fibromyalgia due to their Illness? Tips to face their Disease
Caring for someone with CFS or FM can be a stressful experience. You may take on extra responsibilities, experience financial strain, feel frustrated and resentful at times, lose companionship, face uncertainty about the future, and experience both reduced socializing and sexual difficulties.
Even with all the challenges brought by serious illness, there are many ways to take care of yourself. Here are nine to consider.
This is the number 1 recommendation of experts on warriors. To serve your loved one well and to avoid resentment and burnout, take time to get adequate rest, to eat well, and to exercise.
When people offer to help, accept the offer and suggest specific things that they can do. If your finances allow, consider paying for help in such areas as meals, house cleaning, and transportation.
Get a respite from caregiving by spending time away from the person who is ill, for example by pursuing a hobby. Give yourself an opportunity for leisure and enjoyment, a way to recharge your batteries.
Seek information about CFS or FM, especially strategies for reducing symptoms and improving quality of life. One source is the articles on our website. See the article “Educate Yourself” for a list of patient organizations, other websites, and books about the two conditions.
Avoid isolation and reduce stress by maintaining relationships with extended family and friends. This may mean getting together regularly for exercise or outings with friends, spending time with children, or any other kind of socializing that keeps you connected with others.
Be sensitive to signs of stress and consider seeing a counselor if you detect them. Signs that counseling might be appropriate include feeling exhausted, depressed, or burned out, or over-reacting, such as by angry outbursts.
Counseling can be helpful for gaining perspective on your situation or exploring communication problems. You might get help in individual sessions or in joint sessions with the person who is ill.
Just as people with CFS and FM experience many losses, so do those around them. They are deprived of part of the companionship the patient used to provide, as well as her work around the house and, in many cases, financial contribution.
And, just as the person who is ill has lost the future she hoped for, so do you have to adjust your dreams for the future. Like the person in your life with CFS and FM, you, too, need to grieve your losses.
Serious illness may make it impossible for you to spend time with the person who is ill in the same way as before, but you can develop new shared activities to do together.
One couple told us they took up the study of music using courses on DVD. The husband in another couple said that once he realized his wife’s new limits, they shifted from camping and hiking to dinner and a movie.
The point is to create occasions for shared pleasure so that the relationship is strengthened and both ill and healthy members of the family don’t come to see their relationships as just about illness and deprivation.
Fellow warriors can offer strength, support, inspiration, and models of successful adaptation. You might meet such people through patient support groups.
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