How to be Supportive of Persons with CND
prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends.
- Churton Collins, 1914
Compiled by Melissa Kaplan
One of the most tragic aspects of CFS/FM/MCS is the loss of family and friends....people who should be supportive and understanding aren't. Instead of learning about the disease, they say, "it's all in your head," or "just get off your ass and exercise and you'll be fine," or "you're just trying to get attention." Well, it is in their head: it is a serious neurological disease, not a mental or psychiatric disorder. Exercise actually makes things worse, not better. And, finally, there is not a soul who has CFS/FM/MCS who wouldn't give their right arm and whatever else it would take to not have it.
Yes, it's scary. Yes, it is a drag to call someone who mumbles, can't follow what you're saying, and always turns down invitations to go to a party or meet some friends for dinner, play a few sets of tennis, or go shopping. Yes, it is a pain in the neck to remember to not wear your usual bathroom and dressing table full of scented products, freshly dry-cleaned (or Bounced clothes) when you do finally see them.
Tough. Deal with it. It's a hell of a lot worse from our end, trust me. We didn't choose to get sick, and as much as we think positively and meditate our body healthy and drown ourselves in every quack and mainstream and alternative potion, pill and prodding that we hear about and wish it would go the hell away, it doesn't and it won't. It is not our fault we are sick, and it certainly isn't our fault that there is no definitive diagnostic test or treatment. Our reality is surreal. Don't make it worse by what you say and do - and don't say and do.
Had enough guilt dumped on you? Okay, then let's get constructive and find out what you can do to be supportive!
Family and Friends
To Kill A Sick Friend
You Need A Friend
Does It Feel To Have CFIDS?
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