Support for Men with Fibromyalgia

Support for Men with Fibromyalgia

Through the Fog
The majority of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women, meaning it can be difficult for men with FM to find patient support. I’m obviously not a male fibromyalgia patient, but I’ve encountered several who are suffering. The guilt and the fear of being perceived as weak or a whiner seems more prevalent in men.

I would venture to say that most males are encouraged as they are raised to “just suck it up.” Because of this, it may be hard to visit a doctor once FM symptoms strike for fear that you won’t be believed or get the compassion and help you need.

I would encourage men to set aside any misgivings, and have enough compassion for yourself to seek the medical help you need. It’s a very hard thing to admit to yourself and others that you’re not as infallible as you wish you were. It can be even more difficult if you are the sole breadwinner.

If you work outside the home, I would encourage you to look into the FMLA — the Family and Medical Leave Act. It’s a federal law in the U.S. requiring employers who are covered to provide their employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave each year without losing their job, and maintain their health benefits.

I think that like women, over time you need to redefine who are you are, what you are now capable of doing, and what your new priorities will be. It really helps to surround yourself with family and friends who are willing to support you on this journey. No one should have to do this alone.

Don’t let fibromyalgia defeat you! We all need reasons to keep going and not lose hope and you, incredible male fibro warrior, are no different.

Here are some resources that could prove helpful for men with fibromyalgia:

Men With Fibromyalgia

Articles by Men with Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Support for Men

Men with Fibromyalgia

Fibro Patient Education

The Fibro Guy

I hope that if you are a man suffering with fibromyalgia, or you know a man who is, this column has proven to be helpful.

Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments area.

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Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

7 comments

  1. Ann Flynn says:

    What a fantastic article once again Robin! I applaud you! And I truly hope as you say any Men reading this article,don’t suffer in silence, we all need to support each other! Yes it’s a long sometimes very lonely journey and it takes a lot of lifestyle adjusting for us who have this dreadful condition and also for our family and friends. I hope you Male warriors come on board, we will support each other.

  2. John says:

    Thank you so much for this Robin. I am a man with Fibro. I am very fortunate that pre-fibro, I built a successful business career and I am now able to work from home. I still have deadlines to meet and many days, I struggle to type on the computer and complete as much on my smartphones as possible.

    I have spent 80-90% of the past five years bedridden which is hard to admit as I have managed to hide it from others. I used to have an active social life. Now, my big outing for the year is to go see the doctor to check-in. Most all of my designer apparel, footwear and accessories has sold through consignment shops and I now live in shorts and tees. Not quite what I envisioned for my 40s.

    It’s the same for us men in that we have ‘ok’ days and bad days…and worse days. Flareups keep me in bed, sometimes for days until they pass. One component that may be a little bit different for men with Fibro – or my experience anyway – is that I feel I must hide it from others and, I do my best to accomplish that. Again, I don’t know if that is because I’m a male or because I am me but I think if I ‘came out’ with it, I would be judged and become the subject of gossip.

    On the positive side, it’s 2017 and thanks to technology, I can get great support online (here :)), have groceries and medications delivered, and I maintain a thriving Amazon account for just about everything else.

    I am going to look at each of the resources included in your article. I didn’t know there was this much available to men. It took three years to get my Fibromyalgia diagnosis and prior to then, I thought only women could get it.

    Thanks again Robin!

    • Robin Dix says:

      John I’m so glad you’re able to work from home. I spend a lot of time bedridden also and write my columns from bed. I think men have it harder telling others of their diagnosis, mostly because it’s primarily a disease that women get. I hope you have one or two friends you can confide in. Let me know if the resources prove to be helpful

  3. victor says:

    Hi Robin and thank you. I am 55 years male live in London . It took years to know that I have Fibro. Now I am not working and I know my body limit which I accommodate myself with and I don’t exert myself so that won’t flare up hopefully and save energy for later/next days. Thanks again. All best.

  4. If there is anterior cervical tenderness(the point in the front of the neck on the FMS exam) the neck and upper body pain is of disc origin. The disc is easily palpated if the pain is not too severe and the tissues are not too thick. You have the choice of treating it medically or surgically. There may be one or more discs involved.

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