The Most Hateful Things People say to Fibromyalgia Sufferers

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When you are suffering from fibromyalgia, you’ve possible heard some comments about your condition that make you think, “Seriously?!” Although our doctors and loved ones usually have good intentions, occasionally a lack of understanding causes their questions or advice to entirely miss the mark. It can be annoying and upsetting when someone doesn’t really pay attention or try to understand and this can unluckily result in unacquainted and insensitive comments.

Occasionally though, the things people say are just so unreasonable (and so far from the truth) that they almost edge on humorous. We know that besides suffering the real pain, exhaustion, and stupor of fibromyalgia, many patients also have to face the shame coupled with having a chronic disease.

We inquired our readers for some of the more intolerable examples of what people utter to them. Be warned, some of this stuff is just heartbreaking. But it’s important that we bring this into the light. We had such an overwhelming response we decided to share some of them.

A few of these things are really unbearable. We post them in the hope that they can be shared with people who are likely to say some of these things and think twice about saying them, but they could also be traumatic for people who hear things like this in their daily lives.

Isn’t that when you’re just tired all the time?

“‘Isn’t that when you’re just tired all the time?’ This is pretty self-explanatory. ‘Just tired’ is an understatement to so many symptoms fibromyalgia provides us. I desire there was more understanding for this disease so people know it’s not just tiredness 24/7.” – Alexis G.

Fibromyalgia doesn’t exist

A characteristic that everyone’s heard, and it’s so hard because that perhaps we should have made it the favored hateful statement because it’s the root of all stigmas against people with fibromyalgia. I saw a doctor for a different medical condition.

When he saw Fibromyalgia scheduled on my medical chart he made a point to tell me “I don’t think Fibromyalgia is a existent thing. It simply does not exist. What meds are you taking for it? It’s an awful disease. I put my brave face on 24/7. Nobody can see our pain and anguish, so they inquire if it’s authentic or we’re just seeking attention. It’s much easier to pretend I’m ok, than it is to explain why I’m not.

You just need to eat healthy and loose weight

“Eat completely healthy and lose weight. Although I’ve been lessening weight from not eating because of my vomiting and the tenderness is still there. And I already eat healthy.” — Eloise Taylor 

God is punishing you for your sins

By making illness a judgment on a person’s moral character, these people take victim-blaming to the next level, it’s disgraceful. My uncle, who is a preacher, told me I was being punished by God for all of the wild things I have done & my family wonders why I don’t believe. GOD is punishing me for my sins was the rudest thing I was told. I know a lot of good Christians that died of cancer…I don’t think they were punished either. How dare they say this to me?


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You just want attention

People love to break out their arm-chair psychiatry degrees for this one. Munchausen Syndrome is a real thing, but so is fibromyalgia. People are so rude.

‘Attention seeking’ ,‘It’s in your head’ , ‘It can’t be that bad’ , ‘Stop being lazy’ ,‘You need to go out and exercise more’, ‘I did this with that and that’s worse’, ‘Are you sure you’re not putting on?’ ,‘You’re always sick’.

I was in hospital with the most horrible pain flare up, had so many tests and they all came back normal, so the doctor said to my dad your doctor just want attention. There’s nothing wrong with her. She is a hypochondriac.  She just require some work out and to lose weight. These are just some of the things I hear!

You don’t know tired is because you don’t have kids

“Because I don’t have kids I don’t know what tired is. Well, that’s simple to say but perhaps they don’t know what tiredness is because they don’t have my disease. I’d love to be in a place where I felt I could even make a decision about having children. Right now my body is making that decision for me.” – Jennifer L.B.

Fibromyalgia can easily be managed

“‘It is easy to manage fibromyalgia; almost immediately everything will go back to normal. I hope instead they knew that some days I am unable to walk, drive or even brush my hair. Other times I can handle the pain enough to see friends and family with a smile on my face. Moreover, oftentimes I compel myself to show up at public functions resulting in a flare-up lasting a week or more as a sentence.” – Katherine L.

People with Fibromyalgia are just lazy

This is a killer, and the vast majority of our respondents mentioned being told they just “don’t want to do” stuff. A few responses: That I’m sluggish I play up to my fibro and it’s all in your head and you can do more than you think you can! Lazy, everybody hurts. Everyone has arthritis. You need to exercise, you need to walk. My 17-year-old son broke my heart; he said I wasn’t sick I was lazy. Even though he hears me cry in my sleep in pain threw two walls. I’m 53 and have to use a walker. hey have told me I was just lazy that I got up and moved around I would feel better or it’s all in my head if I would find something to keep my mind occupied I would be ok.


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