Chronic pain is when someone finds themselves feeling constant or chronic pain in either their body or mind/thoughts. Chronic illness can cause depression, chronic fatigue, and even further chronic pain for the individual. If you are caring for someone with a chronic illness it’s important to take care of yourself too! The tips below will help you deal with your loved ones, so they can start to recover.
1. Love unconditionally
When you love someone, you should always be there for them — chronic illness or not! Sometimes people suffering from chronic illness are down more often than other times, but this doesn’t mean they do not care about you anymore. When someone suffering from chronic pain is anxious or sad it’s important that the people close to them are their number one source of comfort. They need self-love and self-care, so if anyone closes off sometimes, try talking to them without being too pushy.
2. Don’t underestimate chronic illness
Chronic illness is very misunderstood by society at large. If you are having trouble understanding this chronic illness, it would be better off if you researched chronic illnesses in-depth instead of judging them or their symptoms. When someone says they have chronic fatigue, don’t assume they are being lazy — chronic fatigue makes people tired just by thinking about movement. Chronic pain is not always easy to understand when you don’t experience it every day, but sometimes chronic pain feels like swimming through the water just by stepping outside your house! Asking questions or trying to understand chronic illness is very important because chronic pain can be very difficult to understand for someone who has never felt it.
3. Chronic illness is chronic
If your loved one lives with chronic pain or chronic fatigue, they need to take care of themselves first — chronic medicine and self-care. It would be helpful if you remind them that chronic illness requires a lot of patience as well as time management. Sometimes chronic pain means cancelling plans. Understanding chronic illness and asking questions will help everyone involved: like understanding why occasionally canceling plans seems like a big deal or why sometimes standing up and walking feels impossible.
4. Get creative
Sometimes people suffering from chronic illness find it difficult if not impossible to leave the house because either they are in too much pain or simply chronic fatigue. If chronic illness leads them to this chronic pain, don’t be disappointed or angry: try and get creative when you are looking for ways to help! You can bring chronic pain medication in pill form over to their house if they need it. You can also go out together in chronic fatigue mode — chronic fatigue is no joke — which also means choosing outdoor activities that are easy on the body is key.
5. Don’t make chronic illness a bad thing
Chronic illnesses are not made any better or worse by the people who live with chronic pain; what makes chronic illness good or bad is how everyone around them treats chronic pain. If your friend cancels plans because of chronic symptoms, please try not to take it personally.