What’s it like for Men with Fibromyalgia
Let’s start this off with a relatively well known Fibromyalgia fact; Fm affects women more than it affects men. Anyone who has ever searched online for other Fm patients to talk to can tell you this because most the people they find are women!
Most Facebook group online and group meetings and ran and dominated by women this is because
the majority of men are very prideful and they do not like to talk about certain aspects of their lives that they would consider private and/or embarrassing to talk about. It takes a certain type of strength for a man to be open about his feelings or “personal” symptoms. Men do not like to show weakness but what I have learned is that it takes more strength to show weakness than to hide it.
So id like to talk about some of the issues I believe are relevant and after talking to some men, they are obvious problems.
Feelings of inadequacy;
agree with them or not, our society has made certain gender roles that typically place the man in charge of taking care of his family, being the bread winner of the house hold and protecting his loved ones from danger. The problem is, when the man becomes ill, these roles become challenging or even impossible requiring someone else (often his spouse) to take the lead. Most men feel they should be the bread winner in their families but after Fm has run its course, a lot of people can no longer work (or at least not as much or as hard as they could before) putting the financial responsibility on their partner. Then the man may feel like a failure, or, inadequate.
Of course these feelings do not only arise when it comes to financial matters, most men want to be able to protect their loved ones from danger. If someone attacks their family or breaks into their homes, You want to make sure that your family walks away unharmed. If You see a child chasing a ball into the street, You want to be able to get to them in time to prevent an accident from occurring. If a heavy piece of furniture needs moving, You want to be able to take care of it yourself ! Most do-it-yourself kind of guys want to do it yourself, but there are lots of things that You just can’t do anymore because Of the lack the strength, speed, coordination, and even the balance to do a lot of that stuff due to fibromyalgia.
Now let’s move on to the next issue men are faced with when dealing with Fibromyalgia; feeling too embarrassed or prideful to talk about something. Now we all know that most guys have a hard time talking about their feelings, but what I do want to bring up, is how men with Fm may experience certain symptoms that they find too embarrassing to talk about or that make them feel like less of a man. First of all, let’s take away bladder and bowel symptoms because both men and women with Fm experience those.
This leaves us with sexual problems; something that both men and women with Fm experience but in slightly different ways (for obvious reasons). most the people with Fm you talk to don’t admit to having sexual issues, but they probably do, An issue of this sort is enough to make anyone feel inadequate! “Why would ladies want to hang around when Most men with Fm are never in the mood or unable to perform?” and in particular do not like to talk about this, it’s embarrassing, and hard to talk about.
Now men are becoming more open and joining groups, it’s getting easier for men to open up.
It’s important to never judge anyone’s comments and always be as helpful as you can be.
Men - now you are Fibromyalgia Research support Group please don’t ever feel embarrassed to post how you feel or if you have a problem, we will never judge, we will only ever help, it’s actually hard for some ladies to post too but we do.
We’re a family and together we can get through anything