Fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS) can be lonely conditions. You might find it hard to stay active in social activities, and the people around you may not understand what you're going through. Many people with FMS or ME/CFS also are clinically depressed, but even if you're not, it's common to go through rocky emotional times. Whether you have the most supportive friends and family imaginable or you feel like no one supports you, you may benefit from a support group.
Few people understand the what it's like to have chronic pain or to be exhausted all the time. If they haven't experienced themselves, it's hard to truly understand the frustration you face on those days when you just can't think straight and it's difficult to hold a simple conversation. Emotional ups and downs are common for those of us dealing with a chronic and potentially debilitating illness. Sometimes it helps to know you're not alone and someone else out there really gets what you're saying. Also, because of their nature, FMS and ME/CFS are conditions you have to learn to manage. People who've "been there, done that" can often be the best ones to help you find what helps you most.
You can find myriad support groups online and, depending on where you live, you may be able to find them in your community as well. At the bottom of this article, you'll find a list of links that can help you find both local and online groups. You can also ask your doctor and check with local hospitals and your health-insurance company to find out about local resources and programs. If you can't find a local group, you might consider starting one.
If there's not a group near you and you don't want to start one, contact support groups for other conditions, such as arthritis, lupus, or multiple sclerosis. They're likely to welcome you!