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Serious illness creates stresses for most relationships. Relations with family, friends, coworkers, boses, and even doctors are altered in ways that crreate new challenges both for people with CFS and FM, and for those around them.

Frustrations for people with CFS and FM include:


Feeling Not Understood: Other people may not believe you are ill or may not understand the seriousness of your condition. 

Loss of Relationships: Limitations and unpredictability of symptoms can make it difficult to maintain relationships. Some relationships may be lost, while others are redefined.


Guilt: You may blame yourself for getting sick or for not contributing to family or society.


Feeling Undependable: Unpredictability of symptoms often leads to cancelling out of commitments, creating misunderstanding and threatening some relationships. 


Isolation: You may feel a sense of isolation, either because of spending more time alone or because of feeling different from other people.


Fears of Dependency & Abandonment: You may worry about losing your ability to care for yourself or fear that others upon whom you depend will leave you.


This section describes general strategies for improving relationships, outlines options for families and couples, and shows how to build new sources of support. 


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