Living with any type of chronic pain condition or invisible illness can be terribly isolating. Friends and family who seem to understand at first, act almost offended when you’re “not better yet” after a certain period of time.
Chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, PTSD, and OCD are chronic conditions. This means they don’t go away. A person living with an invisible illness has good days and bad days, highs and lows, but the illness is always there, even if it’s under control at the moment.
You may hesitate to ask for help because you feel you won’t be taken seriously or will be seen as a burden. The truth is, support, validation, and encouragement are all vital to people with a chronic disease.
This is why online chronic pain support groups are so important. These groups offer those with invisible illness a safe haven to discuss their pain, frustrations, and anxiety with a group of people facing similar challenges.
Since finding an active online invisible illness support group can be a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, it can be easy to give up out of exhaustion or frustration. I don’t blame you. Forums aren’t definitely not as popular as they used to be.
The good news is, these five groups are still alive, well, and waiting for you:
This is a good support group for people living with chronic pain. You connect with others by writing diary entries and waiting for those with similar experiences to comment on them. The site also allows you to list the specific conditions you’re living with, so you can get more personalized support. The site is updated frequently and even has a chat room.
This site has a pretty casual atmosphere with support groups for just about everything. Like the site mentioned above, you can connect with others based on the condition(s) you’re living with. The group seems active, friendly, and encouraging.
This website focuses primarily on back and spine health, but it also has a forum for anyone living with chronic pain. The forum is very active and frequently updated. Plus, there is a plethora of information about chronic pain and treatment options.
There seems to be a shortage of online chronic pain support groups for men. This group is geared toward men living with fibromyalgia. There are multiple forums to choose from including spirituality, rants and raves, legal issues, and humor. There is even a place for teens.
If you like your support groups more sarcastic and less politically correct, this site is for you. This support forum is primarily centered on mental health concerns, but it does have a space for chronic pain support. This website is very gender inclusive, offering options beyond the typical ‘male’ or ‘female’ during registration. There is even an active chat room!
“Bonus” support group:
I also created my own invisible illness support group on Facebook. If you already have a Facebook account, joining is convenient, and we currently have only 74 members, so your posts will get personal attention. Moreover, it is a ‘closed’ group, so only approved members can view posts.
When you’re living with an invisible illness, the support of others who have walked a mile in your shoes can make the load so much easier to carry.
Read More: Top 10 Chronic Pain Websites