How do you know someone is faking fibromyalgia?


This is a thing people google. And I can tell you the short answer right now is that statistically speaking if you assume they are not, you’d most likely be right. Because it is so rare that anyone fakes an illness.

I know a lot of people out there have a hard time figuring out fibromyalgia. And if they know someone with it they may just not understand it even then. Because here we are with this invisible disability with its fatigue and chronic pain no one can see… it is hard to know our world especially when We are trying to function in Yours.

Invisible Disabilities come with Doubt. Because they cannot be Seen or Known. Doubt happens. I have no idea why. You can’t see 99% of chronic illnesses. Why is it so bloody confusing?

Nevertheless, doubting someone’s painful chronic condition is not cool. It is extremely hurtful. And my only advice if you cannot believe their existence with chronic pain is what my parents used to say ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’. In other words, if you have no empathy, no sympathy, no compassion… just say nothing. We do not need your understanding. And we could definitely live without your judgement. Silence is your friend.

Title: So you think someone is faking fibromyalgia?
image: woman's back. She is holding her hand mid-back. A chiropractor is hold hands above and below her hand

Anyway, I highly doubt anyone would fake having fibromyalgia. Just because:

  1. There are easier forms of chronic pain to fake if anyone was so inclined to be that sort of douche.
  2. And if you were going to choose anything to fake I don’t think you’d go with a syndrome that is so highly stigmatized to this day.
  3. And I don’t think you would pick one that is very much doubted by doctors and employers to this day.

Just my thoughts on it there. Worst choice for fakers out there. But who the hell knows what goes on in the head of people like that or their reasons. I don’t think it is As Many people as people seem to think but I couldn’t find a stat on that. But yeah fraud occurs. And for a variety of reasons I assume. But in such low numbers if you assume everyone is faking you are wrong way, way, way more times than you will ever be right.

 Social Security’s own statistics indicate that the fraud and abuse is rather small, in the neighborhood of one percent. I don’t think it’s different than any other system. I think any system where people are getting benefits, there are people who are going to try to take advantage of the system. I certainly know of cases or have heard of cases where someone received benefits, continued to work, got cash under the table, those are the real obvious ones. The less obvious ones are the ones where maybe someone received benefits and just didn’t want to work, so they’re just not motivated to work. For every case that I run into where I really think a person is on disability and shouldn’t be, I could cite five or ten cases where I think people were denied that shouldn’t have been. I think that the, I simply think that the system is so set up where it’s hard to convince Social Security a person’s disabled. If Social Security can find one job that a person could do anywhere, not even in your location but in your region, they will deny you by saying that you should go find that one job. I can’t tell you the number of cases that I’ve seen where it just breaks my heart that on such a small number of jobs, Social Security would deny someone’s claim. The difficulty of convincing Social Security that someone’s disabled makes it much more likely a person is denied their deserved benefits than the other way around.

Troutman &troutman

And that is the real truth. Not that much fraud, way, way more people who are disabled but turned down for disability out there than those ‘faking it’.


But fibromyalgia can’t be seen and it is because someone seems fine sometimes on the outside

And I know it is very hard to tell. So I have come up with some things to look at suspiciously in your family member or friend with fibromyalgia to see if maybe they are faking it.

You see them do something. Clearly, this implies they are not disabled by pain.

Oh, wait, then you don’t see them do a thing for the next week. In fact, it seems like they do not leave the house and seem to be in a lot of pain and very tired. This is called a Flare Up. And they did that thing knowing it would cause a flare-up but they did it anyway because a) they had to b) they wanted to c) they felt obligated to. But maybe you Don’t see this At All because it is behind closed doors and you don’t know them that well. All you see is that They Did A Thing.

They don’t do one thing one day and then do it the next! I mean, WHAT? Clearly, faking.

Or, wait, maybe… just maybe pain is variable and one day it is very high and the next it is manageable. Or, wait, maybe… just maybe one day there was no recovery time from said thing and recovery time is a must but the next day they would have a day or so recovery time so they chose that day to do said thing.

They are always complaining about being tired but they sleep so damn much

Fibromyalgia is weird in the sense that we can sleep for a long period of time and not get refreshing sleep at all, so we wake up feeling like a zombie that has been decomposing for a good five days. Because our deep sleep isn’t, well, deep. And so we do not get good refreshing sleep no matter how much we sleep. Also, we are very prone to sleep disorders: delayed onset insomnia, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea and more. Added to the pain itself makes sleep actually hard to attain and maintain. We have a hard time getting to sleep, staying asleep, and of course, we are bloody tired when we get up. And of course, our brains Want More sleep if we can have it because we are sleep-deprived.

And we rest because we are super fatigued. Which is not ‘tired’ but something that drags you down to the ground and keeps you there. And fatigue has nothing to do with being tired from the lack of sleep but it sure doesn’t help.

They have so many symptoms. That can’t even be real

There is a lot in this syndrome. It affects the brain and the nervous system and so that means there are a lot of symptoms a person can get. Seems more like it sucks for us more so than the person observing us though.

Read also:

When confronted with the lazy stigma
You’re faking it
How we are socially unacceptable

Signs someone Likely Does Not have Fibromyaliga

If they say things like:

  • OUCH! That tickles ever so slightly.
  • I slept so awesome last night
  • That Tylenol Totally resolved my pain
  • I sometimes ache a little bit when it rains
  • Yeah, I could kinda use a nap
  • Pain on a scale of 1-10? Hmmm 3?

Signs they do, when they say

  • Yeah, I have fibromyalgia
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9 thoughts on “So you think someone is faking fibromyalgia?

  1. Great post. I can’t understand people who doubt fibromyalgia. But, they do. They also doubt other diseases and it hurts so much! Gosh, if I could have my old life back…… Thanks for shining a light on this problem. Maybe it will help some of these people to just hold their words. We sure don’t need them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Im sorry but i know of a few people who are faking fibromyalgia.
      How do i know. Well its pretty obvious. One they asked me and others what our syptoms and behaviours were for psychiatric and major medical chronic diseases. In great detail. How we were diagnosed and such. Never explaining their syptoms. Or suddenly having them . and then found out these autoimmune diseases and mental conditions. Have tests and blood tests. And basically cant be faked. Then sufdenly came down with severe fibromyalgia. So yes. I believe many fake it .


  2. Thank you for this post. It seems when people don’t understand your condition or are somehow threatened by it, they find an easy out with “you must be faking it.” So much easier than helping you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it does seem easier to deny it exists than to face the fact that people just become ill sometimes no matter what. That the future is unpredictable. And we all have to face that unpredictability.


  3. So true! Sometimes it would be able to switch bodies for a few minutes so they could actually feel the pain for themselves. I’m always second guessing myself and asking, “Are you sure this really hurts.” The answer is always yes, but…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that I’m older I do wonder what normal pains from ageing might be and if I would even notice them. Or from normal activity even… like exercise. A small amount of mild exercise causes a whole lot of pain but some of that must be normal… but I just have literally no idea.


  4. Ji all Faking!

    Faking is rare, but it happens… regardless, family, doctors, bosses, friends, sometimes even partners don’t believe you.

    I’m a husband behind a chronically ill wife who suffers from endometriosis and fibromyalgia. We went through a lot over a decade, and I found how many relationships split, marriages fall apart, and the fibromyalgia divorce rate is high dur to lack of understanding and/or disbelief that it’s real…

    Wishing you all the best and less flare-ups 🎗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the divorce rate is much higher. My spouse and I have been through a lot as well and I am very glad he isn’t the sort who doubts my pain. I know people who have had spouse’s like that and I think that would be a hard emotional situation to go through. Especially when we can and do deal with a lot of people that do doubt fibromyalgia pain or the amount of pain in our lives at some time or another. It is important to have a good support network that has your back. I can’t imagine if the person you love doesn’t. I am so glad your wife has your support. Wish you and her all the best.


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