Since about 20 percent of American adults (or 50.2 million people) live with chronic pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's imperative for loved ones (and frankly, medical professionals) to understand how to best support them.
But rather than connecting with medical professionals about this, we wanted to give the mic to those who are actually living with a chronic illness. So, people who are living with chronic pain: what is the best way you can be supported by your loved ones?
Do you prefer your friends to not give you advice every time you see them, but rather validate your pain?
Or maybe you want your partner to recognize that not every day is the same when it comes to your pain level, and support doesn't look the same on any given day.
Do you prefer more communication to help with this?
Or perhaps you want your parents to respect your boundaries when they're set and to understand that they've been implemented to protect your mental health.
Or maybe you would love for people to offer help with errands rather than saying: "Please let me know if you need anything."
Also, did a previous loved one give you the exact kind of support you needed? If yes, how did it make you feel and what did they do? Or maybe is there something you wish medical professionals would consider or do more often when it comes to aiding your chronic pain?
If this resonates with you, let us know how you want loved ones to best support your physical and/or mental health below. However, if you're open to providing more detail — or alternatively, if you'd like to remain completely anonymous — you can also Google form here.
Responses may be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed post.