My social support, a self-check from painACTION.

How often do you have someone you can count on to listen to you when you need to talk?
How often do you have someone to give you information to help you understand a situation?
How often do you have someone to give you good advice about a crisis?
How often do you have someone to confide in or talk to about yourself or your problems?
How often do you have someone whose advice you really want?

 
How often do you have someone to share your most private fears with?
How often do you have someone to turn to for suggestions about how to deal with a personal problem?
How often do you have someone who understands your problems?
How often do you have someone to help you if you were confined to bed?
How often do you have someone to take you to the doctor if you need it?
How often do you have someone to prepare your meals if you were unable to do it yourself?
How often do you have someone to help with daily chores if you were sick?
How often do you have someone who shows you love and affection?
How often do you have someone to love and make you feel wanted?
How often do you have someone who hugs you?
How often do you have someone to have a good time with?
How often do you have someone to get together with for relaxation?
How often do you have someone to do something enjoyable with?
How often do you have someone to do things with to help you get your mind off things?

Developing and maintaining supportive relationships with others is a key part of managing chronic pain.

  • These relationships form the basis of a "support network."
  • Research shows that having support from others can help you manage stress, handle your emotions, and cope with your pain.
  • Many people find that solid support from friends and family can help them improve their physical and psychological health.

Be aware that even though people's intentions are usually good, sometimes the help they offer (or the way they do it) is not going to feel supportive.

  • It may also be necessary to talk with people in your social network about behaviors that are not supportive or helpful (such as taking over, calling too much, or expressing too much emotion).
  • The more you are able to effectively communicate the type of support you need (the amount, timing, and type), the more likely you are to get your needs met.

Your results on this social support questionnaire are divided into an overall score, and four sub-scores. These scores can show where you seem to have good support, as well as where you should consider trying to improve the support you are getting.

It is important to keep one important aspect in mind - this questionnaire is based on your own perceptions and may or may not reflect how other people see your relationships. It is best to be open with family and friends to find out if your perceptions match theirs.