My social support, a self-check from painACTION.

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.