CRPS is considered an “invisible illness”. This means that those suffering from the disease may look completely fine and healthy on the outside.  It can be very difficult for others to understand exactly what CRPS patients are going through and why they may be “different” than before.

People who are close to someone with CRPS or other invisible illnesses may struggle to find the right words with which to comfort their loved one. Molly’s Fund, which raises funds and awareness for Lupus (another invisible illness) posted this wonderful list of 10 things NOT to say to someone with an invisible illness:

  1. “You have what? I’ve never heard of it.”
  2. “You need to exercise more.”
  3. “Aren’t you feeling better yet?”
  4. “Maybe an anti-depressant would help.”
  5. “But you look just fine.” or “You don’t look sick.”
  6. “You are taking too much medicine.”
  7. “You need to change your diet.”
  8. “It’s all in your head.”
  9. “Losing weight might help.”
  10. “If you just had a more positive attitude.”


Instead, Molly’s Fund encourages people to choose phrases such as:

  1. “How are you doing today?”
  2. “Is there anything I can do to make things easier?”
  3. “I am here for you, whatever you need.”
  4. “It must be very difficult to have a disease where you feel so awful on the inside but it doesn’t show on the outside.”
  5. “I am so sorry that you are going through this.”
  6. “I wish I could take your pain away.”
  7. “I hope you are feeling better soon.”
  8. “I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.”
  9. “I may not completely understand your disease or what you’re going through, but I would like to.”
  10. “I am so sorry I judged you before understanding your disease.”


If you think you or a loved one are suffering from CRPS, give Pain Specialists of Charleston a call today to make an appointment: 843-818-1181! OR Visit Our Website!