If you are reading this, someone close to you lives with and suffers from fibromyalgia (FM). Since FM is invisible, many find it hard to believe that it is a real illness or that anyone could really hurt that much all the time. Unfortunately, this is one of the main reasons that fibromyalgia is so often misunderstood, misdiagnosed and not properly treated. Fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder that has three primary components: pain, fatigue and sleep problems. (1) Pain – The pain may vary in intensity and location, but it is present most, if not all, of the time. (2) Fatigue – The fatigue is not like the tiredness you might feel after working too hard or overdoing it on a sports field. It's a pervasive, all-encompassing exhaustion – like someone pulled the plug on your energy source. (3) Sleep – The person with FM usually has difficulty sleeping. And even when they do finally sleep, they...
For many years the medical community tried to link fibromyalgia and depression . And despite evidence to the contrary, some in the psychological arena still insist on believing that fibromyalgia is caused by - or at least strongly linked to - depression. The fact is, depression is no more prevalant with fibromyalgia than it is with any other chronic illness. The Cleveland Clinic describes depression as a “complication” of chronic illness and estimates that “up to one-third of individuals with a serious medical condition experience symptoms of depression.” They list the following depression rates for various illnesses:
Heart attack: 40%-65%
Parkinson’s disease: 40%
Multiple sclerosis: 40%
I've seen various estimates as to the rate of depression for people with fibromyalgia, but they tend to range between 20 – 30%, about the same as for cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthr...
I don't want the title to mislead you. There's no foolproof way to prevent all pain when you have fibromyalgia. But understanding how the FM pain cycle works can enable you to lessen the pain much of the time and even prevent some pain altogether. The first thing we need to understand is that people with fibromyalgia have a problem processing pain correctly. Normally, pain is supposed to be an alert to tell you something is wrong that needs to be tended to. If you cut yourself, the pain tells you to stop the bleeding and apply an antispetic. Once the wound is treated and begins to heal, the pain lessens and soon goes away altogether – unless you have fibromyalgia. Understanding the Pain Cycle With fibromyalgia, instead of gradually easing the pain, the central nervous system essentially turns up the volume. What should be a mild, localized, short-term pain becomes a stronger, widespread, long-term pain. ...
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