Living With Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition which causes widespread pain throughout the body, making it difficult for the sufferer to complete common, everyday tasks. The constant pain that this condition causes also results in extreme fatigue. As well as making physical activities extremely difficult fibromyalgia can also have a negative impact on a person’s mental well being. Given the difficulty of day to day living, sufferers often experience bouts of marked anxiety and depression.
The relationship between fibromyalgia and depression
The pain and fatigue caused by fibromyalgia often leads to decreased activity and social withdrawal, leading, in turn to the development of deep depression and it is a symptoms of fibromyalgia. A number of scientists maintain that there is a biological reason for fibromyalgia. They hold that the condition is caused by the same chemical imbalance in the brain which is responsible for clinical depression.
To illustrate: severe mental illnesses, (including anxiety disorders and depression) are caused, according to biological studies, by an insufficient amount of serotonin in the brain. Several studies have shown that individuals who suffer from fibromyalgia also produce less serotonin than healthy people. This biological link between depression and fibromyalgia may help explain why the two conditions are often comorbid.
Given the apparent link with depression, some scientists have found that the prescription of antidepressants can help alleviate some of fibromyalgia’s more debilitating symptoms, easing pain and making life more manageable. As well as helping to relieve some forms of fibromyalgia pain, antidepressants are also thought to help improve an individual’s quality of sleep.
One of the antidepressants taken most frequently by fibromyalgia suffers is 5-HTP, a chemical, derived from a protein, which is used to treat a variety of related disorders, from depression and anxiety, to fibromyalgia and ADHD.
Living a full life in the face of depression and fibromyalgia
Living with constant pain and fatigue is incredibly lonely, you need an effective fibromyalgia treatment. Above and beyond the biological correlation between depression and fibromyalgia, it is easy to see why an individual in chronic pain would feel sad and deflated. Though the situation may seem dire, there are several things you can do to keep your fibromyalgia symptoms in check. Below, we list a number of key tips for living with fibromyalgia.
Ease yourself into exercise
Exercise is often the last thing you want to do when you’re in extreme pain, but, gentle workout routines can help reduce pain throughout the body. Exercise also releases feel-good endorphins, which have a positive impact on your overall mood.
Consider taking prescription medication
Discuss with your doctor, GP or healthcare provider the possibility (and efficacy) of taking antidepressants to treat your fibromyalgia. An increased dose of serotonin may help alleviate your hyper-sensitivity to pain.
Talk to someone
If your symptoms are causing extreme personal anguish, or you suspect that you are suffering from severe depression, it is vital that you talk to someone. Whilst talking to your friends is therapeutic, you can also benefit from discussions with a psychiatrist or a psychologist. A qualified therapist can help you understand, and make sense of, your emotions whilst guiding you towards a healthier and happier lifestyle.