“For so long the doc had told me I was depressed and I said, ‘Well I’m in pain all the time, of course I’m depressed.” – Fibromyalgia sufferer
Fibromyalgia and depression often go hand in hand. Fibromyalgia can be a very painful, lonely and frustrating disease. Lack of understanding from the medical community or from the people around you can lead to an even greater sense of isolation and despair. Dealing with the effects of depression can make it harder to deal with your illness. Although studies show that depression does not increase the severity of Fibromyalgia symptoms, depression is more likely to cause behavioral changes that could affect your symptoms and treatment.
Do emotional problems cause Fibromyalgia?
At the Fibromyalgia & Fatigue Centers (FFC), many of our patients have dealt with doctors who think Fibromyalgia is caused by emotional problems. While researchers and specialists in this field are making great strides to educate people, many healthcare professionals still think that Fibromyalgia and other conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are manifestations of psychological problems, not physical problems.
High levels of stress can trigger the onset of Fibromyalgia. People who struggle with this illness often receive diagnoses of depression and prescriptions for anti-depressants or mood altering medications from healthcare professionals. While these treatments temporarily mask the symptoms of Fibromyalgia; they do not lead to a long-term solution.
In a majority of cases, once we address the underlying physiological issues – sleep, pain, hormone imbalances and chronic underlying infections to name a few – we see our patients’ overall outlook and sense of wellbeing improve dramatically. Many are able to gradually discontinue use of antidepressants. We see true clinical depression infrequently. But for those patients who suffer clinical depression, antidepressants would be appropriate in conjunction with our clinical treatment.
How you can treat your depression and your Fibromyalgia
Many times patients are put on anti-depressants,but anti-depressants alone rarely solve the problem. The solution is to find a healthcare provider who understands the complexities of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and acknowledges that they are indeed and very much based in your body, not your head. Here is the story of one of our patients, Doree:
“Finally, after two years of doctor visits and blood work that always came back normal, a doctor said I had Fibromyalgia. I was given some literature on the illness and some pain killers along with some anti-depressants and was sent on my way (see ya in six months!).”
Despite the drugs, Doree was still in pain and still not seeing improvement.
At Fibromyalgia & Fatigue Centers, we offer a holistic treatment program that looks at all the causes. Getting a thorough and correct diagnosis for your Unrelenting Fatigue is the first step in our treatment plan. Once appropriate treatment is underway, our patients see improvements in their Fibromyalgia and in their depression.
“My pain and stiffness has started to decrease and my inflammation is gone. I can put my shoes and socks on again, instead of wearing my slippers. I am starting to sleep again and laugh and play with my husband and children. My depression has lifted along with the brain fog.” – Doree.
Our combination of a comprehensive, holistic, balanced approach and compassionate care leads to better results for our patients suffering from chronic Fibromyalgia.