Fibromyalgia is an incredibly complex disorder that affects your physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, determining cause and effect when it comes to this complex illness can be tricky, but understanding these links has helped us better treat the problem from many different angles.
At Pain Medicine Consultants, our team of pain management specialists has considerable experience helping our patients better manage the chronic pain that stems from fibromyalgia, which can work to alleviate the emotional burden, as well.
Here’s a look at how fibromyalgia and emotional health are inextricably linked and what you can do to improve both.
Casting a wide net
Fibromyalgia affects 3-6 million adults in the United States, with women making up the lion’s share of diagnoses. While there’s still much to be understood about this complex neurological and musculoskeletal problem, including what causes it, we do know that it casts a wide net over your physical and mental health.
To give you a better idea, here’s a look at the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia:
- Widespread musculoskeletal pain
- Cognitive issues, such as concentration and focus (called “fibro fog”)
- Sleep problems
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Bladder issues
These last two side effects are of particular concern, as 20% of those with fibromyalgia report issues with depression and anxiety.
It’s also important to note that the word “symptoms” may not be entirely accurate. What we do know is that many of the problems in the list above occur alongside fibromyalgia, but determining whether one begat the other has been difficult.
Fibromyalgia and your emotional health
While the link between fibromyalgia and mental health has been established, the toll it takes on your emotional health is harder to quantify.
The fact is, that living in constant pain, struggling with fatigue, and not being able to focus can leave you emotionally drained. Many people with fibromyalgia often end up isolating because of their inability to function normally (and happily).
Ultimately, the effort it takes to put on a happy face is simply too great. This doesn’t mean that you necessarily develop a clinical mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety, but the emotional side effects are far from insignificant.
Making matters worse, fibromyalgia can flare in some people who are under great stress or who are bearing a tough emotional burden. In other words, the paths between fibromyalgia and your emotional health may go both ways and are often blurred.
Treating your fibromyalgia for better emotional health
Our goal is to help you better manage your fibromyalgia by reducing your symptoms, which should help greatly with your emotional health. Through pain management, sleep counseling, and lifestyle modifications, we can reduce the impact that fibromyalgia has on your life.
If you suffer from severe fibromyalgia, we offer an innovative, ketamine-based therapy called NeuraxxisMD®, which not only helps with the chronic pain, but treatment-resistant depression, as well.
To get on the road to better physical, mental, and emotional health when you have fibromyalgia, contact one of our locations in Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, or Corte Madera, California, to set up a consultation.