Emotional effect

sunkacola

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One thing I think a lot of people have difficulty understanding is how seriously negative emotional experiences can affect those of us with fibromyalgia. I strongly suspect this is true for people with different forms of chronic pain, but it is certainly true for many of us with fibromyalgia.

Case in point, yesterday morning my beloved dog was attacked by another dog. The other dog belongs to a very close friend of mine, and my dog was not badly injured even though the other dog is about 4 times my dog's size. I pulled my back rather badly by grabbing and picking the other dog up off my dog, and my dog has a bit of a sore shoulder, but basically it was a relatively minor event all around, only terrifying for several seconds, and my friend and I are working through how to prevent this happening again. It was not the fault of either dog; her dog is a good dog, it was a misunderstanding that got out of control.

But in all of that I am the one with the largest physical result. Not only to my back, but by the end of the day yesterday there was nothing in my entire body that did not register pretty high on the pain scale. The event was traumatic, even though it did not end in tragedy by any stretch, simply because I was so terrified my very important dog was being injured. All that adrenaline which allowed me to pick the other dog up went into my whole body and every muscle was tense for hours afterward. Even today, I am still experiencing the physical results of that. My dog is actually fine, and I'm still in a lot of pain throughout my body.

This is not something most people who have not experienced it can really grasp. It's hard to believe. I am not sure I would truly believe it if I did not experience it myself. It sounds purely psychological: just relax and be glad that everything is basically OK, and you'll be fine. But my body doesn't do that even when my brain is satisfied that there's nothing more to be upset about, and I am no longer emotionally affected by the event and am completely calmed down.

Maybe this kind of thing contributes to people thinking that fibro is "all in our heads", who knows. But I can feel relaxed and resolved mentally and emotionally about something that has happened, while my body continues to produce serious pain. Even though my muscles are now relaxed and normal again today, the pain remains. I wish I could find a way to shut that physical reaction down once the emotional reaction is calmed down.

I bet many of you here have experienced something similar to this.
 
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Oh that must have been quite stressful, no wonder you have been hurting so much. Quite upsetting when it's our pets but I'm glad to hear that things have calmed down. Unfortunately it can happen with dogs sometimes.

It is worrying what would happen if we had to act quickly as we'll always be worse off. It's an awful shock to the system. There's a horrible hangover from the upset and a painful flare up. I tend to also get a feeling as though my nerves have been pranged.
 
Yes, every time something stressfull/upsetting happens in my life it flaires my fibro up (it can be really painfull for days after) there's something in the body called cell memory (I wonder if this has something to do with this type of thing) also I can go down into a really deep slump after certain types situations/people, I've thought for a while that our nervous/limbic systems might be a bit different? So it makes sense how it's effected after fligh/flight response (going into mama mode to protect fur baby) and yes it's been an experience for a while that "some" people think fibro isn't real or it's just imaginary, or you're making up, which is sad because there are are a fair few non visible disibilies, (if someone says they have arthiris it's never really put into question,) I've had to learn that people have different perceptions and thoughts on things ( and there will still be people around who will think there's no such thing, you can't do much about those) I guess you could call it a kind of trigger when the fibro pain gets worse made by an event or person (I actually might start wearing fibro tshirts when our weather gets warmer, I considered autism ones but with so many predatory people around I'll knock that for now πŸ’›πŸ•πŸ’›
 
Hi @sunkacola ,

To read your post, that makes sense. I don't actually get the 'pain', (although I'm thinking I may but it's not actually registering as pain, but rather as dull aches and fatigue) , but I am very similar.

I've been that way all my life, and it's always been lumped with "bad nerves"/ depression. I still get that after effect, and I think I'm pretty much not depressed any more (thanks a lot to understanding fibro more), and what you wrote really makes sense to me.

One thing I think a lot of people have difficulty understanding is how seriously negative emotional experiences can affect those of us with fibromyalgia.
For me, negative triggers can range from comments through to similar to yours, but depending how I'm feeling at the time, all can leave me drained totally, and recovery can be hours or days, or longer. There seems, for me, no set pattern that I am finding yet, but I am still learning a lot about what is and isn't fibro related, and how to prevent onslaughts.... Ahhh!!!! That's the tricky one. ;)

Appeasing the gremlins is proving to be challenging indeed !!! :giggle::giggle::giggle:πŸ‰πŸ‰πŸ‰

Take care everyone, and wishing you all a great New Year πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€—
 
I hope that you are not so bad at the moment @sunkacola, it can feel like our nervous systems are on a hair trigger. Mention of fight or flight in the thread reminds me that in a lifetime of bottling things up I "freeze up" with stress. It might be partly why speech can be difficult sometimes. I'm hoping a better sleep routine and breathing exercise can have a therapeutic effect on the nervous system. It's difficult for sufferers to begin with as we're already comprised only for triggers / stress to knock us down.
 
it can feel like our nervous systems are on a hair trigger
@Badger You are not kidding !!!!

I just tried to put that quote in, no idea what button I hit, and the emails and files I had open were suddenly on here, and it's been a frantic few minutes figuring how to delete that off here.

I'm not friends with IT, I really am not 😁 😁 😁 😁 Now to settle the up-paced heart and breathing....all's good, we got it sorted. If I really couldn't sort it, I'd call my daughter, but that wouldn't be for hours, as it's just gone midnight here.
 
I completely understand what you are saying and experience largely the same thing. I have become so sensitive to even a tiny bit of stress or negativity (I immediately tear up when watching the news about Ukraine and Gaza) and my physical pain reaction is almost immediate. I do everything I can to limit my exposure to anything stressful, but being someone who likes to be informed on all of the issues and supportive that is rather difficult. Being aware that it has this kind of impact I tell myself to just relax, it's the illness, not real, even though it feels very real. Sometimes that actually helps (or perhaps it's just fibromyalgia being quixotic). Anyway, I hope your stress in future is very limited and you have a better year ahead.
 
@Badger You are not kidding !!!!

I just tried to put that quote in, no idea what button I hit, and the emails and files I had open were suddenly on here, and it's been a frantic few minutes figuring how to delete that off here.

I'm not friends with IT, I really am not 😁 😁 😁 😁 Now to settle the up-paced heart and breathing....all's good, we got it sorted. If I really couldn't sort it, I'd call my daughter, but that wouldn't be for hours, as it's just gone midnight here.
Easy done with IT, I'm not certain when it comes to multi quote while using mobile browser, glad to hear that you got it sorted.
 
You are all so right on. I agree that no one who doesn't experience this can't grasp the impact this can have. It's gotten worse and just a stressful afternoon can trigger alot of pain. What's sad is that I also get stressed so easily now over things that never bothered me before. It's sometimes just too much. Thank you all for your posts. I needed that validation today.
 
@doni
What's sad is that I also get stressed so easily now over things that never bothered me before.
Hi there, I have noticed that also. A lot of movies or shows I used to like are now too triggering, and so I am sticking with the lighter hearted ones.

At times I can only watch, not using my hands (or brain) too much, so I do watch a lot of movies at times. I cannot handle movies where animals or main characters die, even My Girl is a no go, and Lassie, as the fellows little dog dies. I just don't go there any more.

News, well, I virtually never watch that at all.
 
Hiya,

I consider myself to be an Empath. I was training to become a Counsellor/ Psychotherapist when Fibromyalgia got to me too much I had to give up the training.

Whenever I am faced with fear/upset, I go into fight/flight mode and it gives me such painful back spasms that I can't stand up.

I have collapsed twice when this Δ₯as happened.
Once was due to domestic abuse. And another time I was faced with
harrrassment from a neighbour πŸ™‚β€β†•οΈ
The GP gave me anxiety medication which I've yet to see work?

It gives me unbearable back ache for weeks after. I'm sure this is all Fibromyalgia related.
Fight or flight mode triggers an overload of adrenaline in the nervous system...?
 
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