For some patients exersize and OTC analgesics work. Others however are more severe thus needing stronger medications. The pain is real so methods such as stretching, yoga, massage, and so forth can help little. Living with chronic pain everyday with no resolve in sight can very much lead to depression and anxiety. Patient's quality of life are robbed. Over time their world becomes smaller and smaller, losing friends and family, often because people are ill equipped to deal with a chronically sick loved one. Depression is a tough one. It can be extremely difficult to treat. Like FM, what works for one person may not work for others. It requires patience, trying out different medications and/or therapists. To find a right therapists that a patient feels 'safe' with can be challenging. Depending on the health insurance a patient has, he/she may not always get the same therapist for each appointment hence leading to a sense of futility. A bond must be built between therapist and patient which requires time. As well, not to be disrespectful, a depressed patient adopts 'faulty thinking', making it hard to communicate with them. (I speak from experience as I've suffered severe depression in the past). When depressed we can be convinced no one understands us, no one listens to us, no one cares, when in fact people may very well care but their hands are tied on how to help. End of day, the depressed are the ones who can decide if treatment will take place, regardless what that treatment option is. Sadly, some choose nothing because of past negative experiences with medication and/or therapists. I completely understand this frustration. It is too bad though as the result is an endless vortex of sadness, futility and at times loneliness which only exacerbates their condition.
So, to help FM sufferers with depression, you need to understand ALL the aspects of what this condition does to people and how it impacts their life. This requires sympathy or empathy. It requires a listening ear. It requires tact.
I'm suffering from major depressive disorder and panic disorder , and some ptsd on top of fibromyalgia , although I believe that what work for me might not work for other people. However, in my case what I need from the people who wish to help me would be not to push me to do things their way but rather present me with the options with no pressure. Psychologically I often referring to myself in 2 separated sections , one is my conscious, and other is my subconscious. Cause unlike before fibromyalgia most people could easily resolve their problem by talking it out with their therapist, or other people. Now with fibromyalgia I can only speak and resolve on my concious behalf while my subconscious is in the lala land elsewhere. As if it's on the different plane of existence yet it has fully control of my body. Sounds crazy like a horror flick but it's true. Frustration are the downward spiral to the dark pit of depression and as equally scary. Feeling unsafe can make my body go crazy with physically stresses. It is a nightmare that keep on giving. Since there is no real actual way out , the best that anyone can do is to create a comfort zone. Learn the body language, read facial expressions and habits. You can lead to the right direction but be smooth about it. Healthy food are very important to fibro diet. Not just any healthy food but food that meet the need of vitamin and mineral that I lack like right now is my bone health. Supplement adding , hot or cold treatment can be very helpful . Lots of people like hot but lately I found cold press can be good for inflammatory pains too cause sometime my skin felt like it's on fire in some spot. As far as drugs , it's tough to say which would work best cause every fibro came from different backgrounds. I don't do well on the drugs department so I goes for herbal remedies and supplements at the moment till I can find the right drug for me cause side effects can be even worse sometimes.
I notice that you list your interest as "other", rather than saying that you have fibromyalgia yourself.
I want to know, as do others, why you are here and what you hope to accomplish by posting here.
If you tell us, it will help us to answer your questions.
But the main thing is that you have come here and made a lot of assumptions about people. An example of this is when you exhorted me to "try to accept your condition" without knowing a thing about me or how well I have or have not accepted it.
Your heart may be in the right place, but often your suggestions have been way off base because, as it seems to me anyway, you just popped off something that sounded good to you without knowing anything about the person you were addressing or what their issues were or what they had already tried and why. This is not helpful.
If you genuinely want to help someone who has fibromyalgia/chronic pain or fatigue/depression or any of those things that, apparently, you do not have, then you need to stop making assumptions about people, and instead hold off on suggesting anything until you have a more clear understanding of the person you are addressing, whoever it may be, here or in person. Don't just tell people what to do. Start by listening.
Are you a mental health practitioner or medical doctor? I think it is important for psychologists/psychiatrists/therapists working with patients with fibro to have a good understanding of the disease and how it can affect out mental health.
Being in pain, frustrated about not being able to do things, feeling useless, helpless, hopeless: you'd better believe it can throw some of us into depression. A couple years ago, I started having more severe anxiety and panic attacks, and saw a CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) specialist. Instead of focusing on the past and things we can't control, CBT is more concerned with teaching practical coping skills to deal with anxiety when it arises. A lot if it is mindfulness meditation and paying attention to our reactions to things. It was through that process that I realised my panic attacks tended to happen as my body's overreaction to physical symptoms I was having (pain, etc). I only saw the therapist for a few months, but that bit of training has helped a lot in keeping myself from spiraling into panic when my pain is bad (otherwise, pain=panic=more pain=more panic, etc).
Being on Cymbalta the past couple months my anxiety has improved a lot, but whenever I have a bad day the depression creeps back. Not so much panic as resignation and fear. Part of that is a natural reaction, another symptom of our condition.
So, if you are here to learn how to better help patients with fibro and depression or anxiety, or just how to support a loved-one or friend, I agree with sunkola. Spend some time reading and listening. Get an idea of what we're actually going through physically and mentally, what has helped or hindered us, and understand that everyone is different.
I have yet to meet anyone, licensed or otherwise who can sincerely empathize with the physical, psychological and emotional effects of living with fibromyalgia unless they too, experience and live it. Most persons with Fibromyalgia have other issues, either regarding their physical or mental health and need to be treated as a whole. To address the depression alone is an isolated topic. Then one must add in side-effects from medications and how to juggle those with somehow maintaining a minute sense of self worth, social and familial acceptance and most importantly self-acceptance and ideally love. There are no simple solutions despite simplicity being key to our maintaining a reasonably manageable daily existence without crawling into the fetal position and pulling blankets up over ir heads. A sibling taught me a technique aside from the "Mindfulness" practice I try and fail and try and fail repeatedly. It stems from Buddhist teachings. A Lama wrote about three important words in crisis. What? Identify. Why? What is happening? What do I feel? And. What can I do about it. Identify the feeling. Then act accordingly. Example: (stress varies individual to individual) I feel overwhelmed and subsequently the "brain fog" burrows more deeply. What makes me overwhelmed? Too much social interaction. Why? Because I have physical, mental and emotional issues. What can I do? Socialize less, rest, retreat. I hope this helps you and anyone who has fallen into the fibro rut that many of us can relate to. Peace from Andrea in Sweden