Life stresses and anxiety...could this be a cause for our fibromyalgia?

Alakazou

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Joined
Jun 20, 2020
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3
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DX FIBRO
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03/2018
Country
CA
State
BC
Hello everyone,

I don't know if this has been covered before, but I would be interested in getting some feedback from you if you think that you can relate.

Have any of you been diagnosed with fibromyalgia after going through some major life stresses on a continued basis such as a toxic relationship, stress related to work, family and financial issues, or the loss of a/many loved ones over a short period of time? Have you experienced a combination of those life stressors to a point where you have felt emotionally and physically drained, lost motivation, questioned your sanity, felt like crying all the time, questioned your worth, felt hopeless, had dark thoughts, felt numb, etc

I strongly believe that these life stressors have a huge impact on one's mental and physical health after a prolonged period of time and wonder if looking at it from that perspective and making changes in our life, changing our mindset, taking better care of our own mental and physical well-being before putting anyone else first can be a step in the right direction.

When your emotions get the best of us and when we are always in our head questionning, analyzing and trying to make sense of things. When we are a people pleasers and a givers, we don't tend to put ourselves first and our needs are not always met.

Do any of you relate to what I am talking about and can you relate those experiences to your symptoms of fibromyalgia?

I would appreciate some feedback.

Thank you for reading,

D.
 

sunkacola

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Dec 2, 2016
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1,341
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DX FIBRO
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Uni
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Somewhere
Hi Alakazou, Yes to all of that. I have experienced traumatic events and events in toxic relationships that have resulted in pain coming down on me like a ton of rocks, and it is clear to me that there is a direct and causational relationship between those things, because it has happened enough that it is not merely coincidence.

It's very hard for people who are people pleasers, for sure. I am not a people pleaser, but in an intimate relationship I turn into one and it has been to my detriment almost every time. Ultimately I have realized that for my own mental and physical health I have to keep all toxic relationships, even relatively mild ones, out of my life and I sever ties with anyone who is in that category.

I have experienced all of the things you mention in your post. You are not alone. I think almost everyone with fibro suffers physically, probably a lot more than those without fibro, from toxic stress, or stress of any kind.

I have realized that to put my own well being first is not a bad thing. If I don't, I won't be of any use to anyone else either. I will go as far as I possibly can for a friend, every time, but true friends understand when you need to pull back for your own good. The only individuals whose welfare I put ahead of my own are my companion animals. :)
 

Jemima

Senior member
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
217
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
11/2019
Country
PT
Hi Alakazou,

My understanding is that trauma - both physical and psychological - has been identified as a common trigger in Fibromyalgia. In my case - yes, I can absolutely relate! For me, a gradually building stack over the years of chronic depression, an eating disorder, sexual assault, multiple bereavements, spinal injury, an abusive relationship, a car accident, and losing our home in a wildfire accumulated towards the point of me developing fully blown Fibro. Although, I believe my symptoms began on a lesser scale many years earlier, about halfway through that list! I can empathize with all of the feelings you describe above, and developing new strategies for managing my mental health has been vital for getting my symptoms at least a little in check. Forging positive relationships and upping my self-care game has also been key. Certainly, many others seem to have similar stories of trauma in some form or another.

I often wonder if we are born with a predisposition for this condition, or if some form of prolonged/extreme stress might trigger fibro for anyone - or if a combination of the two is what ultimately lands us here. If I can ask, (and there's no need to answer!) am I right in assuming you're describing your own experiences, and if so, how are you doing now? I'd be really curious to hear if you reach any conclusions in your own investigations!
 

sunkacola

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1,341
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DX FIBRO
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00/0000
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Uni
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Somewhere
I often wonder if we are born with a predisposition for this condition, or if some form of prolonged/extreme stress might trigger fibro for anyone - or if a combination of the two is what ultimately lands us here. If I can ask, (and there's no need to answer!) am I right in assuming you're describing your own experiences, and if so, how are you doing now? I'd be really curious to hear if you reach any conclusions in your own investigations!
I think any of the above could be true. Who knows about the genetic component - that has not been researched at all. But I can guarantee that prolonged stress is very unhealthy physically as well as mentally, and this has been proven many times in the scientific community that does such research. It just makes sense, too.

I know that I attribute a large part of the reason I have fibro to the fact that I have been through multiple traumas and long term stress situations in my life, which started when I was a child. Although I did not develop fibro until later in my life, I think all of those things accumulated to cause it to happen.
The people who research these things say that the worst kind of stress for a person's mental and physical health is the kind that goes on and on, perhaps months or even for years, and the individual is powerless to change it or remove themselves from it. Ultimately that kind of stress will manifest in the body as pain and/or illness, and/or in the mind as mental disturbances. I have all of those. somehow, I don't think I would have developed them if I had not had a rough life starting very young.

Of course, severe trauma can come from one event, not only from prolonged situations.

I don't know if they have done any studies on returning combat soldiers who have PTSD, to determine what percentage of them also have chronic physical health conditions such as fibro. If they have, I bet it's a very high percentage.
 

Jemima

Senior member
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
217
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
11/2019
Country
PT
I don't know if they have done any studies on returning combat soldiers who have PTSD, to determine what percentage of them also have chronic physical health conditions such as fibro. If they have, I bet it's a very high percentage.
I have the feeling that I read about a study exactly like that, and there was indeed a correlation with chronic pain. ...just Googled it - there's loads - not examining Fibro per se, but unexplained chronic pain in soldiers with PTSD.
 

sunkacola

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I have the feeling that I read about a study exactly like that, and there was indeed a correlation with chronic pain. ...just Googled it - there's loads - not examining Fibro per se, but unexplained chronic pain in soldiers with PTSD.
Not surprising. Don't know why I didn't think to Google it myself. :)
 

Dusty1957

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Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
38
Reason
DX CP
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
State
WI
Hello everyone,

I don't know if this has been covered before, but I would be interested in getting some feedback from you if you think that you can relate.

Have any of you been diagnosed with fibromyalgia after going through some major life stresses on a continued basis such as a toxic relationship, stress related to work, family and financial issues, or the loss of a/many loved ones over a short period of time? Have you experienced a combination of those life stressors to a point where you have felt emotionally and physically drained, lost motivation, questioned your sanity, felt like crying all the time, questioned your worth, felt hopeless, had dark thoughts, felt numb, etc

I strongly believe that these life stressors have a huge impact on one's mental and physical health after a prolonged period of time and wonder if looking at it from that perspective and making changes in our life, changing our mindset, taking better care of our own mental and physical well-being before putting anyone else first can be a step in the right direction.

When your emotions get the best of us and when we are always in our head questionning, analyzing and trying to make sense of things. When we are a people pleasers and a givers, we don't tend to put ourselves first and our needs are not always met.

Do any of you relate to what I am talking about and can you relate those experiences to your symptoms of fibromyalgia?

I would appreciate some feedback.

Thank you for reading,

D.
I can only express this for myself, hoping it will help someone else. I moved to the 'tundra' after living in sunny Georgia. I now live in Wisconsin and hate it. I was having lots of knee problems, had a knee replacement. I believe that helped 'it' along as now I have no use for my right leg. That is not all of it. I believe the chemicals in my brain were off and medicines a doctor gave me were the wrong mix (ended me in hospital twice). Then besides this, something tragic did happen and I had not had a panic attack in 15 years until the last hospital trip. Now I have them all of the time. I have done hundreds of hours on research and can only know what all this did to me. I mainly believe it was physical, but the mental part will always play a part. It seems as if the doctor I had was just giving me wrong medicine together. Later, I found out he was and I could have died. Emotions will play a part in my sickness, so I found ways to cope which was not easy. It is like all the electrical wiring in my body was 'shorting out'. In the winter here, as old as I am I could not do activities either. I have always been health concerned and eat decent. I really don't like doctors or hospitals anymore and I worked in a hospital for 8 yrs and also was a pharmacy technician. I blame myself for not questioning my medicine more. For me, it is a long road back and I get sad at times. That is when the coping comes in. Did you know our medicines come from China and Northern India? Years ago when I took medicine (not often either), they seemed to work better.
 

Gran Jan

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Dec 2, 2020
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UK
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SY
Hi. I can identify with all this. I haven't been diagnosed with Fibro but have been sure for some years that is what is causing all my pain, fatigue, restless leg and allodynia. I did have loads of tests some years ago which showed nothing. The rheumatologist said she didn't think it was fibro and that was the end of that.
I'm a people pleaser and have lived with stress from being very young.
My GP referred me for CBT and that was the best thing ever. I was taught to hypnotise myself and that is so useful. I can control my pain to a large extent and my stress. I can take myself away to my safe place simply by breathing in the correct way and closing my eyes. This is the best thing I have ever learned in my life. It has certainly helped me and I'm sure others could also benefit from this treatment.
Love to all
Jan
 

Jemima

Senior member
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
217
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
11/2019
Country
PT
I blame myself for not questioning my medicine more. For me, it is a long road back and I get sad at times.
That all sounds incredibly traumatic, Dusty, and it shows your immense strength that you've found ways to cope and self-manage. Please try not to add self blame to everything you're dealing with - it is truly not your fault that this happened to you.
 

Dusty1957

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Dec 26, 2020
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WI
I have the feeling that I read about a study exactly like that, and there was indeed a correlation with chronic pain. ...just Googled it - there's loads - not examining Fibro per se, but unexplained chronic pain in soldiers with PTSD.
God bless those soldiers who have PTSD. I have it but they went thru so much. That would be just a part of it. My brother in law was in Viet Nam in the war and in the end he got Agent Orange and God love him, shot himself in the heart at Fort Lauderdale Beach Florida. I loved him like my own brothers. There are many factors in this horrible Fibro, physical and mental.
 

Dusty1957

Active member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
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WI
God bless those soldiers who have PTSD. I have it but they went thru so much. That would be just a part of it. My brother in law was in Viet Nam in the war and in the end he got Agent Orange and God love him, shot himself in the heart at Fort Lauderdale Beach Florida. I loved him like my own brothers. There are many factors in this horrible Fibro, physical and mental.
 

Jemima

Senior member
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
217
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
11/2019
Country
PT
God bless those soldiers who have PTSD. I have it but they went thru so much. That would be just a part of it. My brother in law was in Viet Nam in the war and in the end he got Agent Orange and God love him, shot himself in the heart at Fort Lauderdale Beach Florida. I loved him like my own brothers. There are many factors in this horrible Fibro, physical and mental.
That's incredibly sad, Dusty. I'm so sorry for your loss.
 

Sabina

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
16
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
09/2010
Country
US
State
IL
Yes, I definitely developed Fibromyalgia after an extremely stressful time in my like. However, I did have the Epstein Barr virus already for several years first & have read that these 2 health issues can be related to each other. My sister suffers from both also.

Always remember that you can manage this illness. I have managed both for over 30 years. It's not fun, but it's not fatal. You can live a good life in spite of it. 🧡
 

Little Debbie

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
14
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
05/2019
Country
US
State
GA
If you’ve experienced trauma & have symptoms of pain, etc please get this book. Proof trauma changes the brain. I’m just in beginning stages of overcoming it after 1st trauma 40 years ago. I was diagnosed with fibro, autoimmune spectrum, immunodeficiency. “The Body Keeps The Score”, still reading it. I’m blessed to have an amazing therapist who’s a disabled army vet although you would never know by looking at her - my inspiration & hero along with my young son who is also a disabled army vet. Love to all. Take care of you! From Pretty Woman, my fav movie
 

djhsix

Active member
Joined
Dec 11, 2020
Messages
37
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
12/2020
Country
US
State
WA
If you’ve experienced trauma & have symptoms of pain, etc please get this book. Proof trauma changes the brain. I’m just in beginning stages of overcoming it after 1st trauma 40 years ago. I was diagnosed with fibro, autoimmune spectrum, immunodeficiency. “The Body Keeps The Score”, still reading it. I’m blessed to have an amazing therapist who’s a disabled army vet although you would never know by looking at her - my inspiration & hero along with my young son who is also a disabled army vet. Love to all. Take care of you! From Pretty Woman, my fav movie
Adding this book to my list. Thanks.

I just started reading Gabor Mate's When The Body Says No. He also posits that childhood trauma plays a major role in illness. It's too early in the morning to add much more. :sleep:
 
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