6 Celebrities With Fibromyalgia You May Not Know About


Janeane Garofalo

Janeane is a well-known actress and comedian. She has appeared in numerous movies, TV shows, and stand-up comedy shows. Her credits include the Larry Sanders show, SNL, Seinfeld, The West Wing, and the Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce.

Janeane is known for her stinging wit and self-deprecating comedy. She has mentioned living with depression and anxiety as well as fibromyalgia. She embodies the proverb that laughter is the best medicine.

For example, in one standup show, Janeane quipped that, after being prescribed an antidepressant to manage fibromyalgia, she realized “I had no idea I was chronically dissatisfied.”

Rosie Hamlin

Rosie Hamlin was a singer-songwriter, who headlined the band Rosie and the Originals. Their song Angel Baby became a massive hit in 1960 when Rosie was only 16. She was the first Latino to be honored by the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.

Later in life, she focused on raising funds for programs supporting Latino causes and benefits for children. Rosie struggled with pacing to manage her fibromyalgia fatigue.

“I’ve always been extremely energetic and very, very busy. It’s taken me a couple of years now to have to deal with fibromyalgia,  and have to re-think my life, re-organize and realize – just having to realize that I’m so limited now. I don’t like it, but I have to deal with it.”

She experienced back pain, cognitive issues, light, and sound sensitivity, burning sensations and other challenging fibromyalgia symptoms.

“I just couldn’t get it into my head that you could hurt so badly in one area, and then three or four hours later hurt someplace else. That’s what made me really think I was losing my mind.”

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Eventually, it became too difficult for Rosie to continue performing at concerts, which she relied financially on, causing her to have trouble affording her medical care. Rosie turned her creative energy to oil painting and gardening, to help manage some of the anxiety she experienced as a result of living with fibromyalgia.

Sadly, she passed away in 2017 at the age of 71.

AJ Langer

AJ Langer is best known for her role as Rayanne, best friend to Claire Danes’ character in the 1990s show My So-Called Life. She developed fibromyalgia in her early teens, and the pain pushed her from sports into acting. At the time, AJ was a tomboy who played on an all-boys baseball team. At the age of 14, she started experiencing chronic pain.

Although AJ continued acting for the next six years in different roles, her symptoms continued to develop. She describes experiencing pain “Almost everywhere – my back, neck, hips and other body parts. It was often excruciating and debilitating, and made being a normal kid who participated in school sports – not to mention just walking – difficult.”

Unfortunately, she experienced skepticism and disbelief from medical professionals as she searched for a diagnosis.

“At one visit, I heard a doctor tell my mother I was faking it. Even though I had so many classic fibromyalgia symptoms, no one ever mentioned or considered treating me for it.”

Eventually, her symptoms became too severe to continue acting, and she was bedridden for a year.

AJ ultimately put together a new health team, including alternative practitioners like acupuncturists and massage therapists to treat her fibromyalgia. She learned everything she could about fibromyalgia and began paying attention to her body and pain triggers.

Meditation helps her cope with the mental aspect of living with pain. Learning from her mom who is also fibromyalgia suffer, AJ focuses on enjoying her life and moving forward.

AJ is now a modern-day Cinderella, who married an English Earl and has two children. She splits her time between the English countryside and LA, and helps to oversee renovations on her husband’s family castle!

Resources

Smashing Interviews (Mary McDonough Interview: ‘The Waltons’ Star Pens Memoir: ‘Lessons from the Mountain’)

Vogue (Lady Gaga Opens Up About A Star Is Born, MeToo, and a Decade in Pop)

The Boston Globe (Garofalo directs stinging wit towards herself)

Everyday Health (Actress A.J. Langer: How Fibromyalgia Affects My Life)

HotPress (World Exclusive: The Comeback Kid – Sinead O’Connor announces her comeback)

Fibromyalgia Awareness Magazine (Dec. 2004 Rosie Hamlin)

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