Fibromyalgia and Depression

New Life OutlookNew Life Outlook Moderator
edited July 2014 in Risks
imageFibromyalgia and Depression - New Life Outlook | Fibromyalgia

Although the severe sadness and emptiness of depression can be difficult to handle, the tension, worry and nervousness that distinguish an anxiety disorder can be just as damaging for fibromyalgia patients.

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  • I have been dealing with Fibromyalgia for many years. The pain, the exhaustion, the inability to do what I used to is the reason for my depression. This in turn feeds my anxiety and PTSD. Prior to this, I was a happy, self-sufficient, self-reliant, independent, can-do, jack-of-all-trades outdoor activity Type A gal who got things done! I am a certified yoga instructor (but cannot teach at this time) and student of Tai Chi and Qi-Gong. In dealing with the subsequent depression, I find Meditation (passive and gently active), Gentle (or chair) Yoga (Iyengar and Kripalu), the slow focused movement of Tai Chi and the deep breathing and slow movements of Qi Gong are very calming and beneficial in dealing with the stresses of not only the symptoms of FM, but the mis-perceptions/understanding of family, friends, employers co-workers and medical providers. These, coupled with counseling, hep me deal with the grief of the loss of who I was, the anger of it happening to me, the forced dependence on others for assistance in basic things, the loss of income, and in trying to deal with the resentment of who I have to be now because of FM. The less drugs your body has to deal with, the better as even side effects can exacerbate FM's symptoms. Also, having a trusted, non-judgemental person who simply Listens is also a Big Help (although hard to find as most people want to give "advice/fix".) A good support system is critical to combat Depression and the isolation that creeps into your life due to pain and other symptoms. Learning to delegate house work, cooking, laundry, etc to Supportive and Understanding Family/Spouse/Friends is also Critical. ALL of these aids need to be addressed as well. Most of us cannot implement these steps on our own.
  • SandyoSandyo Member
    I am dealing with depression, isolation, fatigue, sleepless nights, and of course pain and more pain on a daily basis. On top of FM I have Rheumatiod Arthritis, RA has been in my life much longer than FM. However if it is not FM that is flared up it is the RA. My life has changed so that I'm not the same person I used to be, with this I find myself trying different things physically, mentally, and emotionally to see what helps. No luck yet on finding something that helps. I feel like I'm loosing the battle!
  • BJTBJT Member
    I have FM, RLS, Osteo arthrits, Osteo Penia, Esophygitis, onset of Diabetis, a thyroid that was treated too early and has caused an imbalance that has caused weight gain. Also have a severe milk allergy along with a few other food allergies. I have suffered from anxiety and depression from time to time every since I was told I had FM. I was in denial for a long time and would not take medication for any thing since all I had ever taken was aspirin for migraines [I forgot to list those]. My doctor finally made me see the connection between all my illnesses. I had told him I was not depressed, but if I was it was because no one could tell me why I was in so much pain and I had heard that people who were told they had FM were being given that diagnosis because they couldn't really find out what was wrong with them and it was all in their head. I was not having any part of that and they were not going to give me a bunch of medicine and send me home to feel like a zombie and not be able to work. I was an active person and I had a family depending on me. well, needless to say I have learned a lot since then but that does not mean that I will allow myself to be lead down a path of medications that will debilitate me. The best therapy I've found is aspirin, rest, and something to calm the nerve damage from RLS and neurapathy. I have tried acupuncture and relaxation therapy with success also [just very expensive]. Believe me when I say you are not crazy and you will have some depression and probably some anxiety with FM. Read everything you can about your symptoms and see how many diseases you have may be entertwined. You may be surprised how one brings on the other. also study what illnesses you had as a child such as Mononucleosis and other things of that nature. They may play into your health status too. Well. I can't spell worth anything anymore but I hope you can relate to that too. Memory is better at times but, not great today. I hope maybe something I've said can help in some small way.
  • I suffered with fibromyalgia for about 13 years only taking flexeril at night to help sleep, before I "hit the wall" and started having major depression and anxiety. That was about 10 years ago. I've tried many different therapies--massage, yoga, trigger point injections, physical therapy, vitamins and other supplements, and of course medication therapy. I took cymbalta 60 and then 120 mgs but I gamed a lot of weight (70+ lbs) and it wasn't quite handling my symptoms. Psychiatrist finally suggested adding Abilify to the mix. Within days I was so much better! Hardly any pain, not having suicidal thoughts, it was amazing! That combination, along with ambien for sleep and mirapex for restless leg syndrome, were a good combination for several years. A year ago, I came off the abilify and started topamax to try to get a handle on the weight gain. The topamax caused my stomach to be extremely irritated but I pushed it aside in hopes that I would lose weight. Eventually I felt sick to my stomach every day and felt spacey and was having memory loss. I finally told my psychiatrist and he took me off the topamax. I haven't replaced it yet and am hoping I won't need to. I now use a little tramadol for pain as needed. And I'm back to over eating in the evenings. Also taking omega3, vitamin B complex, vitamin D, magnesium, and potassium. I am able to put all my energies into my full time job and some part time counseling work, but have nothing left for taking care of my home or getting out much for fun. I just want to sleep on the weekends! I need to get out and start walking now that the weather is improved. I keep searching for answers for myself and for the people I work with who have similar issues. Fibromyalgia with or without depression is devastating and we have to be our own best advocate--researching good, reliable sources for information, sometimes educating out providers and demanding treatment even when the provider says that fibromyalgia isn't really a thing. Having these supportive "places" to go online are a big help as long as we take other people's experiences and put them in the back of our minds. Some treatments work for some people but not for others. I didn't have a good experience with lyrica but other people swear by it. I just hope that some new treatments or breakthroughs continue to happen and that insurance doesn't get so out of reach that my treatments become impossible to afford! Even the generic cymbalta is over $200. A month during the high deductible period! Yikes! Well that's my story. Maybe it will help someone else. But one more thing: to those of you who were referred to a psychiatrist for fibromyalgia. They are not saying the pain is in your imagination! It's definitely real! But somehow it's wired similarly to the same things that cause depression and anxiety. If one medication helps both, why not try it? It has been a blessing for me! I've found that other doctors and specialists only want to treat their particular symptoms of interest instead of looking at the whole person. Find someone who cares about your whole self--if that's a psychiatrist or someone else, go for it!
  • lorralorra Member
    I have a question that I hope somebody may be able to address I have a problem with smell. Thongs smell very strong and sometime they make me sick to my stomach I was just diagnosis with fibromyalgia and wondered if anybody else has this problem or should I keep looking for a different reason for these smells Please help
  • I lost my husband 15yrs ago to ALS started feeling this aweful
    Pain in my shoulders. I thought it was from my job.
    It is quite physical. Then it went to my legs. And my
    memory was so bad. I fought my Dr. For yrs over
    This diagnoses. Finally 2 yrs ago I started noticing that
    if I got mad the next day I had a migraine. Wow
    And was unable to function that day. My job is
    high stress, I'm trying deal. Someday I just can't
    talk myself into dealing with it. I've talk to the dr. Nobody
    Really understand I sit and cry cause I know I need
    To go or lose my job. I missed as much as 2 wks
    at a time. Because just bring myself to go.
  • NansejoNansejo Member
    How do I find a dr that treats these issues? I've gone to the dr & been told "I don't believe in that" . I feel like I'm at the end of my rope .... This has been going on a couple of years

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