Fibromyalgia and Trauma

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edited October 2014 in Cause

Fibromyalgia article: Fibromyalgia and TraumaFibromyalgia and Trauma

After decades of research, many experts are convinced that there is definitely a connection between fibromyalgia and trauma.

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  • I have often thought about this. I had a severe whiplash case from the top of my neck to the base of my spine. Then, I suffered not one but two heat strokes. All this happened within 2 years of my onset of Fibromyalgia.
  • In 2009 I had a heart attack, requiring 3 stents. Shortly after, I came down with the shingles - and the pain never went away. This was also during a very stressful time in my life. I believe that's why I got fibromyalgia - I've been in pain in varying degrees every since.
  • I am an adult child of an alcoholic who was very abusive both mentally & physically. Then married an asshole who was even worse.. My one doc when he saw my back said usually injures like this occur from a car wreck.. Told him my ex-husband was a car wreck.. But if I think back long & hard I have been in pain since I was way way young.. Cant remember when my joints didnt hurt do to childhood arthritis... I just keep getting up every day & put my big girl panties on & face the world
  • I was in a abusive marriage for 17 years. It was physical and mental abuse. I was severely depressed and scared. Finally I seen the light and got the nerve to leave. Seven years ago I developed back and hip pain that was unexplained. I was working a very physical manufacturing job and the pain got more intense. I had to quite my job because it was unknown what was my diagnosis. Later I was told it was Fibromyalgia. I never thought that the stress from my marriage might have triggered this pain.
  • I was emotionally & physically abused by my parents. Was a nervous child with constant stomach and head aches. At age 36 my uterus ruptured; at age 47 I had an ovarian torsion, the day after my mother died from ovarian cancer. Did not get to her wake or funeral. During her 6 year illness, my youngest daughter was being treated for self injury and eating disorders. I shouldered this alone as my spouse does a great job of either denying the gravity of the situation or just withdraws. Also was under tremendous pressure at a demanding job. Even though I met my goals I was fired. Today I am in bed most of the time as my pain and inability to concentrate are 24/7. I have osteoarthritis in most major joints, interstitial cystitis, IBS, sleep and anxiety disorders, migraine, Parkinsonian syndrome, swelling of the feet & ankles. Not one of the "fibromyalgia meds" on the market do anything to help. Savella increases my anxiety. I am 54 years old and don't know how much longer I can hang on.
  • I think my mother and I were genetically predisposed to having fibromyalgia because other members of our family had elements of the condition like restless leg syndrome and other things that one suffers, but their fibro never developed. Ours did because my father was an alcoholic and we lived in a constant state of hyper-vigilance. We never knew what his condition would be or when he would come in the door. We had a small home early on so I slept in the same bedroom with my parents. I developed problems early and my mother suffered until her death at age 89. I suffer today because, at age 72, I keep running into doctors who don't believe in the illness. That is such a kick in the head, so unbelievable after living with it for so many years. I would love to know how others handle medical professionals who react that way.
  • Mine is an unknown trigger but quite possibly down to 26 years working in very physical and very stressful and having no relief from it at home due to very stressful relationships
  • My fibro symptoms got much worse after I had H1N1, double pneumonia and ARDS (adult respiratory distress syndrome) in 2011. I nearly died from it (was given a 2% chance to live) and was in a coma for 10 days and on a ventilator. I had to re-learn to walk, talk, write, feed myself. I have suffered cognitive and memory issues since then, but have been taking online college courses that seem to be helping a bit. (exercise for the brain maybe?) Every day that I wake up is another chance for a good day and I thank God for each and every one. I also pray for a better treatment plan and a cure to be found for us with this "invisible" disorder.
  • I had a turbulent childhood with abusive father, when they finally split my mum got with my best friends dad. Next bf raped me, next bf alcoholic emotionally abusive. Was depressed from a young age n developed agoraphobia and diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Also have hyperlordosis, disk bulges. Definately thing emotional trauma n dysfunctional childhood is a big cause for messed up nerves. Being on edge, fight or flight. Wish it showed in my face the pain of fibro cos I look so "normal" even if I feel like crap. So annoying I just want sympathy n compassion. It's so tough and there is no guideline! Docs been rubbish
  • Eric1970Eric1970 Member
    edited November 2014
    I just turned 44. I was diagnosed with Fibro and osteoarthritis in May of '12. My symptoms started as early as 2001 I believe. In '06 I had aspiration pneumonia, at least that what they told me after a week in the hospital being told I was a mystery. I was in the hospital for two weeks and underwent laparoscopic surgery. Great stress was on me, with being ill, the docs not knowing what was really wrong and the surgeon telling up to minutes before I was put underr that he did not know if it would be laparoscopic or if he would have to open me up witha nine inch scar to reach more of my lung. Also, in February of 2011 I had mono, shingles and the superflu! All in the same month! Cymbalta and Lyrica did nothing for me. I had severe side effects from Savella. Now I am on gabapentin, flexeril and oxycodone. My pain managment doc doesn't seem to believe that my pain is as awful as it is, and although it says in the agreement I have to sign each month, of the rules and regs of being treated in his office, that you can eventually get used to what you are prescribed and that it no longer works as well, he will not try to up my dose of oxycodone. It's seems with this syndrome that you are screwed, blued and tattooed no matter which way you turn!
  • When I was 15 I had Mono
    When I was 22-28 I was abused by a man and suffered physical abuse as well as endured the stress of the emotions!
  • I'm 59. I spent my childhood in a alcoholic home, lost my mom when I was13 raised my younger brother and dad, had 9 major surgeries and waas in 2 major car accidents. I think I see a correlation.
  • I'm 59. I spent my childhood in a alcoholic home, lost my mom when I was13 raised my younger brother and dad, had 9 major surgeries and waas in 2 major car accidents. I think I see a correlation.
    I also marrried an alcoholic and endured physicsl mental abuse from a young age. I also have felt this pain all my life.
  • Wow, I can relate, alcoholic father, childhood abuse, on my own at 15, anoxic and pregnant at 17 married and divorced before 20, married several times alcoholic violent men, I'm 54 been going through this for 22 years, traumatic loss of my 32 year old brother in car wreck. Work and whiplash injuries to back and neck. Physical and mental abuse, broken bones, stalking from ex husband. I could go on but that's enough I think...
  • Have had this for 17 years....never heard of it until I had given birth to my second child that it hurt to hold against my body! Doctors had me on several pain meds for 15 years! Now there were two BIG problems! I truly live without meds now, except for an anti-inflamitory. Detox was worse than any labor pains! Don't let these Doctors do this to you! Educate yourself on the addiction and dependency issues with every med.
  • I was hit by a car when I was 9 years old. All on my right side. At 36 yo I had arthritis scraped out of my wrist and the bones fused. Two years later I was diagnosed with FM. I tolerated pain up and down. I'm allergic to NSAIDS so it's been extra tough. Three years ago I was physically attacked by an angry ex-girlfriend of my then boyfriend which has sent me into a downward spiral. Emotional and physical suffering has definitely contributed and I'm lucky to have a great doctor who understands.
  • 1950 I was born
    1958 fall from a swing and damage to spine, had bruising however was dismissed and not taken for medical check up as I was visiting relatives. From this time on I had painful back and joints and especially heel pain. I discovered walking with shoes that had a small heel helped and my parents had me have regular chiropractic treatments and this helped. I also after this time had frequent appendicitis flare ups .
    1965 my appendix were removed and they were apparently healthy.
    1967 I was passenger and MVA crushed vertebra thoracic spine, I forever after had a lot of pain and just got on with life, I was young and nothing was going to stop me, I asked to be discharged from hospital too soon. Regular Chiropractic care offered relief.
    1969 Normal uncomplicated child birth.
    1972 Traumatic 44 hour labor resulting in emergency Cesarian birth.
    1975 Normal uncomplicated child birth however the pain in my neck was far worse than giving birth!
    1974 I was driver and MVA Vehicle overtaking, crashed into the front of my vehicle resulting in Cervical Whiplash ( many years later MRI showed fracture on cervical spine)
    1980' s Ross River Fever ( mosquito born virus of tropical Queensland Australia) this resulted in chronic fatigue and painful joints
    1996 I had a horrendous ordeal with kidney Stones. I had four anesthetics in five weeks as well as long distance return train journey when I went to a hospital in a larger city and then two return flights. This was a major traumatic experience and resulted in anxiety attacks.
    1988 developed Asthma after sever bout of influenza and pneumonia
    1992 I was driver and MVA I was stopped and three vehicles impacted into mine from rear like dominoes resulted in whiplash lumbar spine soft tissue damage that still remains painful. This accident also flared up older injuries.
    I have been in receipt of Disability Pension since 1993.
    After reading the comments of others, I am unsure of when the onset of Fibromyalgia was. It could have been at any stage of my life. I know when I look back over the years I was always sensitive to firm grasps or touch. I was labeled a cry baby. I hated contact sports and running caused me pain. I hut if someone tried to tickle me. I did not like firm hugs, they hurt! I was just considered as difficult or lazy child, or told to stop pretending to be in pain to get out of doing chores. I remember having abdominal pains a lot!

    I know I was often tired and needed more sleep and at other times I was unable to sleep. As a child I know know I also experienced anxiety episodes, I used to feint. I also recall feeling depressed but did not know anything about depression or anxiety then.
    Brain Fog! I perhaps had this from a young age, I was never a bright student, and as foggy then as I am now!

    2010 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I had spent practically single handed cared for my father in law in his home; he had Alzheimer's. I offered to do this, I felt he deserved to live the rest of his life as he wished in the comfort of his own home. He had a spare room and I ended up moving in. During this time our family physician expressed concern that I was taking on too much. I did have anxiety attacks and just seemed to live on autopilot much of the time. After he passed in 2009 I began to just begin to not feel well and arthritis pain was getting worse, I was extremely tired, had several bouts of pneumonia, and in 2010 was given the Fibromyalgia diagnosis! My marriage was unraveling. My husband did not believe Fibromyalgia was an illness, it was just what doctors told malingerers to shut then up! I know I was failing as a wife, and he found what he felt he deserved elsewhere. In 2011 I'd had enough and ended the marriage much to his relief! He told me I was not participating in our marriage! He did not want to spend his life taking care of me because I was lazy.

    I live alone, I have no one to be responsible for other than myself. My adult children are great, always have been. I live at a retirement Village, pay rent and my life is manageable. Friends and my family understand why I do not make plans, they know if I feel up to it I will participate. I often have to cancel and that is fine. I often sleep late and that does not matter to me or anyone else. I often miss church, but that is okay as well. Chiropractic care is very important to my health. I have bought myself suitable furnishings and whatever aids I need and I think I am doing rather well. If I need to stay in bed all day I do, if I want to be awake all night watching TV because i can't sleep, I do.

    I feel Fibromyalgia does seem to go into remission as there have been times when for several weeks I function rather well. Perhaps even months if I did have this for longer than the diagnosis. Prior to diagnosis I have had steroid injections into joints and pain medication for arthritis. All the pain was considered arthritis setting into old injuries.

    I will not allow this to define my life, I do seek whatever enjoyment I can in life, I love sewing for my family, I have some hobbies, love reading and little grandchildren are what brighten my spirits no end.

    I wonder how many of us could have been showing symptoms in childhood that just were dismissed as normal growing pains of childhood and adolescent years.
  • faythullonefaythullone Member
    edited December 2014
    I was in a very bad accident and hit from the rear while working...Not only did I get a whiplash but my employer the USPS treated me as though I was a red headed stepchild...They did everything they could to get rid of me after 18 years of dedicated service...I tried going back on my mail route then started having troubles with shoulder arms and hands...It was a nightmare trying to get to see a decent doctor...I had to go to their MD who just kept giving me pain pills to cover te pain...then 1 year later my hands started feeling like pins & needles waking me up in the middle of the night...then I had to go into a mental hospital when they refused to give me a limited duty job...Needless to say here I am with stomach problems with fibromylgia and chronic bone spurs in my neck and back and can no longer take celebrex due to it giving me stomach ulcers...Please help...Workers comp wants a doctor to prove it was caused by the accident which is impossible...Can anyone help me??? I cant sleep thinking about what they have done to I have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome....HELP!
  • I highly recommend a book called Total Recovery by Dr. Gary Kaplan. It explains how the accumulation of physical and emotional stress is what tips people over into chronic pain. There is a chapter devoted to fibromyalgia. On the author's website there is timeline software to help you document all stressors/trauma that led up to your chronic pain. He also gives a lot of helpful advice in the book. I can't recommend it highly enough.
  • I was in a bad car accident about 20 years ago I think my symptoms started a few years after. Wasn't officially diagnosed until 6 years ago!
  • I was in a MVA in March of 1994, Had whiplash injury. My neurologist diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia in August of 1994. Told me it was caused from the injuries I received in the accident. Now they're saying it's caused from hyper active nerves. I don't believe that. I know mine was caused from the injuries. Been living with it since 1994. It doesn't get any better.
  • I grew up in a stressful home, overprotective Mom and my Dad probably suffered from undiagnosed PTSD from WWII. Nothing I ever did was good enough. It is so sad to say even though I loved them because they were my parents it was a huge emotional relief when they both passed in 2009.
    Married at 18 to my high school boyfriend, who was an alcoholic and also came from a disfunctional family; last straw with him was he was also a cheater. Thankfully no children! I divorced him at 25.
    I was single until I was 29, worked the same job since I was 16.
    Met a man who was divorced and had a three year old who visited on the weekends. We married and 6 months later we attended a wedding of a friend, the next morning I woke feeling like I had the flu. It was December and flu season so I wasn't surprised. Only problem was it never went away! My nightmare had begun...Anxiety attacks, medication sensitivities, I hurt being touched, IBS symptoms, headaches and muscle pain, was scared to go to sleep for fear of dying in my sleep and of course non restorative sleep!
    So new wife, stepmom, DH'S ex wife making life miserable and A M-I-L who enjoyed gossiping to me and the ex wife...
    I have always believed I was a "Fibro carrier" (my Mom was diagnosed after I was and we believe her Mom had it as well) and the stress of my "new" life pushed me over the top.
    Saw Dr. After Dr. who patted me on my knee and said I was a "woman and I was under stress" basically saying it was all in my head...three years I heard the same thing..Finally I went to a Dr who had just read an article on Fibromyalgia or "Chronic Pain Syndrome" in the JAMA magazine. He ordered tons of lab work to rule out Lupus, MS etc.
    And diagnosed me nearly three years to the day of coming down sick. I told him I could almost kiss him...Finally a diagnosis!! We have explored many options for treatment, most only give a 20-30% chance of working anyway. I've tried many medications. Currently the best I've done the longest on is Cymbalta and Restoril along with Arthritis strength Tylenol boosted by small doses of Lortab when the pain gets unbearable. I can function, but when I push to hard I pay for it!! Oct - March is my worse time. I walk away from any kind of drama and stress as I know it's a trigger for me.
    I try to do what makes me happy and content as much as I can. But there are days that may mean staying in bed and resting or sleeping. Thankfully my DH is very understanding and does most anything to help make me comfortable. I am blessed! My spirits stay good 99% of the time and I've learned to live a slower paced life and relax more and take time for me. I'm almost 58 and this will be my 28th year of living with Fibro Sure praying for a cure!
  • alawsoninfoalawsoninfo Member
    edited December 2014
    I thought I had Fibro and arthritis but long story short, I started seeing a natural dr and he did a food blood test to see what I'm allergic to and what. , gluten, eggs (the white and yolk) & pineapple were all items I was highly allergic too and thankfully once I cut them out (which isn't easy) but thankfully it went away about 90%. If I don't prepare my own did and go out, even tho they do its non gluten, sometimes there is cross contamination etc. My friend thought she had fibro and lupus and cut out all fake sugars and immediately felt great! Give cutting these things out a try, it's worth it! If that doesn't work, I pray for healing.
  • I'm glad I found some support I live with fibromyalgia....about a year now...I have good and bad days......I just keep on going and do the best I can....even though my life has changed.. And not in a good tell friends or family how you feel....they say that it is my age..I don't think seems like stress is a do you keep stress out of your life.... Life is stressful way around it...
  • @NewLifeOutlook i was on the second floor apartment building with friends the balcony collasped we were scattered all over the place. I've heard!!! I Dont remember anything that happened in the next few years. I sufford head trauma. witch placed me in a coma for 7 days. amongst having surgery to mend my femur left side, pelvis suffered front and back fractures, my humerous was fractured up high left side and 2 skull fractures. spent a year in a wheel chair. the fractured femur I needed second surgery 1st surgery did not heal the second surgery finally I was able to walk with crutches. not sure how long i was on those. mean while doing speech therapy,occupational therapy and physical therapy. finally i graduated to a cane trying to help myself heal and mend and feel better but, i had pain every where with wierd sinsations shooting up my leg like a lightenig bolt or numb from the top of leg to your toes. i finally was diagnosed a few years back with fibromyalgia. so far sleeping is what i like to do once im able to fall asleep. mornings are so ruff still dont want or able to open eyes. it would actually fill like they were being forced shut. I grew to deal with my pain in many different ways. lol!!!
  • I'm not quite sure what triggered mine. I was diagnosed a few years after terrible car wreck, but the doctor said he thought it was because of my having hepatitis A. I think it was A. It's the one that's not contagious. But I was pregnant at the time & gave birth 2 a very healthy 8 & 1/2. Lb. baby boy!! He is able 2 give blood even!! But, anyway that's how I was diagnosed.
  • I feel like I have not been the same since I flat lined due to a reaction to some pain medication given in the ER due to a broken back. My mind is always in a fog, I feel as tho I am not able to remember things, it's more like autopilot. I am no longer comfortable around people and my thoughts use to be "the more the merrier". I have also been diagnosed with secondary raynaud's phenomenon. I look in the mirror and I look fine but I do not feel find.
  • Cher, you just wrote about my life. I found d this site late last night & panicked when. I couldn't do d it this morning. I wish I could think clearer, but thank you for saying it for me. God bless.
  • I injured both of my legs(stress fractures) they healed but the pain increased as well as developed new symptoms. I was diagnosed with CRPS/RSD. Two years later, due to my increase in symptoms, I was diagnosed with Fibro. According to what I have researched, the CRPS was a result of my injuries and may have influenced the fibro. They both involve the brain.
  • MelindaMelinda Member
    edited February 2015
    I was locked in a basement by my second husband. For 5 weeks chain to a bed rape daily. I could go on but can't still very upsetting to talk about .
  • I lost my 20 year old daughter in 2007, in a tragic car accident. My symptoms started in the year or two following. I wasn't sure if they were from depression/grief, significant decrease in activity, or what. The pain in my legs, and the feeling that I was "coming down with something; aches, sore throat, feeling feverish" were the two that exacerbated fast. I have had about 5 years of grief counseling, suffer from PTSD and still go to a support group The Compassionate Friends that have helped me through the grief journey. I do believe that grief, as one MD told me changes your entire biochemical makeup. I fall frequently, even before the pain in my legs.
  • DonnaTDonnaT Member
    After reading about the possible causes of fibro, it's amazing that I have finally seen my story in print. I was rear ended by a pick up truck @ 50 mph and suffered sever whiplash. One year later I would awaken w/a curled left hand & extremely stiff elbow. Went thru 4 drs appts & many tests before I was diagnosed w/fibro. Now I basically suffer in silence, don't sleep & am struggling day to day with fatigue and becoming more sedentary..I hate it!
  • passionpassion Member
    @DonnaT @DI was hit at the driver side.And they cut me out.Then it all started.Pain was unreal! I'm with Kaiser hosp.and they don't beleave in pain pills for this. Gabapentin 800mg 3 times a day.I can't wk.18yrs.had to stop.The moving and working on my furn.was killing me.But now My husband is on Asera Care at home.And that kills me.But I want he's last days home.So I deal♡ If had alot happen in my life and it's all taken a toll.Thank God we all can help each other understand this. SOFT HUGS. :)
  • passionpassion Member
    @danettelw 1993 my Son 19yrs. Was killed by a kid on a bike.He had a gun.and my son told him to leave he's girlfriends dad alone.And for that he was killed.The pain was ,we'll No words can say!! But it came on from a car hitting me on my driver side.It was starting but went Crazy! After that.
  • I spent 5 1/2 years in a physically abusive marriage. I have suffered with widespread pain and anxiety. The doctors may not be able to prove it but I do believe that this has contributed to my Fibro, and by the way others on this site have commented, I now know that it does play a part. I now have a wonderful husband that loves and supports me and that alone helps. I also take St. John's Wort during the day and I take a Magnesium pill before bed and that helps. I hope everyone finds some relief for themselves.
  • I was diagnosed soon after my husbands suicide. A very stressful time for me.

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