Catastrophizing Pain in Fibromyalgia and the Potential Effect on Treatment

NewLifeOutlookNewLifeOutlook New Life Outlook
edited August 2014 in Coping

imageCatastrophizing Pain in Fibromyalgia and the Potential Effect on Treatment

Pain catastrophizing tends to exaggerate physical sensations in the body, leading many people to describe the pain as “intolerable”.

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  • I have to agree with Jean Aschman; I don't understand how anyone who has not had Fibromyalgia can express an opinion about the pain and what contributes to it. I can since I have battled it for 25 years. I also have 20 years experience as an RN, and I have known the type of person that "catastrophizes" but it is not the norm. Fibromyalgia pain can be "intolerable" at times and it is true that stress and other environmental factors affect the perceived pain level but this is true for any painful condition. I remember my stoic father grimacing in pain from a migraine when there was a loud noise. People with Fibromyalgia, and for that matter anyone with an "invisible" illness, are tired of being told there is something we've done, or haven't done, or it's in our personality. Research has shown there are significant changes in the brain and at the cellular level in those with Fibromyalgia. Sufferers now need concrete, specific treatment recommendations.
  • "Catastrophizing"- what a nice way to say "you exaggerate" and "it isn't really real". Do you have any idea what this word does to those of us who Actually DO have worsening pain??? Unless you yourself LIVE with pain on a daily basis 24/7 for years on end, you have no right to even use this word! Fibro pain fluctuates on a day-to-day basis, sometimes hour-to-hour. This can be cause by changes in the weather (just because they haven't figured out how to test this in a lab does not make it less real), the quality of sleep the night before (how long, how many interruptions, how many dreams, activity of each dream, what times your dreams each started/ended, did your brain go to restorative sleep/how long each time), the comfort of your bed (also subjective and changeable), physical/mental/emotional activity(s) of the day before (or even before that), the time of day you get up (yes, really - a consistent sleep regimine means nothing to fibro), how long its been since you pooped, any recent changes in meds/dosages (same for supplements and dietary changes), hydration, room temperature -vs- bed temperature, how you woke up (clock alarm, family member, outside noise, inside noise) and several other factors everyone considers to be inconsequential. We are depressed because we are in pain not the other way around! What we don't need are more "experts" latching onto the latest catchphrase and thinking they "Know" what is really going on! All this does is give these "experts" an excuse for having no real answers. How about just saying "Gee. I'm sorry. I DON'T KNOW". Stop minimizing our experiences and struggles and making us feel like whiny, simpering idiots! Try treating us like the Educated Reasonable People we actually ARE for a change and LISTEN TO US! Maybe then this Stupid Disease won;t be such a mystery!!!! (Gee---do I sound "angry"? I must be catastrophosizing my experience............)
  • @Suncere i couldn't have said it better! THANK YOU!!
  • I completely disagree w/the author of this article. CBT skills can help with depression, but pain is pain and it can rule over any other thing going on in the body or your life when it is bad. But it's hard to be emphatic w/a Fibro patient until you have walked a mile in their shoes, or rather, lived through a bad day in their life! A lot of medical professionals don't have the answers and are too damn lazy to bother to figure it out so it's easier on their huge ego to dismiss us off as psychsomatic, catastrophizing, neurotic, hypochondriac, attention starved, drug seekers who just imagine our illness. Then when you've had enough of their BULLSHIT, you are labeled as a hostile patient with anger management issues and most likely has abused prescription drugs. I have seen so many doctors and taken so many meds. I've suffered with it for 32 years. I'm worn out.
  • this article is the worst case of patient blaming i have ever seen, this kind of ignorance has no place here or anywhere, for anyyone to claim any relevence for any knowledge when so little is actually know about fibro gives everyone who suffers with it more grief than they deserve, try lliving with severe chronic pain for 40yrs, it's no wonder we have severe depression u would too if u had to deal with the hand many of us were dealt, not to mention that many of us who lived a productive lawful life with pain meds r now being denied medical treatment, walk a few miles in my shoes before u make this kind of gandious statement that causes so much harm most of us r now suffering great harm because my gov't has chosen to make "The War on Drugs" the war on doctors and pain patients just another `example of junk science and out and out lies being told by my gov't we deal with enough bad faith and misinformation in addition to the issues of fibro we just don't need more bullying by know-nothings i would also say i am disappointed that this site does not vet articles before printing them and to shelbycat and suncere bravo ladies well said thanks
  • @shelbycat Please know we get it! <3
  • Below is Angela Finlay's Bio.
    From reading it I believe she wants to help, however, she seems to be quite able to do most everything physically. I hope she never has to experience fibromyalgia and it's complications. My mother used to irritate me to no end by having an opinion (always correct-- ha) on everything. Her "I've been 35, you have never been 65!" (adjusted for the year) was difficult to refute. It does illustrate, however, how hard it is to take advice from someone who may not have had the same experiential base.

    About Angela:
    Angela Finlay is a freelance writer and blogger committed to sharing matters that affect health and wellbeing. From fitness and motivation to medical ailments and psychological hurdles, she has covered a range of health and lifestyle topics through her web writing career.

    Angela feels that a high quality of life should be a top priority for everyone, and tries her best to help people find more comfort, contentment and confidence with the resources around them.

    From fitness and lifestyle to pregnancy and medical ailments, she has covered a range of health topics throughout her web writing career, contributing to major websites for over three years.

    She believes that variety is not only the spice of life, but essential for happiness and longevity; as an avid runner, rock climber, artist, and vegetarian cook, her passion for health and vitality stretches into each corner of her life.
  • MarcieMarcie Member
    @Suncere wow that was very well said and in depth. thanks.

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