In this video Jennifer discusses the emotional impact fibromyalgia can have.
Watch the video above to hear her thoughts and tips for coping, or read the written summary below.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression is common in people with fibromyalgia, and it makes sense when you consider the constant pain, lack of sleep, and isolation the condition causes.
Anxiety is common in people who suffer from fibromyalgia, too. The constant fear of when the next flare will hit and stress over the lack of understanding from friends and family take their toll.
Dealing with doctors can also bring on anxiety. Will this doctor believe me? Will this doctor be able to help me? Will they put me on new medications? What will the side effects be?
Changes to Emotional Response
You may also notice a heightened emotional response. Something you know should only be a slight upset feels like a huge tragedy. On the other hand you may experience the complete opposite, where something very sad happens and you have no reaction.
You may even find that you switch from a heightened emotional response to complete lack of emotional response from one moment to the next, without any warning.
How Can We Cope?
Try to Go Easy on Yourself
It’s easy to feel frustrated with ourselves when dealing with these emotions.
Try to accept your emotions, even when they don’t seem to make sense, and remember that it's okay to feel the way you do.
Avoid Emotional Triggers
Get to know your triggers, and if you're having an emotional day try to avoid them. For example, if you know sad movies set you off, pick a comedy instead.
Explain the Situation to Friends and Family
When I have to cancel plans with friends or family I feel terrible, and it makes me anxious. If you can relate, it may help to talk to your friends and family and let them know what you're going through.
This may help them to be a little more patient and understanding with you, reducing your anxiety at the same time.
There may not be an easy fix for this emotional roller coaster, but what we can do is learn to cope the best we can.