How can you have chronic pain and fatigue and NOT be depressed? All people – healthy or not – struggle every day with the stress of raising a family, their jobs, financial troubles, family illness and yes, death & taxes. You’ve got to get the kids to school on time, pay the bills, go to work (if you can work), clean the house, feed the pets, water the lawn, pick up the kids, take them to soccer, piano lessons, make dinner, make the kids do their chores (good luck) and you have to do all this AND MORE with debilitating pain, fatigue, migraines, IBS, TMJ, RLS, etc. Just thinking about it is depressing!

Fibromyalgia sufferers are often misdiagnosed with anxiety disorders and depression, implying that it’s “all in your head”, but research has consistently proven that Fibromyalgia is not a form of depression or hypochondria. Anxiety and depression do CO-EXIST with FM & treatment is important because both can make FM worse and interfere with symptom management.

From my own experience, I can tell you how easy it is to let it get the best of you. There were days when I just got into bed in my dark room I called “the cave” and isolated myself from my family and friends. I avoided leaving the house unless I just absolutely had to and when I did, all I could think about was getting home and crawling into bed. The more depressed I got, the more pain I had. The more pain I had, the more depressed I got!

I had anxiety attacks and the stress of a bad financial situation was more than I could handle – or so I thought. There were times when I wondered how in the world I was going to make through the next day – How much longer can I deal with this? I felt hopeless, helpless and worthless. My self-image was horrible and my confidence level was nonexistent. I was ashamed.

Have you ever felt that way? I hope not, but IF YOU HAVE, there is a way to get out of the pit of depression and anxiety! You can become a productive member of your family and society as a whole. It’s not easy, but what choice do you have? You know you don’t want to live like this forever.

I always hated the idea of therapy! First of all, the effort it would take for me to get out of the house was a big factor. Secondly, I didn’t want to tell all my pitiful story to a stranger and I wasn’t even sure I’d be believed when it came to the Fibromyalgia part. There are still some mental health professionals that believe FM is psychological rather than physiological. I didn’t want to hear it.

About a year ago, my son needed therapy for depression and anger issues. I took him to several professionals and one suggested (in front of my son) that he could cure my Fibromyalgia because it was more emotional & psychological stress than a physical problem. The next day, we went to another therapist. I didn’t trust him to help my son if he was going to say that to me. We finally found one that fit our family since we would all take part in my son’s therapy. It didn’t take me or the therapist long to discover I needed help, too. He saw right through me!

Therapy has changed my life in so many ways and with an understanding professional to guide me, I have taken back the control I had given up to Fibromyalgia. He helped me see my value, my positive traits and taught me how to cope with my pain, stress, anxiety and depression. Talking about it with an objective party is also a way of healing emotional scars and it was a relief to just lay it all out there! He also recommended a new anti-depressant to my doctor which has helped me a lot.

Perception is everything. I perceived myself a certain way and became exactly that.

My father was recently diagnosed with small cell lung cancer – he never smoked. It is the rarer form of lung cancer that is fast-acting and incurable. I was devastated when I heard the news! My dad is my hero and my rock – life without him is something I can’t even fathom. I really lost it for a while, but with counseling, I am finding my own way to cope. I’m still have bad days, but I am trying to work through them in a more healthy way. The woman I was two years ago would have gone back to her cave and never come out.

There many medications, supplements & herbs out there that can help. Talk to your doctor about which ones might work for you and always double check for interactions and side effects! I have a lot of information about prescription drugs alternatives, therapies and other resources on my website that might be of help.

Don’t be afraid to take that first step and find a good mental health professional! It truly is worth it. I am now a functioning “Fibromyte” and though, I still have pain and other issues, I can get through them one day at a time. If I can do it, YOU can, too!

More articles on this topic to come!

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