Dealing with Depression and Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia and depression

Studies have linked those with fibromyalgia to having a three times greater chance of developing depression compared to someone without fibromyalgia.

This is an interesting statistic and one that many people want to know the root cause of. Is the depression causing the fibromyalgia? Does the fibromyalgia cause the depression?

These are all interesting questions that people want answered. The more you learn about the connection between these two illnesses, the better you are going to find a treatment plan that works for you.

Remember, what works for one person, may not work for all those out there who are suffering with the same issues.

Defining Depression

We all have our moments where we are sad and feel as though the world is against us. However, this is not depression.

Depression goes a few steps behind just feeling sad or fed up with the way your life is going. Those who have depression often have:

  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • No energy
  • Feelings of guilt
  • They feel worthless
  • They have lost the pleasure of doing those activities that they once loved
  • They have reoccurring thoughts about death

It is these thoughts that are going to interfere with their daily life, and these feelings are going to last for weeks at a time. Often, therapy or medication are the only sources for getting relief from the feelings the person is having.

The Link Between Depression and Fibromyalgia

Is there a link between depression and fibromyalgia? Most definitely. And it seems that it is the fibromyalgia that causes the depression in some people.

Keep in mind, there are those who suffered with depression before they were diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Why is it that fibromyalgia could cause depression in people?

For one, when a person has fibromyalgia, they often experience a lot of pain. This pain can lead to less physical activity.

In some cases, a person finds that they must give up those things that they love simply because their bodies cannot do them any longer. When this happens, they are suffering from a life altering decision.

The pain in the muscle sand the tender points can also mean that a person ventures less and less from home.

They become more withdrawn as they are in pain and they cannot do those things that they loved to do.

When this happens, they often slip into a depression that is made even harder when they are experiencing the physical pain from the fibromyalgia.

Depression with Fibromyalgia

Those who do have fibromyalgia are often unaware that they are becoming depressed. They often think that the illness they suffer with is what has them down.

This can true be those who have been suddenly diagnosed as well as those who have been suffering for years.

However, other people may notice that they do have signs of depression, but they may dismiss this as nothing more than the effects that fibromyalgia is having on their minds.

When a person has depression with a chronic pain diseases like fibromyalgia, the signs of depression include:

  1. Decreased energy
  2. They have a hard time concentrating on tasks
  3. They have an even harder time making decisions
  4. They have the feelings of hopelessness, guilt or even being extremely irritable
  5. They lose interest in pretty much every activity that they once loved
  6. They have an anxious or sad mood that is persistently present day in and day out
  7. They could cry at anything, for no apparent reason at all

There are some causes in which the depression and the feelings that come along with this, when coupled with fibromyalgia can lead to thoughts of committing suicide, as the person feels they are all alone in dealing with this.

It is also interesting to note that the mores stress the person has, the more likely they are going to be dealing with depression and fibromyalgia at the same time. Why is this?

The person feels like they are being overloaded and they cannot keep up with anything that they need to do due to this chronic pain issue they are living with.

In turn, stress can make a person feel angrier, they feel irritable and this can all lead to being physically and mentally tired. It all works together to make it harder than ever to keep your life at a normal pace.

Treatment: It is Possible to Take Control

One of the worse things that a person can believe is that they have no control. This thought can make it dealing with fibromyalgia and depression even worse. With this being said, you can be in control of these issues.

For one, do not let your fibromyalgia go untreated. Why is this? If you can get a hold of fibromyalgia and stop the pain from being too intense, you are still going to find that you can do those things that you once enjoyed.

While you may have to limit yourself on those things that are very physical, you are still going to have the power to go out and enjoy time with family and friends.

This in turn helps you to stay social, which can greatly benefit you in treating depression and not letting this spiral downwards.

Depression medication can be a huge help in these cases. Depression medications have been given to fibromyalgia sufferers who have no signs of depression.

It has been shown to help with the chronic pain and fatigue that is felt. For those with depression, this is going to help you to ultimately feel better.

Keep in mind, finding a depression medication that works for you is going to be a lot of trial and error. Why is this? Not everyone responds to the same medication in the manner that your doctor wants you to respond.

Talk with others about what you are feeling. There are therapy groups throughout the nation that are dealing with depression and fibromyalgia.

Find these groups and get together with those who truly know what you are going through. Just having someone to talk to, learn some new coping methods from and be there for you is going to be a great help.

1 Comment

  • Wow, this is me to a “T”!!! I had depression and anxiety issues before being diagnosed with my Fibro, but it had certainly gotten worse as my Fibro has completely upended and changed my life. The worse the flare the worse the depression and anxiety. I’m under the care of a wonderful “shrink”…lol, who has managed my meds and my moods for many years and kept me from falling over the edge into suicide many times!! I have a great Rhumatologist and a GP who are also very understanding and helpful. I was diagnosed in the mid to late 90’s and progressively gotten worse as the years go by. I do what I can and sometimes more than I should because I don’t want to miss out on being involved in my children’s lives and my grandchildren’s as well! I definitely pay the price for it, but it’s worth it!!! I’m usually bed ridden for a few days afterward, but the smiles, hugs, kisses, and love I see in the grands eyes makes it worth the extra pain and a few days in bed.

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