When living with fibromyalgia, the pain and discomfort the condition causes is the most obvious and easily identifiable symptom. However, the condition runs a lot deeper and can even have serious impacts on your mind. Here, we’re going to look at some of the potential emotional and mental health impacts and what you might be able to do to combat them with the mental side of fibro.
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The Mental Side of Fibro
The dark thoughts
Mental anguish is far from uncommon when dealing with fibromyalgia. It can be easy to get fixated on the unfairness of your diagnosis and the difficulties your condition causes. Because of its physical nature, the tendency for depression and darker thoughts in those living with fibro isn’t as broadly exposed. You may not be able to always keep the dark thoughts at bay, but you can tell your loved ones and your doctors of your difficulties. Dealing with it alone will only isolate you, which can feed into the mental anguish and strengthen it. It can take time to grow comfortable with sharing your emotional distress and it can make you feel quite vulnerable, but your loved ones can respond with patience and understanding, which can help those dark clouds subside.
The brain fog
Many people with fibro are all too aware of the “brain fog” that can happen from time to time. You can have trouble grasping words, remembering details, and have trouble remembering what you came into this room for. Unfortunately, there is some evidence that fibromyalgia patients are more likely to suffer severe memory loss. Keeping your mind more active with exercise and creative activities can help, but it’s important to be aware of the potential that the problem can worsen and impact your independence, as well as the awareness of services like Parc Provence that can lend assistance. The sooner you plan for these potential hurdles, the easier it can be for you and your family to deal with them.
The fatigue of it all
Fibromyalgia is tiring. Most people living with it don’t need to be taught that. It can greatly disrupt sleep, leading to chronic fatigue. But there are several ways to help manage a better night’s sleep as shown at National Pain Report. Managing your body’s natural rhythm through exposure to natural light, made easier with a light box, will help you naturally feel sleepier. A consistent sleeping schedule is one of the most important aspects of healthy rest, so try to avoid staying up and being active even when your symptoms are bad.
The many stressors
That lack of sleep is just one of the reasons that the condition can cause severe stress, too. But body stress and mental stress are intrinsically linked. Pain causes the body to tense, which causes the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Methods like meditation, yoga, and massage can help tackle the mental and physical side of stress at the same time
None of these risks are unique to those with fibromyalgia, but they are somewhat more common. For that reason, it’s best to be proactive with mental health and to avoid bottling up your issues. Talk to your doctor if you suspect you may be suffering from one of the issues above.