Amber Alert

The Mental Side of Fibromyalgia

Many who suffer from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at one time or another find themselves depressed over how they feel, the difficulties in finding effective treatment, lack of energy, the ongoing pain, or how loved ones respond to their illness. For many just being “happy” is a daily task in itself.

The most common question I hear from fellow is ”how to stay positive and deal with depression when you’re always in pain and hurting”?

Here are a few tips:

1. Keep moving.
Many suffering from these conditions find it difficult even to do the simplest of daily tasks, yet lying in bed all day doesn’t seem to help the pain and often leads to even more depression. Staying active is essential! Walking 3-5 minutes a day will keep your body active, even if it’s as simple as walking from one room to another. As you begin to feel better, increase your time slowly to 5-7 minutes and see how simply staying mobile can help with depression.

2. Stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated for even a healthy person is essential, but even more importantly for someone suffering from fibromyalgia. Make sure you drink plenty of water so that your muscles can nourish themselves and not tighten up and cause more discomfort.

3. Reach out for support.
There is a host of wonderful chat rooms and support groups that meet online and in person. Reach out to those groups that are designed specifically to help you, and allow the positive effects of simply sharing with others. You’re not alone, others have, or are experiencing similar feelings so don’t be afraid to lean on a support channel when feeling down.

4. Keep a journal.
We have all heard the power in writing down our feelings and thoughts. Make a point to write down your personal journey… the good and the bad days… and see how simply verbalizing your emotions will help you feel better.

5. Engage your higher power.
Whatever your personal beliefs are, engage your higher power for help in that moment, minute, or day. Ask your higher power for the strength to overcome your feelings of hopelessness and frustration.

6. Get educated.
Educate yourself on the treatment options available to you and get proactive in your recovery. It’s easy for many of us to wallow in the pain, but by educating yourself you will see that these conditions CAN be treated! You don’t have to suffer ongoing, talk with others who have recovered, read testimonials, and make an appointment and a goal to start recovering.

7. Re-evaluate your diet.
Diet and nutrition are key components in treating Fibro. Take a personal inventory of your diet and make sure you have eliminated sugars, white flour, caffeine, and alcohol -- all of which have a negative effect on sufferers.

Here are a few articles and helpful resources available if you would like more tips and information on dealing with depression:

Adapted from article from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Centers.

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