If you are tired of how Fibromyalgia has negatively affected your life, you are not alone. Five years ago, Lady Gaga revealed her Fibromyalgia diagnosis and recently shared how the resulting pain caused multiple tour cancellations over her impressive career. In short, Fibro cost her millions. But what is it costing you?
Fibro is still a medical mystery of sorts
Despite the detailed and expansive evidence of symptoms in a clinical setting, medicine still struggles with a physical explanation for Fibromyalgia, which has led many experts to look to the brain.
Recent studies have confirmed what physicians in practice have come to understand: the disorder is a centralized pain state, with the central nervous system — the brain and spinal cord — either originating or amplifying pain. Those with fibromyalgia experience both a heightened response to painful stimuli and an abnormal response to non-painful stimuli that presents as pain.
How does fibromyalgia affect quality of life and mental health?
Due to the variety of symptoms patients can report, the impact on quality of life can differ. All of these symptoms can trigger the others, causing an endless loop of dysfunction.
Nonetheless, each of these can seriously limit an individual’s ability to perform certain functions in their daily lives which ultimately affects their ability to live life in their own terms:
- The constant, never-ending level of pain itself can be life-altering.
- Anxiety can be a result of the pain or another symptom of the disorder itself.
- Sleep disturbance or insomnia and be the most troublesome for many patients, contributing to fatigue, anxiety and issues with thinking clearly.
- Severe headachesare both painful and prevent daily function.
- Depression also occurs due to the chronic nature of the pain. Even the cycle of chronic pain subsiding and reappearing can be emotionally draining to the point of triggering clinical depression, anxiety, or anger issues.
- Cognitive impairment, affecting memory and speech is sometimes referred to as “Fibro-fog.” This can include attention problems, problems in planning, difficulty in remembering, concentration difficulties, decreased vocabulary, poor verbal fluency, mental slowness, difficulty in thinking and making decisions.
Get treatment focused on improving your quality of life
The impact of fibromyalgia on quality of life can vary depending on an individual's symptoms. It is clear, however, that overall patients with fibromyalgia tend to be less able to perform the daily tasks required to lead a happy and productive life.
The good news for those with Fibro is that there are exciting new solutions like neurotransmitter-modulating drugs and drug classes (including some pain medications and anti-depressants) which have shown great promise in alleviating symptoms with minimal side effects.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t self-diagnose or self-medicate!
As a psychiatrist focused on improving quality of life, Dr. Sambunaris’ goal is to help you manage your pain and symptoms so you can live your best life. With over 20 years of experience in neuropharmacology clinical research, he understands the mechanisms of these new treatments and works to find solutions specifically tailored to your unique needs.
Call us today and don’t let Fibro steal your best days from you!