Apart from fatigue anxiety is second on my worst symptom list, certain activities make it worse and I think I’ve finally figured out why, from my personal experiences. When I am getting ready to go out, see family, go out for a meal or whatever we obviously have emotions of maybe anticipation or excitement etc and think with over fibromyalgia our over stimulated nervous system confuses these feelings and we internally confuse these feeling into feelings of anxiety. I get panicky, breathless, heart racing and anxious. Once you recognise this pattern it can be controlled. Don’t let these feelings stop you from going out and living, it may feel easier just not to go out but then we are giving in to this condition. Recognising the symptoms, learn not to fight it, but use relaxation techniques and deep breathing helps.
What I have also noticed is that the sensory over load from loud music and busy places can also cause anxiety. I had to run out of a friends house the other week as the music was too loud.
I tend to use ear plugs now that are especially made for noise reduction. You can still hear conversations but it cuts out the bass and loudness.
Depression is a part of fibromyalgia caused by the loss of your previous pre-fibromyalgia life, loss of friends, suffering constant pain, stiffness, anxiety, itching, skin sensitivity, food and chemical sensitivity. I stopped taking anti depressants last year and thought I was coping well but it hit me like a train. I asked the doctor to go back on them but at a reduced dosage of 20mg instead of 30mg. I feel so much happier. It’s well researched that a low dose of anti depressants increases serotonin and can reduce pain. Why do you think doctors prescribe Amitrypyline for pain relief at night. I don’t use this medication as the side effects were not worth the positives of taking the medicine. Read here for more info
All medication cause side effects as they are designed to change how we think and feel so always weight up the positives against the negatives and make your own decisions. DO NOT TAKE MEDICATIONS JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE RECOMMENDED. Not all doctors understand Fibromyalgia they are General Practitioners not fibro experts. I gave up several medications last year and I can categorically state my symptoms have reduced. It’s a personal choice so make sure you do your research and always give meds a minimum of 2 months to get the full effect.
Citalopram and Fibromyalgia study here.
Something happened to me 2 weeks ago, I was travelling home on my motorbike and I’d been having a hard time with withdrawing off all my fibromyalgia medications, crying every day and generally feeling very disturbed, lonely and depressed. But one day whilst riding home, I felt free, different, like I’d dropped something off on the way home. I got home and after locking up my bike I just sat in the house smiling, knowing I felt different but not really understanding what had happened.
I thought about this most of the night and I thought maybe this was due to the transition of coming off a number of regular medications, which quite frankly didn’t work or did for a short period of time and transitioning to natural supplementation. I mean what else could it be? Acceptance, maybe my mind had shifted by undertaking mindfulness practises every day with yoga and meditation? Maybe it was a combination of everything?
Well whatever it is it’s like it all clicked into place. I’ll be honest since that day the fibromyalgia really hasn’t bothered me too much as long as I stick to the plan. What plan is this you might ask? It’s my plan. Something I’m working on for me, something I will share with the world once I prove it works and something I dream about doing as a profession. This is why I’ve been given the gift of fibromyalgia after my spinal fusion. It’s to learn optimum health, the meaning of my life and to help others, thats what I feel happened to me 2 weeks ago.
So what are my tips for starting your plan? Tackle the number one problem; stress. Work on your diet, you must find the right exercise for you and do it every day and find the right supplementation. Retrain your brain using mindfulness meditation, self hypnosis and other techniques. It takes blood, sweat and tears but one day the weight will come off your shoulders too.
You’ll never cure fibromyalgia but you’ll learn to live with it like I have, even maybe learn to love it ❤️. Sound crazy? Not at all, do you love yourself? Learn to love the condition and help your body cope using the power of your mind. Your body deserves that.
Tips for managing stress:-
- Don’t worry about the things that are out of your control (for example developing this condition, just accept it)
- Take things one step it day at a time (don’t worry about tomorrow or next week, use mindfulness to bring you back to the present time)
- Prepare for stressful events by taking 5-10 minutes to focus and calm your mind. (Close your eyes and visualise your favourite place, taking in all the sights, sounds, smells and turn up everything including the colours and noises)
- Try and look as change as positive or as a challenge, instead of assuming it is an hindrance. (List down the positives of what the change could bring)
- Ask yourself what you can learn from things, and how you can inspire or motivate people from your experience. (Is there a friend or someone in a focus group who is having a hard time that can benefit from what you have learnt?)
- Share your worries or concerns with like-minded people. You are not looking for sympathy, but empathy. (Sharing with a focus group or friends can be empowering)
- Take a 5 minute walk if you can. Walking and stretching can renew your energy. (I walk every day for at least 5 minutes and do mindfulness yoga daily. It’s relaxing and clears your mind).
- Remember to eat (fibromyalgia makes your nervous system over sensitive so how often you eat and what you eat makes a massive difference to how you feel both mentally and physically, make it natural, organic and small meals every 3 hours).
- Try and set realistic goals – but don’t push yourself, you have been through enough already (your goals can be simple enough to be achievable and you need to have them pinned up somewhere where you see them).
- Journal your thoughts or begin a simple blog. Reaching out to others who have been through similar experiences can be life changing (I do this both on WordPress and on Facebook, my sites are not to share negativity but to share my experiences with others but also to allow me and others to laugh at the ups and downs on finding my path, you need to write down the purpose of your blogging, this will keep you focused).