• Kedren Elliott

Fibromyalgia and mental health

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects the central nervous system affecting sufferers in many different ways, the most common symptoms being chronic pain and fatigue. The condition is very common and it's estimated that 1 in 20 people in the UK may be affected by Fibromyalgia as not everyone who has it, is diagnosed and because the symptoms vary so widely from person to person.

80 to 90% of people diagnosed are women although it does affect men and children too. There is no one main cause for this condition and Fibromyalgia along with similar diseases can take a very long time to be diagnosed, and can be caused by genes, injury or trauma.

Dealing with a long diagnosis and the fact that medical examinations can come back as showing nothing wrong can be a very unsettling time for people who are dealing with the condition with sufferers experiencing widespread pain with no apparent cause. As you'd expect this brings its own set of challenges to peoples mental health in understanding what exactly is causing their symptoms.

Conditions and diseases like Fibromyalgia can also lead to depression due to low levels of certain hormones and dopamine associated with the condition. So it's no wonder that it affects people's mental health in addition to the quite severe physical pain that it brings.

Many suffers also experience something called Fibro-fog, a type of cognitive dysfunction also referred to as brain fog. Its symptoms include difficulty with concentration, memory deficits, and confusion. Even now when Fibromyalgia is much more widely known, the reason for the changes in brain function with Fibromyalgia is not clearly understood

You can find out more about the condition and where to get help at Fibromyalgia Action UK and UK Fibromyalgia if you need some help and support. And like Laura mentioned on our podcast below you can search social media platforms for groups and people to follow who have Fibromyalgia, so you can connect and talk to people who absolutely get it even though your symptoms may be very different.

Listen in to our latest episode below where we talked to Laura Bounford about her experience of being diagnosed and living with Fibromyalgia. Laura kindly shared her story about her very long diagnosis and gives a real insight into how frustrating it can be to get a diagnosis and get the help you need when you finally are.

If you or you know anyone who has a chronic condition like Fibromyalgia, please do give this episode a listen and share it with others. Laura talked about what has helped her over the years to manage her symptoms and look after her physical and mental health.

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