Myth Debunked I of VI

IT’S A PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEM

Fibromyalgia is a real condition affecting the physical body; it’s not “all in your head”. The notion that fibromyalgia is a psychological problem and not a ‘real’ physical condition is sadly still too common and can be incredibly insulting. While the cause is not truly known, some can pinpoint when it began or what they think may have triggered it. But many others can not. We *believe* my fibro started due to Mono in college.

There will be instances where the mental and physical correlate, where the mind-body connection is a two-way street. Some believe mental disorders may be precursors for fibromyalgia in some cases or that mental illness may make a person more exposed to developing such a condition.While yes, I do have mental health issues, they started long before I had fibro symptoms plus we do know the instigating factor that started my mental health issues.

Most people with fibromyalgia are experiencing physical illness with biological abnormalities, which may then negatively affect mental health as a result of the impact to their physical health, work, relationships, lifestyle and so on.

Fibromyalgia is a real physical condition, not an imagined one, with real physical consequences. It has been acknowledged for centuries but was first classed as a mental disorder, before becoming viewed as a rheumatic disorder by the early 1800s. It was given the name ‘fibromyalgia’ in 1976, derived from the Latin “fibro” (relating to fibrosis tissue) and the Greek “myo” (for muscle) with “algia” (pain). By 1990, diagnostic guidelines were implemented by the American College of Rheumatology and the first prescribed medication was made available by 2007.

Recent research has been increasingly revealing of physical markers of fibromyalgia, such as increased blood flow among certain regions of the brain, low levels of the hormone somatomedin C, low levels of the muscle-cell chemicals adenosine and phosphocreatine, high levels of the neurotransmitter ‘substance P’, and dysregulated blood blood cytokine and chemokine patterns.

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