Mood disorders related to fibromyalgia

If you have fibromyalgia, you’re also more likely to experience mood disorders.

19. Depression

As with all chronic pain patients, fibromyalgia sufferers have an increased chance of developing depression as a direct result of their condition. Research has shown that those diagnosed with fibro are three times as likely to have depression compared to those without it. Depression is one of the most important symptoms to determine early as it can be difficult to self-identify. It can also lead to other negative effects that can exacerbate other fibromyalgia symptoms, such as:

  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Decreased energy
  • Persistent sadness or anxiety

In more advanced cases, it can lead to a sense of worthlessness and thoughts about death. This can be exacerbated by their inability to regularly attend therapy. In addition, when depression is comorbid with a chronic pain condition, the condition will generally not improve unless the depression is also treated.

20. Nervous energy

When fibromyalgia patients feel good, they may be almost frenetic in their desire to do things. Whether playing with their kids or simply getting household chores done without pain, this can result in rebound pain later on.

21. Anxiety

Waiting for the next painful flare-up can result in a constant low-level hum of anxiety. In some patients, this anxiety may begin to grow into a fear of leaving the house, just in case a flare-up should begin. This can also manifest as a panic attack if fibro symptoms flare-up suddenly far away from home.

22. Emotional sensitivity

As anyone might expect, having any chronic pain condition may cause the person suffering to feel irritable and short-tempered. However, for fibro patients it’s more than that.

Many patients have reported that their emotional reactions are much stronger and they have less control over how they express them. Irritability is one of the most common manifestations of this and this sensitivity can greatly increase with a lack of sleep. This sensitivity is true for negative and positive emotions alike.

Mood swings can also have a big impact on the everyday life of fibromyalgia sufferers. Many people diagnosed with fibromyalgia can go from happy to angry in a minute or less. Very often the sudden changes in mood are inexplicable, which is why it can have such a devastating effect on professional and persona life.

23. Increased stress

The stress of painful fibromyalgia flare-ups can cause sufferers to experience post-traumatic stress disorder type symptoms such as an inability to relax and hypervigilance. This high level of constant stress can lead to other health issues.


Other fibromyalgia symptoms

There are other fibromyalgia symptoms that are related to, but don’t directly fit in any of the other categories. Those include the following.

24. Sleep disorders

Chronic pain patients often experience sleep disorders, and fibromyalgia patients are no different. Pain may make it difficult to get comfortable enough to fall asleep, and the slightest movement may result in pain that jolts them awake.

OnHealth reports that:

“Normally, there are several levels of sleep and getting enough of the deeper levels of sleep may be even more important than the total hours of sleep. Patients with fibromyalgia lack the deep, restorative level of sleep, called non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Consequently, patients with fibromyalgia often awaken in the morning without feeling fully rested, even though they seem to have had an adequate number of hours of sleep time.”

25. Joint stiffness

Especially in the morning, joint stiffness can be a common symptom of fibromyalgia. But it’s a double-edged sword: the more a patient moves the less stiff they will be, but pain often makes movement very difficult.

26. Menstrual pain or changes

Women may experience more pain during their menstrual cycle, including cramping and low back pain. They may also experience irregular menstrual cycles or changes in their cycle in duration and heaviness. Healthline reports that:

“In a report by the National Fibromyalgia Association, women with the condition have more painful periods than usual. Sometimes the pain fluctuates with their menstrual cycle. Most women with fibromyalgia are also between the ages of 40 to 55 years old. Research suggests that fibromyalgia symptoms may feel worse in women who are post-menopausal or are experiencing menopause.”

27. Increased chance of other health conditions

While not a direct symptom of fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia symptoms can greatly affect a person’s ability to participate in their normal routines and activities. If these include a regular exercise routine that is no longer regular or as vigorous, a fibromyalgia sufferer may find themselves with a higher body-mass index. This can lead to other health issues, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

MedicineNet also reports that: “Fibromyalgia can occur by itself, but people with certain other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other types of arthritis, may be more likely to have it.”