Stress and Fibromyalgia

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Fibromyalgia affects approximately 4% of adults. It primarily affects women. Not nearly enough is known about this debilitating condition. Approximately 3-6 million Americans, ranging in age from 20-50, are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (Murray, Daniels, Murray, 2006). Diagnosis has been on the rise with doctors not knowing sometimes how to treat the patient because a finite cause has yet to be found. Many who suffer from Fibromyalgia know that added stress affects their pain levels. Many also say that they have undergone intense stress in their lives. And many know the added stress from being diagnosed and the hardship of finding a caregiver that recognizes this is a real condition with real causes and symptoms that need real treatment. The more we can learn about this condition the more the physicians can learn and help these victims of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia (FM) is an incurable condition that is marked with severe pain, extreme lethargy, sleep issues, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and disability and mood disturbances such as depression, anxiety, and mood swings (Murray, et al., 2006). FM is thought to be a rheumatologic disorder, however, some evidence suggest that it could be a psychological disorder or have a psychological component (Murray, Daniels, Murray, 2006). Research is focusing on the psychological and biochemical/hereditary components (Murray, Daniels, Murray, 2006). There are ideas that have been tossed around but there has yet to be a firm etiological explanation found (Murray, et al., 2006).
Many people with FM self-report having had severe psychological traumas in their lives at some point in time (Lumley, Cohen, Stout, Neely, Sander, Burger, 2008). Domestic Violence is a highly discussed issue in toda...

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Murray, T. R., Daniels, M., & Murray, C. E. (2006). Differentiation of self, perceived stress, and symptom severity among patients with fibromyalgia syndrome. Families, Systems, & Health, 24(2), 147-159. doi:10.1037/1091-7527.24.2.147
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Public Policy Office. (2007). Domestic violence facts. Retrieved from website:
The 5 forms of domestic violence. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Van Houdenhove, B., Egle, U., & Luyten, P. (2005). The role of life stress in fibromyalgia. Current Rheumatology Reports, 7(5), 365-370. Retrieved from
Van Houdenhove, B., & Luyten, P. P. (2006). Stress, depression and fibromyalgia. Acta Neurologica Belgica, 106(4), 149-156.

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