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How to Cope With the Distress of a Fibromyalgia Flare-Up

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So you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness. No cure is offered to you, instead some temporary relief or tools to cope. Now what?

For a number of reasons, depending on your illness, your body will decide to go on “overdrive” and create what most will call a flare-up. refers to it as: “Flare: 1. an exacerbation of a chronic disease.”  This exacerbation of symptoms can be quite distressing to an individual’s mental and physical state of being.

What do I mean by physical distress?

Here are some examples. Allodynia is pain that is provoked by something that would not usually hurt.  Sudden onset of migraine, pain, fatigue, and other symptoms can occur, or suddenly get worse.

What types of mental distress can you experience during a flare?

How can you learn to cope with a flare-up?

Here are some tips that have helped me through the years:

  • Have a flare-up emergency kit at the ready to help keep your mind off the pain
  • Talk to someone you love or find support online
  • Deep breaths. It does feel like it will never end and it is hard but it will pass
  • Try to notice what brings on the flare-ups. Are there any cues? Is there anything that stands out about your day?
  • Rest, rest, and more rest.

As I mentioned above, flare-ups can be overwhelming and feel never-ending. Our bodies are resilient and in those moments they are just trying to adjust to their brain signals.

I will leave you with this powerful quote by Christopher Reeve:

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

Photo by Marco Bianchetti on Unsplash.

Originally published: August 2, 2022
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