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Let's Bust These 5 Myths About Fibromyalgia

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Fibromyalgia is an illness that seems to be surrounded by many myths. While this illness has been around for quite a while, there is still a lot that is unknown about it; however, as we learn more about fibromyalgia, the better we are able to debunk many of the myths surrounding it. The following are five common myths I have found that surround fibromyalgia, along with the truths behind them. I hope that learning the truth behind these myths will help you to understand more about your illness, or the illness that affects your loved one.

1) Myth: Fibromyalgia is a purely psychological illness.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain, tender points, poor quality of sleep, and fatigue. Fibromyalgia can lead to depression, and depression can lead to fibromyalgia, but it is not a purely psychological illness. Both depression and fibromyalgia are medical conditions, and each condition has its own set of symptoms.

Unfortunately, fibromyalgia was once considered a purely psychological condition that only affected women, and it was even once considered “Women’s Hysteria.” This negatively affected how fibromyalgia has been viewed, which makes it easy for those who don’t know much about the illness to stereotype it. It is important to understand that while fibromyalgia does have psychological aspects, it is a complicated medical illness that needs to be viewed as such.

2) Myth: Fibromyalgia is fatal.

While having certain conditions, such as lupus, can lead to acquiring fibromyalgia, it has not been found that fibromyalgia affects a person’s life expectancy. Having certain conditions in conjunction with fibromyalgia may lead to a lower life expectancy, but a lower life expectancy has not been linked solely to fibromyalgia.

3) Myth: Fibromyalgia mainly affects older individuals.

Fibromyalgia is initially diagnosed primarily in individuals ages 35 to 45, but it can also affect children. Fibromyalgia is seen in individuals of all ages.

4) Myth: Fibromyalgia only affects women.

While women are 10 times more likely than men to acquire fibromyalgia, the illness can affect men as well. It is not yet understood why women are more likely than men to develop fibromyalgia, but we cannot discount the fact that men also live with the illness and need a high level of medical care to manage their symptoms.

5) Myth: Fibromyalgia causes severe damage to the body.

It has not been found that fibromyalgia causes deterioration in the body. However, it is true that fibromyalgia symptoms can worsen over time and cause a lower quality of life and a lower ability to function regarding daily tasks. The severity of symptoms can lead to a negative impact on an individual’s psychological and physical well-being, but no physical deterioration of the body has been observed.

Fibromyalgia is a serious illness that affects an individual’s physical and psychological well-being. It affects women more than men, but men do still develop the illness. Certain illnesses are more likely to lead to fibromyalgia, such as depression and lupus, which can impact the severity of fibromyalgia symptoms and the gravity of the illness.

Fibromyalgia can seriously impact an individual’s ability to thrive, and medical care and attention must be paid regularly to ensure that an individual’s symptoms are well-managed. There are so many myths and misunderstandings that exist about fibromyalgia, but the more we tell our stories and spread awareness of what the illness is like, the more we will be able to raise awareness for fibromyalgia and support those who live with it. I hope that debunking the above myths has helped to spread more awareness about the reality of fibromyalgia while helping those understand more about their illness, or the illness of their loved one.

Getty image by Kameleon007.

Originally published: June 3, 2022
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