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10 Drawings That Depict What Fibromyalgia Pain Feels Like

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It can be hard to put into words what the various types of chronic pain from fibromyalgia feel like – especially if you’re talking to someone who doesn’t have the condition. For those of you who express yourselves through art and creativity, sometimes the best way to describe your pain is to let a visual representation do the “talking.”

To help others better understand what it’s like to have fibromyalgia, we asked our Mighty community to draw what their fibro pain looks like – and the images they produced are both gorgeous and enlightening.

Here’s what our community shared with us:

1. “I did this during a flare-up about a year or so ago, maybe two. Time is abstract at this point. The only thing I could think to do was distract myself. My main pain presents in my neck and head, and it always feels like my pain goes unheard of…” – Etno Ramirez

blue drawing of a woman surrounded by red and black blotches

2. “This is what I imagine the darkness and despair of fibromyalgia looks like for me during my worst fibro flares. Just a thick inescapable blanket of severe pain, exhaustion and hopelessness.” – Janessa Osborn

drawing of a woman with blonde curly hair crying with a dark and purple shading across the image

3. “Drawn hastily on my phone. My ankles, hands, shoulders and hips constantly ache. I can no longer scratch an itch on my shoulders without pain and my lower body pain makes a grocery trip feel like an impossible task. I feel like I’m incapable of moving at a decent pace, like I’m constantly being weighed down. Brain fog, leaving me feeling completely behind my coworkers and unable to keep up conversations with my family. And of course, the evil sun, making me sweat constantly and making me feel even slower as the heat bears down on me.” – Rebecca D. Davis

sketch of a person dragging weights with an evil sun overhead

4. “I drew this to express what it feels like when I’m trying to fall asleep to escape the pain, but all I can think about is how much everything hurts.” – Stacy Reed

drawing of woman curled up and surrounded by different types of pain

5. “Fibro pain is like a big bruise that completely covers my entire being. It never heals or goes away.” – Amy Clements

blotches of color, mostly pink and blue

6. “Muscular pain.” – Janessa Osborn

drawing of muscular ache

7. “In chains of confusion, exhaustion and pain.” – Jo James

black and white sketch of woman wrapped in chains

8. “‘I’m fine.’ I deal with chronic migraines on top of body pain and it feels like my head was hit over and over. No energy to even brush her hair. Bloodshot eyes, no mouth because the pain can’t be described with words… unable to convey just how much it hurts. Sickly green tone to the skin – a nod to the nausea that comes and goes. A certain helplessness that is almost overpowering, yet we are here. Still awake. Still fighting. I’m not a very good artist, but you get the idea…” – Ashley Allison

drawing of a woman's face experiencing fibromyalgia pain

9. “Tired of trying to explain, so I drew my pain, the pain no one can see, but me. For you to see my pain.” – Barb Michaud

black and white drawing of a woman holding her knees in pain

10. “This is one of my pictures that my therapist encouraged me to draw. It’s my interpretation of what the allodynia type pain from my fibro feels like.” – Janessa Osborn

pink drawing of allodynia pain


Fibromyalgia, a chronic illness with three main symptoms — widespread pain, chronic fatigue and cognitive trouble. Fibromyalgia is a complicated illness that’s not well understood. In the past, it was mischaracterized as a mental health disorder. Even today, some doctors wave off fibro symptoms as being “all in your head.” This isn’t the case. Read The Mighty’s comprehensive guide to fibromyalgia here. Click here to join our fibro community and connect with people who get it.

Originally published: July 24, 2018
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