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Fibromyalgia is one of those "hidden diseases" where you usually can't physically see what's going on, but it's still there. Because of this, doctors tend to write it off as something else or just outright say there's nothing wrong with you. What do you do when people say it's all in your head, and you genuinely feel like you're going crazy? Or when this illness is taking over and ruining your life?
1.) Understand you're not going senile.
The pain you feel is 100 percent real, and putting a strain on your life. My mom and I both have fibro, and when she went to her doctor — someone she's seen for years — he told her "Well, you are getting a little older. Maybe you should hire a maid around the house and to take care of the kids." Yet, I distinctly remember sitting with my mom, rubbing her arms and hands for her as she cried from the pain. I promise you, you are not mad as a hatter. There are doctors out there who believe in these invisible sicknesses. You just have to find one.
2.) Keep in check with your mental health.
More often than not, fibromyalgia is primarily linked to depression. If you have a doctor who doesn't want to hear about your fibro pain, try to see if they will listen and can get you on an anti-depressant, if needed. I personally found my fibro pain got better once I started taking medicine to help keep my depression in control, since my fibro is at its worst when I'm sad. Of course, this varies from person to person, but it's always good to make sure you're alright in your noggin during all this.
3.) Try all your options.
There's specific (and expensive) medicine for fibromyalgia that, if you're able, has been proven to work relatively well. You could also try to search some light exercises for those who suffer. They're usually easy on your joints and pain points, but help strengthen your muscles to relieve some of that daily pain you feel. Some people, also, but pop some ibuprofen and truck on through. It's all up to you, but just remember that sometimes your body is tired and needs to rest. So be sure to take the time each day to chill out and relax. Take a nap, even!
4.) Reach out.
There are plenty of support groups for people with fibro. It's always good to talk to someone who understands what it's like. You can usually find them online, but if you have a friend, family member, or significant other who also has this ailment or is just simply willing to listen, then they are just as much of help. The comfort of having someone to talk to makes even the worst days a little more tolerable.
5.) Keep your head up.
I know the pain and unwillingness of people is hard, and makes it so much worse. But try to stay positive. As long as you are trying to overcome this condition and not let it define you, then you're moving in the right direction. This also relates back to talking to others about it. They can help you get through your daily struggles. Find a reason each day to keep moving forward.
I hope this helps in some kind of way. I know for me it took some time to find my way of dealing with this, so my goal is to aid others with them finding their coping mechanisms. Just remember that you are much stronger than this, and you can get through this. Have faith in yourself and your abilities.