According to medical statistics, up to 80 percent of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia will also meet the diagnostic criteria for some form of anxiety disorder. This high rate of comorbidity has been linked to increased symptom severity and chronicity and reduced quality of life.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain and tenderness affecting multiple body parts simultaneously. Other symptoms may include fatigue, sleep and emotional disturbances, and cognitive impairment, often referred to as “fibro fog.”
It is not clear what causes fibromyalgia but it has been linked to dysfunction or altered pain processing in the central nervous system.
Anxiety is a normal stress reaction, but when it becomes chronic, it may become an anxiety disorder. By definition, anxiety disorders are mental illnesses characterized by excessive worry or fear, difficulty concentrating, feelings of dread or apprehension, physical symptoms such as heart palpitations or sweating, difficulty sleeping, and restlessness or inability to relax.
How Fibromyalgia and Anxiety Influence Each Other
There is a bidirectional relationship between anxiety and fibromyalgia, where one condition can trigger the onset of the other or worsen the symptoms.
Impact of Anxiety on Fibromyalgia: Anxiety can have a significant impact on fibromyalgia. Anxiety can exacerbate pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances, making the symptoms more pronounced and challenging to manage. Anxiety can also cause individuals with fibromyalgia to avoid activities that may exacerbate symptoms, leading to decreased quality of life.
Impact of Fibromyalgia on Anxiety: Fibromyalgia can also have a significant impact on anxiety. The unpredictability of symptoms and their impact can lead to chronic stress and anxiety. The persistent pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms can also lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, which may also result in anxiety and depression.
This interaction between fibromyalgia and anxiety can create a vicious cycle of symptoms that may be hard to overcome. Additionally, fibromyalgia and anxiety often share symptoms, such as fatigue, concentration problems, and sleep disturbances. This overlap can further complicate diagnosis and treatment.
Treating Comorbid Fibromyalgia and Anxiety
Managing comorbid fibromyalgia and anxiety can be challenging, but there are proven treatment options that can help ease symptoms and improve quality of life. These include:
Medications: Medications, such as pain relievers, anxiolytics, and antidepressants, are often prescribed to help manage symptoms of fibromyalgia and anxiety.
Therapy: Psychotherapy can help individuals manage anxiety by changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. It can also help individuals with fibromyalgia manage their symptoms by teaching coping skills and stress management techniques.
Lifestyle Changes: According to medical experts, lifestyle modifications, such as regular exercise, stress management, sleep hygiene, and a healthy diet, can have a positive impact on symptoms of both fibromyalgia and anxiety.
Alternative Therapies: Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and yoga can help reduce pain and improve overall well-being in people with fibromyalgia and anxiety. These therapies can help reduce tension and promote relaxation.
Ketamine Therapy: Ketamine treatment is a promising evidence-based treatment option for individuals who have not found relief with traditional treatment options. Ketamine has been used for decades as an anesthetic and pain reliever, but in recent years, it has come under the spotlight thanks to its high success rate in managing treatment-resistant psychological disorders and chronic pain syndromes, including anxiety and fibromyalgia.
Managing comorbid fibromyalgia and anxiety requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both conditions simultaneously. For best results, your doctor may develop a personalized treatment plan that combines several treatments and other interventions.
But if you have tried traditional treatments without success, ketamine therapy at Chrysalis Ketamine Clinic may be a viable option for you; with promising results and minimal side effects, ketamine therapy may be just what you have been looking for.
If you have been struggling to find an effective treatment for co-occurring anxiety and fibromyalgia, contact us at Chrysalis Ketamine to learn more about our personalized ketamine treatments and how we can help you manage your symptoms and lead a fulfilling life.