Most fibromyalgia patients are exhausted all the time and suffer from painful muscles and joints. But these aren't the only common symptoms of fibromyalgia, at least one-fourth of fibromyalgia patients also have some form of depression. In fact, adult fibromyalgia patients are much more likely than those without fibromyalgia to be depressed.
The link between fibromyalgia symptoms and depression makes sense. First, coping with the severe pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia can be frustrating and disruptive to your lifestyle. And fibromyalgia symptoms can also lead you through uncharted territory as you work through a maze of health care providers.
How Depression Can Make Fibromyalgia Symptoms Worse
Like other people with depression, fibromyalgia patients often experience a loss of interest in their favorite activities and feel lonely, tired, and sad.
Depression makes pain worse and causes lots of fatigue and functional disability in fibromyalgia patients,â€ says Roland Staud, MD, professor of medicine, division of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the University of Florida in Gainesville. There is a strong correlation, Dr. Staud says, between pain and depression: Alleviation of one leads to alleviation of the other.
Elizabeth W. Carson, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist on staff at St. Josephs Hospital in Atlanta, Ga., says she sees many fibromyalgia patients who are depressed as well as frustrated with their disease process. â€œDepression makes the patient more aware of the pain of fibromyalgia.
Dr. Jadali's Approach to Depression and Anxiety
Careful monitoring and fine-tuning of all essential metabolic blood makers, including:
- Evaluating secondary pathways via using specific serum markers
- Gene evaluation that research has determined to be one of the elements important in the depression pathway. Once we figure out the degree of deficiency, then we can correct it via supplementation.
- Use of natural & botanical extracts if indicated as add on to an appropriate pharmaceutical agent or by themselves.
- Using pharmaceutical anti-depressants with or without the use of anxiolytic medications for appropriate patients.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
- Self Care.
- Ultimately a referral to Psychiatrist may be warranted if all above fails.