I cannot stress enough how important it is to get the right coping skills and help in order to keep from giving up or giving in. People with Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FM), Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) and any other chronic pain conditions, can benefit from counseling by a certified therapist for: stressful life conditions, depression and/or anxiety, abuse histories, adjustment issue to chronic illness, poor support system and many other challenges we face.

There is a connection between FM, CMP and depression. The stress from constant pain and fatigue can cause anxiety, depression, inactivity and social isolation. It is also possible that anxiety and depression are part of FM and CMP, just like the pain. Depression and chronic pain can greatly interfere with the way you cope with activities at home or at work. As a sufferer myself, I know exactly what that’s like.

Chronic pain sufferers most often need a combination of medications (I am on an anti-depressant and several other meds), alternative therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a change in lifestyle habits. So it is important to openly discuss any symptoms of depression you have with our doctors. Medication is not enough by itself and some prescription drugs make our depression and anxiety worse.

Some people with fibromyalgia and chronic pain may be aware they are depressed. Others may not realize they are depressed, but they know something is just is not right.

Researchers have found that fibromyalgia patients have an inability to process and handle stress. Studies have shown that the breakdown in the adrenals, hypothalamus, pituitary and thyroid glands play a key role in FM patients’ lack of coping mechanisms. Not only does chronic pain cause enormous stress in our lives, but we are unable to manage it.

All people have stress in their lives which may be unavoidable. FM and other chronic pain sufferers have even more. Counseling and/or stress management can help us cope with our symptoms and improve our overall reactions to stress.

I have been seeing a certified therapist that has really helped me discover some of the issues that may contribute to my pain. It’s also not just about the here and now, but past experiences that we think are in the past, are really still simmering in our sub-conscious, affecting our emotional state and our inability to cope with the stress that’s right in front of us. I resisted therapy for years! I did not want to go to yet another doctor that I would have to convince that my pain is real and not “all in my head”. It took seeing several different counselors before I found one that REALLY GOT IT! It feels like a GREAT weigh has been lifted off my shoulders. My stress and anxiety are becoming manageable and I feel less and less depressed.

Counselors trained in treating FM and other chronic pain patients can be very helpful, but we have to put in some work ourselves. Its not easy to make the changes required to make therapy successful, but we need to correct the self-defeating thoughts and actions that have led us to seek help from a professional in the first place.

Research shows that a combined multidisciplinary treatment approach is the most effective way to achieve symptom relief. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there is hope if we seek and get the right help! Counseling can really make a difference along with the other treatments you may be receiving!

Author's Bio: 

Erica Thompson is a 40-year-old, Stay-at-Home mom with 3 children and a husband in the military. She was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1995, but suffered from it many years prior to diagnosis and later, diagnosed with Chronic Myofascial Pain, IBS, RLS, migraine & more. She has done extensive research and is an expert based on her own experience, her mother's and her grandmother's. Her goal is to help chronic pain sufferers.

Website: Fibromyalgia Help 4 US