Are Fibromyalgia And PTSD Related?

are fibromyalgia and ptsd related

If you’re reading this, you probably suffer from chronic pain.

There’s also a good chance your condition was preceded by some sort of trauma. The connection between chronic pain and PTSD is real. There’s now a small but growing body of research that links these two conditions.

Fibromyalgia and trauma is also a two way street. Even the mainstream medical community is beginning to recognize that one can feed the other. Not only can trauma cause pain. But living with pain can also lead to being traumatized, according to a study published in the medical journal Pain.


Is Fibromyalgia Secondary to PTSD?

The positive takeaway from this is that it helps us understand why we have pain, and what we can do about it. I totally reject the premise that chronic pain is something we have to live with, and that it’s permanent and, oftentimes, progressive.

That’s because I’ve personally healed from excruciating pain, which followed a series of traumatic events. I do need to point out that I’m not a doctor a licensed mental health professional. So everything you read here is just presented as information only.

However, I’ve lived through a battle. And I want to share my story, in hopes it can help someone else. I want to turn what happened into good. One project was an eBook called How To Spot a Treacherous Person. You can get it for free by clicking on the image below and signing up to have a download delivered to your mailbox.

How to spot a treacherous person book

Are Fibromyalgia and PTSD Related?

(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything, I receive a referral fee, at no extra cost to you.)

Chronic anxiety began to plague me as a young adult. I felt unsettled and unloved. I began to worry about little things. This, combined with a hectic late night work schedule messed with my sleep patterns. Soon I also began to worry about not sleeping well, and how I’d get through the next day if I spent the night tossing and turning.

This created a very vicious cycle. I had a lot of trouble sleeping. But worrying about sleep kept me awake.


Fibromyalgia and Emotional Trauma

Fortunately, I had an understanding boyfriend. He married me regardless of the fact I was traumatized by various things in my life. My husband is a blessing.

Newly married, we wanted to start a family. However, it took a long time for our children to arrive. I also suffered from multiple miscarriages. This added another layer of trauma. Eventually, though, I conceived and carried a baby. But her early health problems led to more trauma.

Fibromyalgia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Raising children is hard work. It’s one of the biggest joys in life. It’s also one of the main causes of stress. My second child also had health problems. So I spent several years shuttling them from one natural healer to the next.

However, this part of my story has a happy ending. Both of my children are now healthy. This experience also left me with great respect for natural healing. This served me well when chronic pain hit.

A number of other experiences left my body in a weakened state. I should have known to walk away. But I didn’t. Eventually I became so sick I could barely walk. This was a life lesson. Never again will I stay in a ridiculous situation, and assume my body is strong enough to weather it.

Fibromyalgia and emotional abuse

PTSD and Fibromyalgia Treatment

In addition to pain, I had many of the classic symptoms of PTSD. This included something called “hyper-vigilance.” This meant my mind (as well as my body) was on high alert. I expected something bad to happen. I never relaxed. It was a horrible, hellish time in my life. I am so grateful to have recovered.

What I didn’t do was go to a doctor for medication. That’s because I knew the problem may be masked by drugs. But I wouldn’t be addressing the root causes. Instead, I delved into natural medicine. I saw two amazing homeopaths. I saw another holistic healer who focused on healing my adrenal glands.

Post Traumatic Fibromyalgia Syndrome

Chronic, low-level stress can lead to a condition called adrenal fatigue. This is also known as “adrenal exhaustion” and “adrenal burnout.” I took various herbal and glandular supplements to support my tired adrenals. Also, I worked hard to reduce my stress level. I took the right homeopathic remedies, and saw a chiropractor. I changed my diet



Eventually, my body recovered. My pain level improved. (I truly believe my pain was triggered by ongoing trauma.) I also learned to forgive everyone who hurt me. Forgiveness is possible, even though it’s not easy. This is especially true if the offending party will not apologize. People who abuse others typically have a difficult time with owning up. If you need help with forgiveness, I wrote a book called How To Forgive a Malicious Person.

Natural Pain Management Strategies

My pain hit hard. It progressed rapidly. Within months, I had great difficulty walking. If I walked too far, my right leg would develop excruciating muscle spasms. I started taking various homeopathic remedies. And these helped a great deal.

However, what I really needed was a complete lifestyle overhaul, coupled with various other healing methods. I used a ton of natural remedies. I still take herbal anti-inflammatory compounds. But the results have been amazing. I now have my life back.

People ask me what I did to get better. I can’t answer. That’s because I did so many things it would be difficult to mention everything in a conversation. So I developed an easy-to-follow online course that’s designed to help others discover what specific remedies might work for them. Click on the image below for more information.

Natural Pain Management StrategiesNatural Pain Management StrategiesSign Up Here

Is Fibro Caused By Emotional Abuse?

Thank you for reading this far. Both fibro and narcissistic abuse are topics we need to discuss. Here’s why. The more we become aware of emotional abuse, the more readily we’re able to spot when it happens. Recognizing toxic behavior is the first step toward eventual healing.

We can choose to leave a toxic situation, especially if it’s a workplace. That’s because there’s little upside to staying. The vast majority of targets eventually lose their job, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute. Either they’re fired or they resign. If you work with a narcissist, and you’re a target, finding a new job is often your best bet.

Does emotional abuse cause fibromyalgia

Fibro And Narcissistic Abuse

Things get trickier when the narcissist is a family member. But you can choose your response. You can also learn new ways of coping with difficult people. Sometimes just knowing the other person is the one with the issues is liberating.

As someone who’s survived narcissistic abuse, I feel it’s my duty to raise awareness of these types of character disorders, which cause so much drama and destruction.

Is fibro caused by emotional abuse

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44 thoughts on “Are Fibromyalgia And PTSD Related?

  1. All I can say is you are so correct!! Living through this and ending in the same conclusions you are. Nice to see I’m not crazy.

    1. I know. It happened, unfortunately. All we can do is make the best of it and try to thrive, regardless of pain. I wish you the best. Feel free to connect with us on Facebook.

    2. I’m so happy I read this article. I’m so relieved to see that I’m not crazy too. It’s amazing how similar our findings and troubles are. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. I’ve suffered from fibromyalgia, and continue to for many years. I’ve wondered about the mind/body connection. I’m really looking forward to reading more. Thank you!
    Susan

    1. Hi Susan, I’m convinced it’s real and from personal experience trauma is what seemed to trigger my pain. Feel free to stay in touch and feel free to join my private Facebook group.

  3. This is very true. I got sick at 20 years old, which led to fibromyalgia diagnosis as welll as other health problems (auto immune disorder). But after being sick so long, 22 years now, I know it’s related to emotional stress. Had to step away from certain people in my life to avoid flare ups. I still have pain, and flare ups, but a stressful, abusive childhood, and later the same emotional abuse into my adulthood, seems to directly relate to my body “screaming” at me to stop. The pain is my body’s way of coping, rather than me just getting emotional and reacting out loud. If that makes sense.

    1. Hi Narosa, so many of us have gotten sick after traumatic experiences, so I know what you’re talking about. My own theory is that it switches on the fight or flight response, and our adrenal glands become exhausted. Then the resulting hormonal imbalance eventually leads to pain. It’s a vicious cycle. The good news, though, is that we can bounce back, at least partially. Feel free to join my private Facebook group if you’d like to continue the discussion. Go to the Contact area of this site.

    1. There seems to be something going on with the adrenal glands, following the trauma. At least that’s what happened to me. Natural remedies and a good diet can be so helpful.

  4. I’ll have to read this a few times to get it all, it seems that’s how my brain works these days. I had a traumatic childhood, and first marriage. Have a wonderful husband now, but after the death of my 23 year old son, my fibromyalgia shut me down. The Meds they give for it made me suicidal. Lost my job due to all of this and working to get better, but it feels impossible. I do have a great psychologist . Healing seems impossible right now!

    1. Stephanie, I am so sorry about your son. I will pray for you. All this trauma does catch up with us. Thankfully it sounds like you have good support. God bless you.

    2. Heart felt hello to you Stephanie, and all who have commented.
      I had an abuse in my childhood…..an older brother. Only after my Mother and Father had passed that my other brother and I were able to be honest, and realize the abuse. I guess out of respect for our parents, we never expressed the abuse. After the loss of the last surviving parent, my Mother, the abuse was full on. With that, and my son having NF1, a genetic disorder and the issues that come with it….
      the Fibromyalgia set in.
      I wanted to die….
      not wake up….
      I could never commit suiside, I wouldn’t want to leave my boys and leave them with such a terrible ending to their Mother’s life. However, if not for them… I just don’t know…. would I have done it?
      Yes, I was put on meds.. Yes, I felt suisidal… I pushed through, stayed on the meds.. it took several months. Cymbalta and Wellbutrin, with Meloxican for pain. I know this is
      not the path “fibronatural” is advocating…. stay with me on this.

      Pharmaceutical drugs only took my recovery part way. I started reading, researching about low energy levels, nutritional malabsorption of our systems, and adrenal fatigue. Really, what else could I do, anything physical I did was followed with PAIN.
      I haven’t read any of the books the the author of fibronatural club has available, nor have I looked into the “course”…. but I will, as soon as I post this message.

      Everyone is different, duh….. We who are in pain need to read what has worked for others and try to pick what makes sense and try the suggestions.
      What has worked for me:
      Magnesium malnate, B complex, multivitamins plus minerals, CoQ10, Co enzyme A. I use liquid supplements when available. (I was getting terrible acid reflex. Much better since taking liquid nutrition). DLPA has been very helpful too!!! I just finished an Adrenal fast start supplement….hmmmm, I really feel different….better than before….hmmmmmmm :0)
      My most recent addition is NADH. NADH and DLPA, and the Adrenal supplemment, with all else that I have been taking for 5 years has given to me, ME back! I will have several days now with low pain or no pain…then of course I over do, and have a crash… however, not as hard, the recovery is quicker.
      I agree with other posts, recovery isn’t just ONE thing, or TWO things, etc.. Don’t give up. Fibro is a life style. A game now for me.
      I will be looking to see what fibronatural club has to say and suggest. If there are other suggestions other than what I have tried and are taking, I will try, because I am not 100% me……yet 🙂
      Like many of the posts here. If something works for us, we want to share. That’s how chronic pain is. We don’t want anyone to suffer anymore than necessary. Even if my post can help or encourage one person, it is worth my time…..no one is a lone… please know that, who ever you are……. xoxo
      For me, I am feeling that I am suffering from a adrenal gland inefficiency.

      Keep reading you all, keep searching, keep talking to God…

      Love and healing hugs!
      rjackson

  5. Yes ,I have had this for the last 30 years with no help at all. The pain is so bad at times all I do is cry. Please,I need help,it isn’t all in my head. I know people don’t understand how it feels to hurt all the time,but I am praying your article is true & not a scam like so many other places I have turned to.

    1. Linda, my article is just an information article on the connection between previous trauma and chronic pain. I hope you find healing and relief.

    1. Laura, my pain started after a similar traumatic stressful time and I have no doubt what caused it either. I’m sorry this has happened to you. Please feel free to join my private Facebook group. Look in the Contact section for details.

  6. This is what the Gupta Amygdala Retraining Programme and Dynamic Neural Retraining System address. I noticed my suicidal-level fibro pain disappeared when I went on medical leave with a disc rupture. Ok, so I was still in a lot of pain, but not fibro pain. Unfortunately, I still had a lot to learn… that mold toxins were building up and traumatizing my brain, and that returning to my abusive parents’ house, when I crashed completely and had to leave the moldy house, was the worst thing I could have done. But I was able to improve 90% with Gupta Programme, EFT, chiropractic, energy practices, and a healthy, clean lifestyle. I’ve been avoiding it for too long, and now it’s time to get some outside help for the trauma that is holding me back in my program.

    1. Hi Jennifer, I’m so glad to hear this good news. Many of us can definitely get better with a comprehensive clean lifestyle approach. Energy medicine can be so helpful. Thanks for letting us know about your program.

  7. Its amazing what today’s lifestyles do. In this day in age you think our bodies would have naturally adapted as we’ve evolved. But I feel our bodies brake down in so many other ways. I’m 50 years old and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia over 25 years ago…but I know I was suffering way before that, probably since I was a child. Until just recently have I ever known what it is like to be out of pain. I’ve ALWAYS felt some level of pain throughout my body. I still a not completely pain free but better than I was. Currently I am dealing with adrenal fatigue…AGAIN. I run my own business which is rather stressful with all my responsibilities, had pneumonia, surgery back in December and my son and I had a tremendous falling out. All led to adrenal issues.
    My whole life has been personal/mental trauma and being a type A personality…well need I say more.
    I can’t tell you how many doctors, specialists, therapists, etc. I have seen over the years. One thing I know for sure, there is not one path that leads to healing and each person is different. But, the common denominator is balancing your mental, spiritual, emotional and physical being.
    I hope to write a book on it someday because I would love to give support to women, even if it is only one person.
    I sincerely love all my fellow sufferers as you are the only ones who can truly relate to me and and visa versa. (((HUGS)))

    1. Hi Shannon, thanks so much for reading my blog and for leaving a comment. Adrenal fatigue is tough. That I know. Like today I scrubbed two floors and I’m now paying with being tired. I’m so sorry to hear about you and your son. I hope and pray this can be resolved. I’ll add you to my prayer list. Life seems so stressful right now, with everyone dealing with really major stuff. I wish you well. Please feel free to join my private chronic pain Facebook group. The details are in the Contact section.

  8. I believe it is post traumatic, I was hit by a car when I was 15. Two months later I felt the pain, especially when it was cloudy or windy. The doctors didn’t know what it was, they diagnosed it when I was 33. I am now 73 and I still have it. A co worker fell and hit her head on the tiled floor, months later she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Another friend became very ill with the flu and a few months later she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

    1. Hi Maria, I am sorry to hear about your accident. You’ve had this for a long time. I do hear from people who say that physical trauma is the trigger. It seems like any sort of trauma can spell trouble. Thanks so much for reading my blog.

  9. So I don’t even know where to start, I was diagnosed 8 years ago shortly after I met my now husband. I was married to a man for 18years that made me feel like everything I did was wrong he cheated on me non stop and it was my fault he made me believe I was the biggest piece of poop, as I got a reminder every day I was a fat piece of shit no one would ever love me like he did. So I stayed since we had two amazing girls, he was very mentally abusesive with my oldest daughter, I defended her but we both still took a lot of physical and mentally abuse. I finally got enough courage to leave and it was the hardest thing for me to do because I loved him, so I thought. It took us 4 years to get divorced and that was a mess 2 days after my daughter turned 18 he finally filed for divorce so he wouldn’t pay for child support on 2 kids.. And if that wasn’t enough now I am single and dating in a dating site that was a mess a single mom, plus size 300 hundred plus pounds ugh horrible, but hey went on a few dates and then I was date rapped, gun to my head and drugged just a bad situation. After all this mess, I kept it together for my girls that’s all I had to keep me going. I finally gave my now husband a chance since we were friends for years before we stared to date and I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, he is an absolute life saver, things sure happen for a reason and that reason is my husband never complains he is there by my side 24/7. After everything I went them to have someone by my side going thru this is truly AMAZING!

    1. Hi Bonnie, thanks so much for reading my blog. I am so sorry to hear all that you’ve been through. Of course all of this takes a toll on our body and our minds, and the end result can be a lot of physical pain, to match the mental pain. The good news is that we can heal as well. I hope you can find a good holistic healer if you’re interested in natural remedies.

  10. Hi I completely agree with everything you’ve written. I lived with a narcissistic mother for 16 years and was subjected to severe emotional abuse on a daily basis. I went on to marry into a violent marriage.
    36 years on I can’t remember what it feels like not to be in pain 24/7.
    I would love to join your Facebook page but can’t find the contact details.

  11. PS I should have mentioned that I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia when I was 20 years old. I’m now 57. My doctor is very dismissive of it and constantly tells me I need counselling

    1. I’m sorry to hear you’re not getting more help. I’ve had good luck with holistic healers. They try to find out what’s wrong and work to make you well again.

  12. I always have felt there was some connection with the mind/body Having been brought up with [two diagnosed] narcissist parents, being made the scrape goat in the family for all the bad things that have happened etc Ive been in pain since i was 3 now almost 60 My doc wont listen when i mention adrenal problems but as i live in a small town its hard to find anyone to help but thanks for putting it out there the more people talk about the connection the more it will be taken seriously
    thanks again

    1. I do think the connection needs to be studied more and taken more seriously. It will help people understand how terrible narcissistic abuse is. It can also help us realize what we’ve dealt with and then hopefully we can find the tools to find out how to deal with it. My best recommendation is to take care of your physical body as best you can and to try to forgive as best you can. Then you just pick up the pieces and move forward. But it’s much easier said than done. Thanks for reading.

  13. When I saw a renowned specialist, he tried to convince me that my pain was due to a traumatic upbringing. He was insisting I had been physically or mentally abused. He couldn’t have been more wrong but he NEVER believed me.
    My problems started after a botched surgery. The doctor was a sadist. Tried to sue but no one wanted to take the case. That was in 1992 and I have had chronic pain every since.
    What can one do if you cannot remove the source of extreme stress? I live in a place I hate, in an area I hate, and people who I feel no connection to. The stress is so bad that within six years of living here my teeth have been ground down to half their size. I have a night guard now but it’s my “torture device”. Lost half of my hair and those are just for starters.
    My husband is suffering too as his health has declined very rapidly since we moved here. I hardly recognize him and the funny person he used to be.
    We do not have the money to get away and our income is very low. Sorry for the tone of this post but what is one to do when it is impossible to get away? I am crumbling and any stress at all elicits even more pain.
    BTW we are surrounded by toxins. Just less than a mile away there is a landfill (dump), a few miles in the other direction is an old uranium mind that is supposedly “safe” after being capped but I don’t believe that for one moment. Plus in the seventies a large chemical company was caught just burying its toxic by-products. Again, supposedly cleaned up and are “no threat to health”. Sure.
    One can only be strong for so long. So sad to hear of others’ sufferings as well. My thoughts are with all who suffer. There must be an answer somewhere.

    1. I think there are a lot of reasons people develop chronic pain and chronic fatigue. Emotional trauma is one. Physical trauma can be another. Even digestive issues as you just mentioned. We’re all different.

  14. Hi, I was diagnosed 4 years ago, I read an article on Leaky Gut Syndrome and it’s something doctors don’t pick up on or even tell you about. In the article the mentioned a range of vitamins to take, so I have been on them and I must say that I do feel a lot better. I am functioning like a normal human being. I do believe trauma has something to do with Fibro but look for the article it was in a magazine called ‘Loose It’.

  15. Sorry what I didn’t mention was that leaky gut syndrome can also have something to do with having Fibro.

    1. A lot of this does seem triggered by trauma. I’ve heard others say physical trauma too. It’s a nasty condition, no matter how it happened.

    1. Absolutely, go to my offer of a free ebook on the front page and you will be led to a form that you need to agree to receive newsletters.

  16. You hit the nail on the head ! I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and now I am starting to come out of the fog (thanks to modern medicine), understand that the events of my life have created so much turmoil inside of me. I am a very determined person…this gives me hope reading your article !

    1. I’m so glad I can offer some hope. No guarantees, but there are a lot of anecdotal reports of people getting much better with natural medicine. I’m one of the anecdotes. Please feel free to join my private Facebook group. Details in the Contact section.

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