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How to Cope with the Emotional Side of Fibromyalgia

Discover three ways to start living better with fibromyalgia, while managing the emotions that often come along with it.

Living with fibromyalgia can understandably trigger a lot of negative feelings about yourself, your life and your relationships. But if you can learn how to cope with fibromyalgia and manage those bad emotions in positive ways, you'll give yourself the best shot at living well with fibromyalgia. 

Here are three ways to start feeling better

  • Say "I have fibromyalgia." Pretending you feel fine when you don't isn't the answer. In fact, people with fibromyalgia who learn to accept their condition and their fibro symptoms are better able to cope with it. What's more, research also suggests that fibromyalgia patients who use avoidance as a coping method for negative feelings tend to experience increased fibro pain. Acknowledge the fact that fibromyalgia is a real medical illness, and find healthy outlets for your feelings about it. 
  • Write about your fibromyalgia. Recording your feelings in a personal diary or symptoms journal is one healthy way to express how you feel about having fibromyalgia and may be very therapeutic. 
  • Be positive about fibromyalgia treatment. It's difficult to simply smile in the face of severe fibro pain and fatigue. However, studies suggest that some people with fibromyalgia tend to "catastrophize" their fibro pain, or imagine the worst-case scenario. Understandable. But it's also disempowering. Try to cast down negative emotions, thoughts and beliefs about your fibromyalgia, and begin to cultivate more positive ones instead. Seek out counselors, self-help books or online fibromyalgia support groups that can help you foster positive, empowered thinking. 

Medically reviewed in August 2018. Updated in March 2021. 

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