Diseases, Fibromialgia (Spanish)

¿Cuál es la conexión entre la fibromialgia y la depresión?

Fibromyalgia is a condition marked by persistent musculoskeletal pain that affects the whole body. Other symptoms include weariness, sleep difficulties, paraesthesia in the limbs, a sense of swelling in the hands, and morning stiffness, in addition to pain.

Because there is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, present therapies are only focused on reducing or softening the impact of various symptoms, such as pain, sleep issues, or mental anguish.

In terms of psychopathology, it has been discovered that the prevalence of depression is greater in fibromyalgia patients than in the general population. As a result, we shall go a little more into this relationship in this post.

Is it fibromyalgia or depression that comes first?

There are lines of study that indicate a probable association between pain and specific personality factors, finding data that backs up the idea that specific personality qualities are strongly linked to chronic pain.

On the other side, people with pain have a high frequency of depressed mood, and it is usually assumed that the mood is the source of the pain.

We’ll look at fibromyalgia as an example of a pain-related condition. A chronic rheumatological illness characterised by widespread pain, the predominant symptom of which is central sensitization manifested as diffuse pain that affects the entire body.

Emotional variables have been postulated as one of the reasons of this condition, among others. In this regard, the importance of emotional factors such as anxiety or sadness is acknowledged, with studies showing that 30% of fibromyalgia patients have depression when they first visit the doctor and 60% have it at some time in their medical history. Even yet, it’s unclear what effect these mental problems have on the genesis or maintenance of fibromyalgia.

What research has been done on the link between fibromyalgia and depression?

The University of the Balearic Islands conducted an inquiry in 2004 with the goal of confirming the link between fibromyalgia and depression. The researchers wanted to see if fibromyalgia patients had a distinct profile when it comes to the expression of this mood condition.

In terms of depression, there were no significant differences between fibromyalgia patients and healthy people. Although depression is not a role in the aetiology (cause) of fibromyalgia, this might be a clue that it may precede or accompany the illness.

What appears to be true is that the existence of a link between fibromyalgia and depression is due to comorbidity (the occurrence of both conditions at the same time), or that sad mood is a result of fibromyalgia. In this perspective, sad mood in fibromyalgia patients would be a result of pain and other symptoms interfering with everyday living.

Symptoms of the condition (for example, weariness) would hinder the individual from engaging in activities that they had previously enjoyed, as well as cause them to avoid participating in particular initiatives owing to the fear of discomfort. This would result in the patient losing reinforcers or motivating stimuli in their everyday lives, precipitating the depressive condition.

What does this link mean in terms of professional practise?

We may utilise a variety of strategies to avoid depression, including the following:

  1. Consider our way of life. The goal is to integrate enjoyable hobbies while also enhancing your social life. Due to the fact that these patients face unique challenges, activities should be tailored to their capacities.

2. Identify our thought patterns and strive to replace the ones that make us feel unpleasant with ideas that are less destructive.

3. Use seminars or therapy groups as a last resort. Knowing other individuals who are going through the same issue as you may help you feel understood and have access to some really beneficial resources for your specific condition.

4. Seeing a psychologist is always a possibility.

5. As a result, the findings might have significant ramifications for professional practise. If depression is a result of fibromyalgia rather than a cause, this might lead to the establishment of particular preventative programmes for this demographic based on the methods we’ve discussed.

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