Chronic Illness/ Stress/ Anxiety/Depression

“Pleasure is oft a visitant, but pain clings cruelly to us , John Keats

Living with fibromyalgia, heart disease, asthma, arthritis, COPD to name but a few chronic conditions, is often overwhelming; it is little wonder that anxiety, panic  and often depression accompany our everyday lives. The myriad of symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and/or breathing difficulties pre-occupy us and curtail our activities of daily living. The stressors we endure on a constant basis under ‘normal’ circumstances are exacerbated once we have become labelled with a particular diagnosis. We are daily inundated with messages of fear, gloom and doom: wars, unemployment, bombing, climate change, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, fast paced technological living…the list is endless.  With at least one debilitating health condition to contend with we have an increase in our stress levels. What is to be done? What is to be done with those of us who face living with serious conditions that can inhibit a good quality of life and  seem to require constant vigilance ? There isn’t an easy answer and we usually have to become the experts of our own lives. While vigilance is an appropriate response to our health issues, it is hyper-vigilance that can be debilitating as this is a major stressor.

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Fibromyalgia: spasms, restless legs, trapped nerves, exercise and strengthening

“Am I alone in my egotism when I say that never does the pale light of dawn filter through the blinds of 52 Tavistock Square but I open my eyes and exclaim “Good God! Here I am again” not always with pleasure, often with pain, sometimes in a spasm”, Virginia Woolf 50285019_140

The body of someone suffering from fibromyalgia is often (but not necesarily) very sensitive to even gentle touch without experiencing pain. Muscles are tense, often in spasm, aching, and after prolonged use can become even more stressed. Exercise, the 20th and 21st century mantra of those who want to become or remain fit, often creates more pain for those of us with FMS, unless it is very gentle. Even then for some, any kind of movement can precipitate episodes of severe pain. What are people to do who cannot exercise, move, even walk slowly without wondering which body parts will break out in agony? The younger person begins to feel even older and the older person is additionally burdened with the aches and pains of aging. 

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