Does the pain cause stress or the stress cause pain?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pawneeem, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. pawneeem

    pawneeem New Member

    Hi Everyone,
    Has anyone figured out if your pain causes all the stress and anxiety to surface or does the anxiety and stress bring on all the pain?

    I recently have been in a bad flare-up and I'm stressed out about everything. My pain seems to increase everyday. I feel as if I have the flu in every joint and my side aches contantly along with wonderful headaches.

    We are due to take a vacation this week which involves driving and a family reunion. I have been really stressed about the trip, wondering if I can make it. The anxiety I feel is overwhelming. I should be excited to go like I usually am but I'm not sure I can go due to my condition right now.(no doubt from worring all night and no sleep). The more I think about it the more I worry.

    Therefore my question, did this flare-up start with anxiety or true pain? Do I need anti-anxiety meds or pain killers. I am going to doc this week and really don't know where to begin to explain as I have not been DX with anything at this moment.

    I have never backed out of a vacation before, but I am not sure this time I can go, even though my mind wnats to be there, my body does not like the thought of going.
    Any suggestions,
    Thanks Pawn
    [This Message was Edited on 08/25/2008]
  2. msnova74

    msnova74 New Member

    I think it can be either. At least for me. You might want to get both an antianexiety and pain med.

  3. DelightsDomain

    DelightsDomain New Member


    I think that's like the question which came first the chicken or the egg... I think for me it was the stress and anxiety that came first and then the pain. I have been under constant stress as far back as I can remember.

    I had been through a divorce some years back, being a single parent meeting my current husband who was in the military being gone to Iraq for the past 6 years and now raising 2 kids on my own with a husband still miles away. I guess being under this constant stress at some level or another has taken its toll on my body.

    I have been dealing w/ constant back pain for the past 3 years now, which started after the birth of my 2nd child. I passed of the pain as child birthing aftermath and the fatigue was due to sleepless nights caused by my child. That was the first year.... During the second year my child still didnt sleep well at night but my body pain had not gone away and in some cases felt worse which brought on the anxiety. I had gone to different doctors including an Endicrinologist to check my thyroid and everything always turned out fine.

    This year about 3-4 months ago I was having a real bad bout. I had an on-going migraine for almost 2 weeks, was so fatigued I couldnt get off the couch and woke up everyday feeling as if I had been hit by a bus. I was on the couch one night w/ a migraine and my husband calls me from Iraq as usual everynight and I just broke down. I was crying on the phone because I knew something had been wrong with me but everytime I went to the Dr. they would say it was nothing. I was frustrated, in pain and extremely tired. The guilt of missing my daughter's karate because I was confined to the couch was the icing on the cake.

    I started doing some research of my own the next day and looked up Chronic Fatigue and it gave me other possibilities such as Lupus, Lyme Disease, i looked at all to narrow down the possibilities and when I read about Fibro I had the AH HA moment. That explained everything I had been feeling over the past few years but never knew what it was. I made an appointment w/ my current doctor after once again switching....and I had told him all of my symptems, had a CT Scan for my migraines, blood work, thyroid check again....all negative. I told him I was seeing a Chiropractor for constant back pain over the past 2 years and said I could have Fibromyalgia and that was it, I knew my suspicions had been confirmed. So he referred me to a Rheumatolist and there is was FINALLY confirmed.

    I think the stress of not knowing what it is that is wrong with you and you know you feel different. For me the stress of my husband being gone and having two kids to deal with on my own. My 2 year old being sick last summer in and out of the hospital. She was dehydrated at one time from a virus she caught and had to be taken to the hospital and stay overnight. A few months later having to have her adnoids and tonsils removed...dealing w/ all of that on my own. I'm thinking it's the stress that causes the pain....

    To help with both my doctors have put me on Elival to help me sleep at night and low dose Prozac to keep me awake durning the day. The Prozac has helped greatly w/ the irritability and stress as well as the fibro fog and fatigue. I started off on 10mg but after 3 months my body had gotten used to it and the prozac wasnt as effective so they put me up to 20mg which after a few days has seemed to help bring me back to functioning. The Elival was too high at first and I would wake up feeling worse because the medication dose was too high so they cut me back to 10mg on that. Granted, it's not a cure all and I still have my days where I wake up feeling like i have been run over, however I can function so much better and these days, I will take what I get.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/26/2008]
  4. pawneeem

    pawneeem New Member

    Thanks for your response, sounds like you have been through a great deal. I am glad that they have found some meds that make you feel beter.

    I agree that the stress of not knowing really does bring on more problems. I too have been under a great deal of stress in my life and it always seems to trigger my flare-ups. I recently took care of my older sister when she came down with a bout of depression. The whole time she was here with us (four months) I was planning my older daughters wedding. It was a little stressful to say the least. Now my sister is back home and my daughter is married and I am having a pretty bad flare-up. It is like the after fall of all the events I finally crashed. I have never been Dx with fibromyalgia and I am due to see my doc this week but I have been to many docs and no seems able to help. I am hoping this time I can get some answers.

    I appreciate you sharing with me and I admire you raising your children on your own. I too was a single mom for years after my husband and I were divorced. It is not an easy job. Good luck to you and I hope you can find comfort here among new friends.

  5. DelightsDomain

    DelightsDomain New Member


    Have you tried suggesting Fibro to your doctor? I'm sure there will be someone out there who can help. I would ask on the phone if the Dr. you are seeking has any experience w/ Fibro and if not whom he or she may recommend.

    I remember how bad I used to feel and on some days feel but certainly not as bad as it was a few months ago. Hopefully you will find some relief.

    I have learned to finally say NO. Being here on my own I have learned to let some things go. Keeping the house spotless isnt a big deal because I just put it off until I feel better. The biggest thing for me is the guilt I feel when I cant plan for my children's functions. I have to say "we'll see" or "it depends on how I feel" My sister wanted me to come down to her house for the day, she lives 2 hrs away. I had to tell her that I couldnt because it's too much for me to drive that far w/ the girls and to drive back a few hrs later. I'd have to find someone to watch the dog there is just too much involved to just pick up and be gone for a day.

    I will say it is much easier when my husband is home, he really is a great help. We only get to see one another every 3 months for 2 weeks at a stint. It's not ideal but we have to do what we have to do for now.

    Hopefully something will work out for you. Let me know what happens w/ the new doctor. In the meantime, keep your chin up.
  6. gongee

    gongee New Member

    I believe it could go both ways, but for me, usually if I am under stress my pain level is heightened tremendously.

    I am on anti-anxiety meds, which do help, at least with me.

    In reading about your vacation coming up, I can so relate. I want to go places and enjoy things, but sometimes I worry about how I'm going to feel and I become overwhelmed, which in turns produces stress and then the pain worsens.
    Usually if I can get beyond the stress and go anyway, I end of having a good time, but boy is it hard sometimes.

    Take care of yourself and if you are able to go, kick back as much as you possibly can and enjoy yourself.


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