Fibromylgia and Anger..could this be what causes FM

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lailal, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. lailal

    lailal New Member


    I found your post to be very interesting! I too am from a dysfunctional family and my Dad was an alcoholic. I do think over the years I have felt anger and resentment directed towards family members of which I've stuffed. for the most part I've learned to let go and forgive but not 100%.

    I once had a doctor several years ago tell me that people with Fibro typically are intelligent, perfectionist and have been abused or had dysfunction in their family.

    This sure makes one wonder if infact there could be some sort of a connection.

    Would enjoy hearing others opinions on this topic.

    Best to all!
  2. bibby

    bibby New Member

    When I saw my Rheumatologist for the first time he asked me questions about my childhood and family and all. After I told him that my childhood was basically rotten with a, father who was an alcholic and a mother who was in a deep depression and neither one paid much attention to the children and yes I would say I had a lot of repressed angry about that and other things that have happened to me, he told me that he could just about have guessed that because with FM it seemed to be quite a common thing but that it wasn't always the case and they weren't quite sure what the connection was and that he didn't wan't me to get the idea that is was just in my head it is an acutal physical condition but that that could be a triggering factor.
    Thanks & Hugs
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    You have seen that while many of us agree that anger could trigger our illnesses or make them worse, few of us acutally believe that this is the CAUSE of FMS.

    Every time someone makes a connection between a trigger and an illness, it seems that person is convinced that the trigger is the cause. This happens to doctors too.

    I think all of us would like to find that one piece of the puzzle which would expose the cause of our illnesses and lead to a cure. Unfortunately it probably isn't going to be that easy. Most researchers today believe strongly in a genetic predisposition.

    It is likely a combination of certain genetic makeup and triggers such as stress, environmental pollution, trauma, viruses, bacteria, fungi and a whole host of other assaults on the body. There will likely be no one cure all. There are apt to be several genetic defects which will cause exposure to the triggers to manifest in illnesses.

    This is not unlike the search for cures for cancer. There is no one cause for cancer. Genetic predisposition is suspected in many forms of cancer. Exposure to some chemicals has produced higher than normal rates of certain types of cancer, but again, no one know for sure whether these chemicals trigger the disease in everyone or just those with a certain genetic makeup. Finding cures for different types of cancer has been very frustrating for researchers because of this very unresolved question.

    In the 2 1/2 years I have been here, I have heard just about every theory of what causes our illnesses, but none have held up to scrutiny because not all of us have had the same exposures and triggers. There do seem to be some stressors which can trigger our illnesses but this is only a connection and not "the cause."

    Love, Mikie

  4. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    Thanks for your wonderful post. I get so tired of hearing things like "anger CAUSES fibromyalgia"! I repeat - I did not come from an abusive family or alcoholic parents, etc. No one can say for certain what causes FMS, and I resent people thinking all FMS patients come from dysfunctional families, etc. This type of thinking will no absolutely NO GOOD to our "cause". I have had stressors in my life too, but they did not CAUSE this illness. They probably made it worse, but they didn't cause it!!!!

  5. lailal

    lailal New Member

    Thanks for your post. I was only replying to a post on this subject. I am by no means in any way implying that "Anger" is the cause of this disease!! I have an identical twin sister and we were raised by the same parents. She has no signs of Fibro or CFS...this ought to be a pretty strong indicator that it is not from being raised in a dysfunctional family.
    Best, Leila
  6. lailal

    lailal New Member

    Dear Annette,
    Please don't misunderstand my curiosity regarding anger. I am by no means indicating that anger is the cause of this disease. I was only replying to a post. I have an identical twin Sister and we were both raised by the same dysfunctional parents. I have fibro/CFS and she doesn't...I think this says a lot in that dysfunctional parents are not the cause of this disease.
    As I said, I only replied to the original post on this subject...I didn't mean to cause a flame by saying I was interested in this topic.
    Best to you and thanks for your reply.
  7. jadibeler

    jadibeler New Member

    by the doctor who said so many with FM have anger issues. You could certainly say that I do.

    I never thought of my family as being dysfunctional until much later in life, but when I became an adult and had some adult experiences I began to wonder. For one thing, in direct opposition to so many households which are full of anger, arguing, shouting, etc, my parents almost never exhibited any anger in public (in front of the children). This in itself is dysfunctional, I think, and it sure gives the children a bad example.

    We were not permitted to show anger. It just "wasn't done". My mother was that type. Appearances and unacceptable behavior. When I got married at 19 and my husband & I started having arguments, I thought my marriage was over. I didn't know this was normal and to be expected.

    In other words, I was taught to surpress my anger, and boy did I! Through childhood (and teenagers are always angry!) and 2 marriages (and one long-term relationship) to control freaks, bosses who were jerks, friends who turned out not to be friends - I kept it all in. I cannot stand confrontation, not even watching it on TV if it's real, such as on some talk shows or being in the same room with people who are displaying anger even if I'm not involved. I'd cut my tongue out before I'd let anyone know I was mad at them.

    This is so unhealthy and I know it now. I'm better about it now, I stand up for myself more now but I'd still prefer to avoid confrontation. I know I still have a lot of rage bottled up and sometimes, when the racing brain kicks in, I go over and over slights or abusive treatment that happened years ago.

    I have had FM all my life, as did my mother and now my daughter. My daughter definately has anger problems but, unlike Mom and me, she has no trouble whatsoever expressing it! I learned many, many years later that Mom had plenty of reasons to be angry but she was also taught to surpress it. So no, I don't think anger is a cause but it definately does make it worse, although I never thought about it until now. Anger, especially unexpressed, is STRESS and we all know what that does.

    But what do we do about it?

  8. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    It's interesting that you have an identical twin sister who does not have FMS, because so do I!!!! My identical twin sister doesn't have it either. We were raised exactly alike - we even slept in the same bed! One night my parents came in the bedroom and found her sucking MY thumb!!!! However, I do believe that it has some genetic component. I believe my sister also has the tendency to get FMS, but it just hasn't manifested itself. That's just my opinion, I could be wrong. Are you and your sister very close?

  9. lailal

    lailal New Member


    Thank you so much for your reply. I am so surprised to hear about your having a twin Sister,too! Do you ever wish that you had been the twin where this disease had not manifested it's self? I am so envious of my Sister...although she has had her bouts with depression and is on an antidepressant, she doesn't experience the fatigue or pain that we all know so well.

    I do agree with you totally that our Sisters certainly could be potential sufferers of this disease.
    Yes, my Sister and I are close. Distance has kept us a part for many years due to my living in Hawaii. This has been very difficult. It's funny though, I love my Sister but I don't always like her. Sometimes she reminds me a lot of my Dad who has really never been there for us emotionally. There are times I feel worlds apart from her, emotionally.

    Right now I am spending the summer close by to she and my Dad, with my little girl. I came 6,000 miles in order that we could spend some quality time together. It will be 3 months in September since I've been here and I've been feeling well for only about three weeks of this time. For some reason, I have been hit with the worst relapse I've had short of many years ago when I experienced the same type relapse with all the flaring symptoms, especially fatigue, anxiety, exhaustion from little sleep and depression. Typically the pain is my worst complaint but now all the other symptoms seems to be making the pain seem minor in comparison. I question why now when I'm supposed to be enjoying myself. I do know that the trip exhausted me and I don't think I totally recovered before this relapse.

    Sorry to have rambled on! I know you've had a rough day today as you expressed in an earlier post. I hope your feeling better as we speak. How about you and your twin, are you close?

    I am so glad that during my search for support that I found this group. Thanks, Annette and you take good care of yourself. Talk soon!

    Hugs from one twin to another! ;o) Leila

  10. lailal

    lailal New Member

    I really enjoyed your post and could relate so well to what you said about your family!
    Thanks for sharing!