The 5 Stages of Grief for Newly Diagnosed FM Patients

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    The Stages of Grief

    Newly-diagnosed FM patients go through a five-stage journey, similar to the stages of grieving identified by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Individuals travel through the stages of this journey at different rates, and some experience the stages in a different order, skipping ahead and then jumping back.

    Stage 1 – Denial and Fear

    Patients are reluctant to believe that they really have FM, and feel very alone. This is a good time to gather factual information about the disorder.

    Stage 2 – Anger

    Patients are angry at their doctors for not diagnosing them sooner, at life for throwing them this curveball, and at their loved ones for not understanding. Channel anger into determination to find an appropriate treatment plan.

    Stage 3 – Bargaining

    Patients try to strike a bargain with God to take away FM. They need to understand that FM is not a punishment for bad behavior.

    Stage 4 – Depression

    Realizing how dramatically their lifestyle has changed, FM patients experience depression. They wonder how they are going to live the rest of their lives, and feel utterly hopeless about their situation. Realize that there will be good days and bad days, that pacing can help prevent FM flares, and that there is life after FM.

    For some people, depression is not just a stage to move through. If your depression is severe, or is leading to suicidal feelings, a chemical imbalance may be the cause. Medication or other treatments can help ease chemical depression. Consult your doctor.

    Stage 5 – Acceptance

    At this point, FM patients recognize that their lives are different—but different doesn’t necessarily mean worse. This is a great time to re-evaluate lifestyle, and to focus on the activities the patient is most passionate about.

    Source: NFA

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