Dealing With A Diagnosis Of Fibromyalgia
Once an individual is diagnosed with Fibromyalgia common reactions to this this diagnosis can include depression, frustration, anxiety, anger, grief, or even having feelings of being completely overwhelmed with how to deal with this new diagnosis. What is important to note about receiving a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is that there is currently no known cure for the condition, so once a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia has been determined in essence this diagnosis will affect the individual for the rest of their lives. Trying to process a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is important so that the Fibromyalgia sufferer can begin to deal with the diagnosis and move on with their lives.
The Five Stages of Grief
While it may seem extreme to include “The Five Stages of Grief” in an article about dealing with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis, it can in fact be beneficial to recognize these stages and how they can really play a large role in how individuals deal with a Fibromyalgia diagnosis (or with any condition diagnosis for that matter).
- Denial is the first step in the stages of grief. Many individuals begin to question the diagnosing physician or make statements like “this can’t really be happening to me”. The diagnosis process that is involved with Fibromyalgia is usually done by both a process of elimination of other conditions as well as some specific criteria that must be met. This is especially true for a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia because the condition is so vague without any lab routines that can specifically diagnose it. Another reason that Fibromyalgia patients may go through the process of denial is for the reason that Fibromyalgia patients will experience both good days and bad days, so on the good days they may begin to question whether or not they actually have Fibromyalgia in the first place.
- Anger is the second step in the stages of grief. Being angry about a Fibromyalgia diagnosis is normal. Life isn’t fair and a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is not deserved by any individual. During this phase the individual realizes that denial is no longer a choice, and anger is normal because a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia does in fact change the course of how individuals will be able to live and accomplish tasks and responsibilities in the future.
- Bargaining is the third step in the stages of grief. During this stage individuals begin to wish for life that is normal without sickness. They would do “anything” to not be sick anymore and to not have to deal with the symptoms that fibromyalgia cause them.
- Depression is the fourth step in the stages of grief. This is a normal part of the grieving process, and it is especially normal for any individual who has ever been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. The depression that is caused by dealing with a diagnosis like Fibromyalgia doesn’t necessarily mean that the individual has a mental illness; it’s just a process of dealing with the emotions of the diagnosis, and actually is commonly listed as a symptom of Fibromyalgia itself.
- Acceptance is the fifth and final stage of grief. As stated this is the phase where acceptance of the condition is realized and figuring out how to properly deal with the diagnosis and move in with life takes place. Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean that the individual is always carefree and happy, but this stage is when the realization of the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia has been come to grips with and then research into how to properly deal with Fibromyalgia, treat the symptoms, and live as much of a normal life as possible comes into play.
Dealing with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is an extremely difficult task for anyone to go through. One important thing to remember about the 5 stages of grief when it comes to dealing with Fibromyalgia is that these stages are not always completed in a specific order. There will be good days and bad days and just when a Fibromyalgai sufferer thinks they have it under control the grief can consume them once again. Do not be afraid or depressed about this fact, instead realize that these phases are normal and learn how to deal with these stages and phases when they occur. Each individual will be affected differently by a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and even when an individual has gone through each of the five stages of dealing with the grief, there will still be days when anger or denial or even depression may take place. When dealing with any condition that has symptoms that affect daily life this is completely normal.