Either way, when asking the question “what does fibromyalgia feel like,” be prepared to get a lot of different answers. No one’s fibromyalgia is the same, and the pain it causes isn’t just physical.
What Does Fibromyalgia Feel Like
For starters, fibromyalgia pain is both severe and long-lasting. But the type of pain people with fibromyalgia feel can be very different. Generally, the pain is located along 18 specific points on your body. These are usually near the joints on both sides of your body.
And this often feels like joint pain, where the joints have a sort of dull ache. Usually, in fibromyalgia, those points hurt more when you press on them. But in addition to joint pain, the muscles also ache. This usually feels like a kind of dull ache as well, as though the muscles had been subjected to strenuous exercise. And occasionally, the muscles will spasm uncontrollably.
But, fibromyalgia pain can also feel like sharper, like someone was shoving a knife into your muscles. In the worst cases of fibromyalgia, people can feel like the muscles are almost being pulled off of the bone. Fibromyalgia can be an extremely painful disease, which makes it easy to see why living with fibromyalgia is so difficult.
What Is Life With Fibromyalgia Like
In addition to the physical pain, which can make things like just walking around the room extremely difficult, fibromyalgia makes life hard in other ways. For example, there’s the constant fatigue. Fibromyalgia makes it difficult to sleep, partly because of the constant pain and partly because it seems to trigger insomnia.
That means that people with fibromyalgia can go years without getting a goodnight’s sleep. This makes it difficult to handle everyday life since they constantly feel too tired to accomplish basic tasks. And combined with the loss of mental clarity, called “fibro-fog,” people with fibromyalgia have problems with short-term memory.
So not only are people with fibromyalgia in constant pain, but it is difficult for them to focus mentally. That means that things like going to work are hard for people with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia can get so bad that it becomes impossible to do normal things like go to work because it’s impossible to get out of bed. And even things you take for granted, like walking, become impossible.
In that sense, life with fibromyalgia is extremely difficult and the emotional toll it takes is even worse.
What Does Fibromyalgia Feel Like Emotionally?
Of course, the worst thing about fibromyalgia is not the pain for many people. It is the way their condition shuts them off from the rest of the world. People with fibromyalgia often find that the people around them have a hard time relating to them once their fibromyalgia becomes severe.
Whereas before they may have been vibrant and full of life, people with severe fibromyalgia are stuck in bed most days, unable to even get up. This makes it hard for the people around them to continue including them in their lives. Or they get tired of having to support them emotionally and physically. Eventually, all but the most committed friends and relatives drift away. So fibromyalgia can get extremely lonely and isolating. That can be the hardest part of the disease to live with.
So when you’re asking “what does fibromyalgia feel like,” it’s worth remembering that there is an emotional toll that the disease takes as well as a physical one. And the emotional toll is so serious that people with fibromyalgia are significantly more likely to commit suicide. The constant pain and loneliness, as well as the feeling that they will never be able to live a normal life again, drives many people with fibromyalgia to take their own lives.
So in short, fibromyalgia feels so bad that people who have it feel like they want to kill themselves. To bring it back to the beginning, when you’re asking “what does fibromyalgia feel like,” the answer is “terrible.” It’s a disabling disease that causes terrible pain. Keep that in mind when you’re with people who have it. They need support and understanding most of all. And asking that basic question is a great way to start giving it to them.