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Highly Sensitive Person and FMS
11 Replies
January - February 3

I read Elaine Aron's book, The Highly Sensitive Person - you can google "highly sensitive person." It seems to me there is a link between a lot of those traits and the ones found in FMS people. Her book has some great information on how to approach medical people who don't understand heightened sensitivity to pain. Anybody else relate to her work?


HerRoyalHighness - February 4

I have one of her books. I'll have to dig it out and read it again, as I had not been diagnosed with FM the first time I read it. I remember truly relating to what she was describing.


Fantod - February 5

January - About 15 years ago, I cut an article out of a maganzine about this very subject. I could really relate to all the things that the article described about highly sensitive people. I also just went on Aron's website and took the quiz. I aced it. I do think that there is a correlation.

I have had countless arguments with doctors about my heightened sensitivity to pain over the years. I've been accused of everything from just being a big baby to an extremely uncooperative patient. This was long before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (FMS). And, as we all know, FMS adds another unwanted dimension to this whole scenario especially with Allydonia factored in as well.

In another post, there was a discussion about dental pain which is just one of my pain issues. I now use a dentist trained by the Pankey Institute who apparently has nerves of steel (lol) and works with me instead of against me so that my experience is more positive. It is possible to find caring dentist and doctors but it takes time and standing up for yourself.

Thanks for posting this information. I think alot of our board members are going to be intrigued. Have a good weekend.


Fantod - February 5

January - Have you considered joining us on Skype? I'd love to talk to you one on one. Find Noca - see the information about Skype on this page and you'll find the rest of us.


January - February 5

hello - got an overwhelming week. Just wanted to jump on and say thanks, Fantod, for the invite. I'm truly honored. Not into Skype just now, maybe later.

HRH and Fantod, I am so pleased that this resonated with you. It surely did with me. I read Aron's book when it first came out and related to the personality traits. Last year I stumbled on it again, and was dumbstruck by her writing on heightened pain sensitivity! She even has sample letters to take to your doctor explaining the HSP condition. (My book is currently loaned out, so I don't have it handy and am going from my fibro memory.)

Pain has been a huge issue for me, since childhood. I was stoic back then, but even so, I passed out cold from relatively "minor" procedures. No one believed me when I said I really, really hurt!

Back in the Dark Ages, I did a paper on perception of pain and the frontal lobes. I never kept copies back then - and years have erased my memories of the specifics. But I remember I concluded that pain perception was a very individual thing, varying widely from one to another, possibly based on differences in neurochemistry and/or neuroanatomy. "It's all in your head." Yes it is. Most things are all in your head; sensations are processed there. And our brains are all different. Some of us might have overly "developed" or intricate nervous systems - which might enhance our sensitivities to everything, giving us gifts like empathy and a delicate appreciation of the arts, but also enhanced sensory awareness, thus... heightened pain.

My fantasy is that Aron - or another researcher along these lines - will connect with the Fibro Community and get some hard research data. (I suspect there is a connection with HSP and FMS.) Then we'd have something solid to back us up when we encounter insensitive medical people. I think Aron says 13-20% of us are HSP. (HRH may correct me if I'm wrong...!) That leaves the majority of folks out there, including doctors, to "judge" us because we don't fall into their limited view of what's right and normal.

My continuing fantasy is that this material would be taught to all medical people, CNAs on up to MDs, so that compassionate treatment of pain would be mandatory.

January is now off soapbox.

Have a good week everyone. Spring is not far off! :)


Fantod - February 5

January - Have you read "The Pain Chronicles" by Melanie Thernstrom? It is a pretty interesting read.


Cher0208 - February 6

I read the Pain Chronicles although I stopped reading it when I was almost finished. It's so interesting when you look at the statistics of how doctors look at us and judge us. Being a woman is especially hard when you are having pain. I have had several doctors tell me to see a psychiatrist and go on anti depressants. It's 2011 and doctors are still treating Chronic Pain like hyesteria! Anyway, I will look up The Highly Sensitive Person. I've neve heard of it before but I too have always been extremely sensitive.


Fantod - February 6

Cher0208 - I totally agree with you that most doctor's treat women with chronic pain like neurotic, drug seeking hysterics.

I have a further problem with physicians who routinely refuse to provide narcotics at all or in an adequate dose when all else has failed. Afterall, the patient should not have an addiction problem too. Does it really matter if the patient becomes addicted in order to give them some quality of life? If they are being monitored properly and using the medication needed responsibly it should not be an issue. In my mind, the doctor is violating the Hippocratic Oath by not providing narcotics to relieve the patient's pain if nothing else has worked.

I count myself as extremely fortunate to have a pain specialist who is not only a good listener but very savvy about managing pain issues. He is very strict about medication but carefully considers each individual patient's needs.

Be sure to take the quiz on Aron's website - it is pretty interesting. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.


January - February 7

Hi you all. I will have to check out The Pain Chronicles. Thank you. There is SO much to read on this site. Easy does it.

Way to go Cher and Fantod! Chronic pain folks are addicted to pain meds like diabetes folks are addicted to their meds, and heart patients are addicted to their meds.... blah blah

The thing that scares me is the "new" drugs come with such horrible side effects. The "old" drugs work fine but for some reason there is this fairly recent hysteria about "addiction." Maybe to get the old drugs off the market and make a fortune from desperate people? The Big Pharma guys keep getting their hands slapped for fudging on research. The medical books say well-managed opiates are the best way to treat chronic pain. At least, they used to say that. But how can gaining 40 lbs. as a side effect be good for your joints and your glucose levels?

Don't we all have stories of that soothing pat on the shoulder and that friendly whisper "get some counseling?" Wonder if the men get it as much as the women do....


biggbrowneyes - February 7

Hello all! My name is Stacey & I hope to get to know you all! I've been battling FMS for 8 yrs now & I wanted to tell you my little secret that has helped me! I literally was falling apart until I found Dr.Rodger Murphree His website is called treatingandbeating. Believe me when I say this, I bought his book called Treating & Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I actually bought the ebook for $15 & then printed it out myself, but you can order it & have it mailed to you. This book is the BEST! It covers EVERYTHING about FMS. Theirs 26 chapters that covers meds, vitamins, sleep, thyroid, immune system, exercise, fatigue,fog,depression,digestive system, adrenals, etc etc He literally explains & gives details on every subject! I actually am thinking about starting a post to tell everyone. I have never met him, hes in Alabama, but he even does phone appointments. When you go on his website sign up for his emails. I'm telling you, I wish I could clone him and bring him to Maryland! He also have a section where you can watch videos & listen to him talking to people/other doctors on FMS. I have never purchased any of his vitamin packs. But he has supplements just for specific problems, FMS, adrenal, thyroid, etc., Hes really good, between him and listening to Joel Osteen, those 2 are the only ones that seem to understand because so far I haven't been very lucky in finding dr's in my area that understand. If it wasn't for the internet, I'd be a total disaster!!
I'll shut up now!! ,but just want to say , I'm so glad I found this site! Its a bitter/sweet thing knowing theres others like me that understand & know what I'm going through. I only wish I had that at home!! :(
Take care & nice to meet you all!!


January - February 8

Hi stacey - thanks for mentioning Dr. Rodger Murphree. I bookmarked his site. I recommends SAM-e, and I have found that very helpful at 800 mg a day. I only read a little bit, but I like his natural cures approach.

I have a book written by a Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum who was then practicing in Annapolis and working with fibro (and had it himself). Maybe he is still around.

Best luck.


biggbrowneyes - February 8

thanks for the info! I will def look him up! I actually was born in Annapolis but now I live in Southern Md in Solomons Island. Its only about a hour from there. Right about now, I'm ready to go to Alabama to see Dr.Murphree!! Sign up for his newsletters too! They send them out all the time. I like his book because not only does he tell you what vitamins to take, he tells you how much. Most only say what to take, but not how much. Tells you things like if you stop dreaming everynight(which we are suppose too) that you have low levels of B6. To test your adrenals, hold your arms out & have someone try to push them down, then put either sugar or honey on your tongue, and then do the arm test again, if you instantly have become weakened and the person can push your arms down easier, you have a adrenal insufficiency. if you get white spots on your nails, I use to think it was from not enough calcium, its a zinc and vit A deficiency and suggest reduced immunity. The book is just full of soooooo much info I never knew! Stuff that to the normal healthy person wouldn't help, but to use with FMS, thyroid problems, adrenal problems etc, its a bible!



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