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Is everyone falling apart?
14 Replies
fsmember - December 8

It seems all the young women today are bipolar and the older women all have fibromyalgia. Nobody seems happy! And the lack of physical causes makes it appear that the cause is emotional.

Is all the research going toward trying to prove a physical cause, or is anyone admitting that the cause may be emotional, and for good reason?


JJ1 - December 10

I have to disagree with you. I don't know anyone who is bipolar and I am the only person I know diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, so I think you are being a little extreme saying ALL young women are bipolar and ALL old women have fibro. By the way, I am not that old and there are posts here from some very young people with Fibromyaglia. Also, to dispell some of your biases, there are men with fibromyalgia, too. There are both physical and emotional (stress) triggers for fibromyalgia -- any kind of physical or emotional stress is known to be a cause or trigger for symptoms.


JoniB - December 10

fsmember, I agree with JJ1. Although I do know of 2 young women with bipolar. My mother and I both have fibo (we believe that is what my grandma had too.) There is more advancement in technology, tests, and more Dr.'s these days. More people are being diagnosed period. Including: cancer, MS, arthritis, diabetes, heart conditions, etc...and it is not gender specific. We all fall apart at some point in our life due to genetics, accidents, ailments, the aging process and so forth. I hope that this finds you feeling well. Have a Merry Christmas. Joni


fsmember - December 10

My attitude comes from the number of young women I know on anti-depressants these days, and who claim they've been diagnosed as bipolar because of their depression and irrational behavior. I fear that doctors are possibly wrongly and/or flippantly diagnosing the problem as physical and not much worth dealing with except with pills, when it's quite possibly emotionally and behavior based and should and could be dealt with and overcome. What's worse is that some of these young women seem to be happy with their diagnosis, which is puzzling to me. People in the past used to be ashamed of mental illness, not proud of it.

In the case of fibromyalgia, I don't doubt that stress can be a cause if no physical cause is found with another name, and I think that legitmate help should be sought to attempt to relieve the stress rather than treatment only with pain pills. But I don't see that happening. I wonder if it's ever recommended?

I don't pretend to know much about all this really, I only know what I've observed over the last 20 years or so. If my perception is exaggerated, I don't think it's by much, as we see the children (and some adults) diagnosed with ADHD (or is it AHDD?), and others with bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, things that seem to not have a physical explanation. The worst part is I don't see anyone getting better after taking all the pills. The pills seem to just mask the pain, both emotional and physical, while the problem is left untouched.


DEB 33 - December 10

I also have to disagree not all young women are diagnosed with bipolar their are alot of depressed young women a totally different problem to bipolar but i feel the increase is down to better diagnosis from GPs also their is more research regarding fibromyalgia i truely believe my Nan suffered with FM but it was not a known disorder many years ago. It doesnt always come on with stress or emotional problems my recent flare up came on when i was at my healthiest and fittest point in my life. I would strongly reccomend you read some upto date research and then review your opinion on FM and bipolar which is a serious mental illness. Also cognitive therapy and accupuncture/massage are popular therapies reccommended by DRs not just pills.


Gabbie - December 11

I think that the number of women diagnosed with bipolar are far and few between. However, I do believe that there are many women, both young and old that definately have more stress in their lives then women years ago. I believe that we are all trying to "juggle" way to many responsibilities. The younger women are trying to raise children, take care of their homes, hold down a job, run the kids to their activities, cook, shop and so on and so on. The "sandwich" generation, like myself may also have jobs, babysit so our children can go to their jobs, and then take care of our own homes, cook, shop and in between help our elderly parents. Bipolar? I don't think so. Just women, young and older trying their best to do it all and when they feel overwhelmed, have the doctors way to quick to prescribe pills to calm them down or help them sleep or whatever. Most of those pills come with their own side effects and I truly believe that many of the emotional problems can be brought on by those meds. I have chosen not to use them and I really think that has made me a stronger person emotionally because I've had to "fight" this awful condition every step of the way. I think if we had doctors not so quick to pull out that prescription pad, and spend more time talking to us, we'd be better off. I know that "talking" on this forum has helped me in so many ways because it's an opportunity to share what we all go through with fibro.


fsmember - December 11


I agree with you. The stresses for women in our society today are extreme, and I might say, I think much of the problem, ironically, is brought on by the feminist movement itself. In wanting to be like men, so to speak, they've gotten all the stress with none of the respect. And the men got what they wanted all along, free sex with the most awful consequences to women. When nobody has to grow up and learn real responsibilities and values, our adult society is like a bunch of out of control children and the real kids have nobody respectable to look up to. I don't think we have to worry about the terrorists destroying us, when it looks like we're doing a good job of it all by ourselves. (And we can't even recognize the enemy)
Gabbie, I'm proud of you for helping yourself without the crutch of drugs. You are rare, and I really believe you're strengthening yourself as a result.


fsmember - December 11

I just found this statement on another Fibro forum by a woman with fibromyalgia, she said.... "Fibro is very much a physical representation of our emotions. The depression, the anxiety, self doubt are all played through painful sensations with us."

I think that's the answer I was looking for. If there is any truth in that statement, then the "experts" are looking in all the wrong places for the answer (cure).


Wycklochness - December 11

fsmember, good on you for the title of your question. Rather than focusing on the bipolar, I would rather focus on FMS. Firstly, as with many problems, a band aid is used by the medical profession, rather than finding the cause. I also believe that many serious medical ailments are curable, but drug companies stop this from happening because they don't make money. And I believe that this is also the case with FMS. It's now been recognised as a medical problem, but why put too much effort in finding out why, when drug companies can make more money. Or maybe someone does have the answer, but that has been hidden with all the other cures in some great vault. Over the last century our lives have changed, we have different wants and needs, more expectations and a culture that promotes the best of everything, and to be the best at evrything. I agree with Gabbie on the extra stresses that are placed on the female population. And I believe men also suffer because of the way in which the female role has changed. Also, as JoniB says: trauma, accidents, etc. yes they do also play a great part in our life's journey. We don't always cope, even when we look like we are. I notice a difference in my body when I am stressed and when I am not. I do not take any medication, by choice, as I am eager to learn more about my body and reactions and what seems to trigger the pain. It is an interesting journey. But like your question: Is everyone falling apart - its not that we are falling apart, its just that we cannot do everything and be everything. We must learn that we can do somethings, and sometimes cannot be everything. We are all individuals with our own wants and needs, and we need to respect that in ourselves. Forget being strong for everyone all the strong for ourselves. Remeber the saying 'Take time to smell the roses', it's a good one - we all need to do that occasionally.


LindaQ - December 11

Well Fibro is a Seretonin based brain chemical disorder, that the experts are pretty sure of. And that chemical controls alot of things in your body, even moods. So what might appear to be like Bipolar symptoms may indeed be just Fibro symptoms. Bipolar is a totally different thing and you definitely need meds and to stay on them for that. ( Hubby is a mental health counselor, works with chronically mentally ill and DD adults.)
Although Fibro symptoms can cause depression and the brain chemical part of it too can also, it is totally different than Bipolar and a mental illness.
Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to extreme stress affects the brain, could this be a cause? maybe. It shrinks the brain. Can other factors figure in, possibly. They know that MSG and Aspertaim (sic?) in foods change your brain chemistry ( I stay away from these). Can be alot of things, but to just say that young women are bipolar and older women are falling apart is not right. I was not older when I first got CFS and Fibromyalgia and have known someone as young as 23 with it.
Hopefully they will figure it all out for all of us one day!


BrandyF - December 12

i read today that fibromyalgia pain is in noway "imaginary" or "phsycological",but i don't know, i'm just learning about it myself.


Tallulah - December 12

I have had the pain of fibro since I was 19 so it's not an old woman's disease. When I started work as a nursery nurse and catching all the viruses and bacterial infections from the babies was when it suddenly spread from just being in my chest to throughout the body. There is supposedly a blood test for fibromyalgia now and they can measure elevated levels of Substance P in the spinal fluid of sufferers. Fibromyalgia is not psychological, the depression and anxiety do not 'cause' it but come as a consequence of the experience of being in constant pain. Depression and anxiety are no more common than in fibromyalgia than in any other chronic illness. I thought things were 'all in the mind' and believed in the power of positive thinking to heal disease. It's not until you get something like this that you realise its not that simple.


tnichel - December 13

I'm going to have to disagree with this theory as well. I was recently diagnosed with fms and lupus. For years I had the fms symptoms but doctors couldn't find anything. I even had a bone marrow test which was very painful. I admit I went into a depression but the anxiety attacks didn't start until this year. I believe both were triggered not b/c I was always mentally unstable but b/c I couldn't find doctors to take me seriously. No one understand wny I was so tired all the time and I don't think the believed me b/c it couldn't be proven with a test. I was even put on allergy meds costing me $200 a month. Well since my diagnosis and treatments, I am no longer depressed, don't have anxiety attacks and have not had to take any allergy meds. Why? I believe now that I know what I'm dealing with I can control my emotions better and am less prone periods of depressions. This is in fact a real condition not just all mental. Had I even known about this to begin with maybe I wouldn't have had to travel such a hell of road. And I'm not rushing out to be psychological meds when I do go thru bouts of depression. I've learned to deal with it b/c I will have limitations for the rest of my life and accepting that I can not do all and be all is very hard to deal with, especially when the body is crying out in pain. BTW, no one i know with lupus or fms ever told me they were diagnosed with depression or bipolor disorder first. And I don't know any who suffer from either of those conditions.


Gabbie - December 14

tnichel. Once I was diagnosed and found that the strange sensations, some very painful, were very real and due to a real condition, I found that it was the beginning of the road to acceptance for me. Finally having a diagnosis was half the battle for me and to know that I wasn't loosing my mind was the first step to managing this conditionl. Yes, I had the many phases to go through, including some depression, but after giving myself a little time for that, I chose to get on with my life. I agree with you that acceptance plays such an important role in dealing with fibro and I have found that even on my worst days, I still manage to keep going. Finding this forum and sharing the many problems of fibro has also helped me in more ways than I can express.


InHisSteps - December 14

I don't know anyone bi-polar, and only know one other person with fibro. For the record, I'm actually a very happy person who loves jokes and to pull pranks on others and have a good time. People tend to come to me to lift them up when they are down :)



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