5 Ways to Ease Your Fibromyalgia Pain Caused by Emotional Abuse

By Kim Saeed | Maintaining No Contact

Jul 30
Fibromyalgia

Are you in an abusive relationship with a narcissist and feel exhausted most of the time, or perhaps you’ve developed physical symptoms such as joint pain, headaches or Irritable Bowel Syndrome?  You may have a condition known as fibromyalgia. 

Fibromyalgia is a commonly misunderstood and sometimes misdiagnosed chronic condition, generally characterized by symptoms including widespread muscle and joint pain, headaches and migraines, restless legs syndrome, incapacitating fatigue, lack of focus (brain fog), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), depression, social isolation, and sleep problems.

Fibromyalgia also causes symptoms similar to osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis, which explains why it’s often categorized as an arthritis-related condition.[1] While this condition affects mostly women, men can suffer from it, as well. 

fibromyalgia

Even though it was originally believed that fibromyalgia symptoms were the result of an injury that affects the head and neck, traumatic triggers of fibromyalgia can be much more widespread. “Any type of trauma or stressful event, such as being deployed to war or other distressing events can trigger fibromyalgia, and most of them are not associated with any trauma to the spine,” clarifies rheumatologist Daniel Clauw, MD, a professor of medicine and director of the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center in the anesthesiology department at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.[2]

In some studies, researchers have found that abuse is associated with higher rates of chronic fatigue syndrome, chemical sensitivities, and fibromyalgia.  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), long-term chronic stress leads to changes in various hormones and neurotransmitters, resulting in numerous manifestations of fibromyalgia such as pain and fatigue.[3]

Emotional triggers that are correlated with fibromyalgia include:

  • Emotional trauma.
  • A childhood separation from one’s mother that lasted longer than six months.
  • Being deployed to war.
  • Long-term chronic stress.
  • Long-term emotional and/or sexual abuse.
  • Emotional and sexual abuse during childhood.

Fibromyalgia tender points

Fibromyalgia is also one of the symptoms of Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome.  However, while the current medical research does link abuse to fibromyalgia, there are also other causes for fibromyalgia including genetics and certain viruses such as Hepatitis and HIV. 

How to Alleviate Your Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Long-term and severe abuse changes your body. It goes without saying that staying with an abusive, narcissistic partner will lead to your symptoms becoming worse.  However, the chance remains that even if you leave the abuser, these symptoms may never go away entirely.  It depends on other factors such as diet and lifestyle.

On the other hand, reducing the stress in your life by leaving your abusive partner and incorporating a holistic self-care plan can significantly improve or completely eradicate any physical symptoms. 

In reality, Fibromyalgia is not a ‘disease’ at all. It is a “symptom” — an outward “signal” — of a damaged inner environment that is simply too polluted and toxic.  A compromised, toxic inner environment is a breeding ground for all kinds of “problems” to flourish. It is the direct result of a breakdown inside your body.

Simply put, stress hormones collect in the weakest parts of the body and start tearing the body’s processes down.  Just as we have mental breakdowns as a result of emotional abuse, fibromyalgia is the body’s equivalent of a “body breakdown” due to long-term stress, abuse, and PTSD. 

The good news is that the body is designed to heal itself—provided it has what it needs to do its job.  Instead of using medications which only mask the symptoms, consider healthy and holistic alternatives to treat the cause.  Following are five ways you can begin healing your body naturally without doing damage to your organs, which is a known side-effect of prescription medications:

1 – Leave your toxic partner.  The greatest way out of this is to get back into your natural state of health… by “cleansing” yourself from the inside, allowing your body to get rid of the stress hormones that are taxing your cells so they can start functioning properly again.

You see, every time you are betrayed, lied to, abused, or devalued, your immune system is triggered and it immediately starts fighting. Your body can restore every wound, diseased organ or damaged cell that it needs to – but it cannot do that if you keep subjecting it to the overwhelming stress of narcissistic abuse — your body simply can’t keep up!

Read:  How to Do No Contact Like a Boss!

2 – Eat clean.  What we put in our bodies has a huge effect on our internal health.  Try to eat organic, non-GMO foods as often as possible.  Steer clear of sugar, products made with white flour, colas, vegetable and canola oils, cigarettes, alcohol, pesticides (which are not only harmful to us, but contribute to the declining bee population), and preservatives.

It’s possible that you could heal most or all of your Fibromyalgia symptoms by changing your diet alone.

You don’t have to change all at once.  Incorporate organic foods into your shopping list and find healthy alternatives to your favorite foods which may be unhealthy.  If worse comes to worst, though, if it means the difference between eating a double-death chocolate ice-cream sundae and breaking No Contact, go with the lesser of two evils…the sundae, of course.

3 – Make the switch to organic personal care items.  Most people don’t realize it, but they apply a large amount of toxic chemicals to their bodies every day even before leaving for work.

In fact, the average woman uses 12 products, containing 168 different ingredients, every single day!

Most personal care products available to you contain toxic ingredients like phthalates and parabens, which cause hormonal imbalances, reproductive health problems, and even cancer. Instead of being good for your skin, these chemicals will upset your skin and overall physical health. 

There’s so much focus on diet and what we eat that we sometimes forget to look at what we put onto our bodies. But our shower gels, lotions, shampoos, cosmetics and dental care products contain countless chemicals that are just as harmful.

According to Dr. Mercola, putting toxic ingredients on your skin or scalp may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat, your digestive system breaks down what’s ingested and flushes it out of the body. However, chemicals applied to the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream without any filtering and enter your organs.  Just imagine what the cumulative effects of long-term use may do.

With most of these product ingredients linked to cancers, allergies, neurological disorders and reproductive problems, it’s really time to start reading labels on everything you buy.  You can simplify your personal care regimen by shopping at places like Mountain Rose Herbs.  All of their products are completely natural, so you don’t have to fret with analyzing labels.

Read:  One-Stop Safe Skincare Shopping List

4 – Essential Oils for Fibromyalgia.  Copaiba oil has been shown to reduce pain and eliminate inflammation.  It is a wonderful analgesic and has been used in this capacity for generations.  When topically applied, the oil can help to reduce pain and loosen muscles, eliminating pain in joints, and even easing the discomfort of headaches and migraines often associated with fibromyalgia. 

Helichrysum oil has been shown to decrease muscle pain, improve circulation and support healing of nerve tissue which makes it an effective natural treatment for symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Lavender oil is also excellent to reduce the emotional stress associated with fibromyalgia and making a homemade muscle rub can help reduce pain.

(If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to blend essential oils with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil).

5 – Emotional Counseling.  If you have symptoms of fibromyalgia related to the emotional trauma of narcissistic abuse, counseling can greatly improve recovery.  Be sure to also include relaxing activities in your schedule to increase healing.

Copyright © 2017 by Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach

 

How else could your life be different by going No Contact?  Download the questionnaire to find out!

[1] What Is Fibromyalgia? (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/what-is-fibromyalgia

[2] Vann, M., MPH. (n.d.). Can Trauma Cause Fibromyalgia? Retrieved July 22, 2016, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/fibromyalgia/can-trauma-cause-fibromyalgia.aspx

[3] Gupta, A., & Silman, A. J. (2004). Psychological stress and fibromyalgia: A review of the evidence suggesting a neuroendocrine link. Retrieved July 23, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC416451/

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(9) comments

WL May 16, 2017

I have had fibromyalgia for years but for the last 10+ years it has been exacerbated by an overwhelming toxic supervisor & workplace. A little less than 3 months ago I pretty much crashed and my doctor has put me on medical leave. My fibro flared pretty much daily sometimes pretty extreme where the only relief was coming home, wearing loose clothing, a lying down with heat pads. The crash literally caused my blood pressure to spike to levels I have never had before to the point I was put on bp meds. Even though I have been on FMLA my supervisor and HR is requesting additional information continuously – they constantly complain of needing more information – though in previous years the FMLA was granted. Please note, my FMLA was approved last year through 7/2017 but supervisor/HR is wanting more, more, more. Nothing is satisfying them and I’m thinking they are probably trying to force me out (like they have done with all older employees). This in itself causes additional flare ups. However, some of the flare-ups have been minimized just by not having to go into a toxic office. I’ll also mention that NOT ONCE has my supervisor or dept administrator called to ask me if I was OK – but yet the younger employees (I have observed personally) have been told to go home, make sure they rest when they have illness complaints.
This supervisor has caused more than one person to leave because of the highly toxic workplace, chaos, requesting employees to do fraudulent paperwork, etc. I have thought about possible disability retirement but my employer will also make that difficult (they have a dismal history) but that would prevent me from working. I have started my social security benefits as I am full retirement age.
Not only has this happened but I come from a narcissistic family who refuses to recognize I have health issues.
I am pretty much at a loss for words or actions, for that matter. Glad I found this website because fibromyalgia can be such a disabling condition and is one that can’t be physically seen. For me, the pain is constant and sometimes immobilizing. It even seems like my employer/HR cannot recognize this is a disabling condition (a public health dept). What on earth is wrong with people in today’s world? It seems no one has compassion or empathy.

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K.R. August 17, 2016

My mom was diagnosed with fibro when I was in college. She was married to a narcissist for nearly 20 years and had been together with him for 25. Her symptoms were so bad that she had to leave work and go home and sleep. Some days she couldn’t get out of bed. She sought treatment with rheumotologists who put her on meds to manage her symptoms. When was 33 she finally got the courage to get out. After a few months of being away from him, she was able to get off of most of those medications. She still has some fibro symptoms, but not nearly like she was when she was married. I am so happy to find this article so I can show her. People do not understand what trauma does to the body. Thank you for this.

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Joyce M. Short August 1, 2016

I have a friend who suffers from severe migraines. How badly? She actually underwent brain surgery to get relief. It didn’t help. She’d be bedridden, on average, 2 days per week.

She’s also married to a Narcissistic abuser who’s an alcoholic.

Long story short, she finally kicked him to the curb about two months ago. After berating her and physically abusing her in front of her three children for many years…. he had the audacity to try crawling back this past week since the judge directed a chunk of his income toward supporting his family. She told him exactly where he could stick his request!

The migraines are gone, and today, she’s boarding a Carnival cruise to the Dominican Republic with all three kids.

It’s amazing how the condition of our bodies is shaped by our minds!

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    Kim Saeed August 3, 2016

    Oh my, what a lovely story of triumph over adversity! Thank you for sharing that with us, Joyce! <3

    Reply
MHMC July 30, 2016

I started having chronic pain in 2004. Chronic headaches, feet and back pain. By 2012 i was being treated for Myofascial Pain Syndrome. I was on 2 different medications, and needed to get massages at least once a week (though i was only able to afford once a month). After my husband left, it was like i just woke up one day with no pain. Gone. I still experience the tension pain i was having, but in much shorter durations.

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    Kim Saeed July 30, 2016

    Thanks for sharing, MHMC. Sometimes just severing the source of the mental stress and anguish works wonders, as it seems to have done in your case.

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sonali July 30, 2016

Also very important- you HAVE to exercise…which of course you don’t want to, because you’re tired and you hurt. I developed severe fibro when I was married to Bluebeard, I needed a cane to walk and spent most of my time in bed.
I knew needed to get stronger to escape from him but I was so weak and tired. The solution was water aerobics. That got my body moving again, from there I started gentle yoga, and then bellydance. Bellydance, stretching, healthy eating and avoiding stress as much as possible keeps the fibro away.

Reply
    Kim Saeed July 30, 2016

    Thank you for sharing ways to start small and work up to deeper healing, and Kudos for not giving up on yourself, sonali! I am so excited for you 🙂

    Reply
    WL May 16, 2017

    My fibro exacerbated to the point of being almost unbearable at times due to my toxic supervisor and employer (a public health agency who professes to protect the health of all). In the last few months my physician has put me on medical leave (FMLA) with the ability to work a few hours from home (when able). Not only that, my family which I moved away from was also exacerbating my flares – and now for some reason trying to get back into my life (glad I don’t live near them). Just to preserve my own health I have refused to contact as I don’t want to listen to all the narcissist lies.
    Getting back to my employer – I literally crashed a couple of days before my doctor put me on medical leave – my blood pressure skyrocketed – I had never had bp issues but considering I was having severe flareups and being constantly badgered by my supervisor I guess I had reached the limited of what any normal person could take. Just a little background this employer has employees constantly leaving – some only lasting for a couple of days. When I went to my doctor when I crashed I let him know I just couldn’t go back as I was in such distress. While I love the clients I serve and enjoy working in a professional capacity in the field – I have to consider retiring – more like being forced into retirement because of the hostility and toxic environment just to save my life. Mine is a physically demanding job and at the end of the work day I was too exhausted to do anything. Just a little bit of exercise now induces a flare up ranging from mild to severe. At a loss of what to do now.

    Reply
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