Have Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Messed With Your Emotions? The Emotions Poll

After getting fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) I found that

  • I tend to have a stronger emotional response to events

    Votes: 9 64.3%
  • My emotions are harder to control; once I get emotional it's harder to turn them off

    Votes: 9 64.3%
  • Little things that didn't use to bother me bother me now

    Votes: 7 50.0%
  • When I'm angry or frustrated I notice I experience more pain.

    Votes: 8 57.1%
  • I have to tell myself to calm down more often

    Votes: 8 57.1%
  • I notice I have more muscle tension associated with stress

    Votes: 12 85.7%
  • Emotional events have more of an effect on my ability to sleep

    Votes: 11 78.6%
  • Since I've become ill I've found that anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications help

    Votes: 3 21.4%
  • My emotional states is pretty similar before and after ME/CFS and/or FM

    Votes: 1 7.1%

  • Total voters


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I was struck reading a paper from CFIDS Self-Help on The Very Different World of Chronic Illness

[/fright]Emotions like worry, anger, depression and grief are normal reactions to having chronic illness, understandable responses to a situation in which life is disrupted and routine replaced with uncertainty. These emotional reactions to being ill may be particularly intense in CFS and fibromyalgia, because these illnesses seem to make people labile, meaning that their emotions are stronger than before and harder to control. The strength of emotions can create a vicious cycle in which illness intensifies emotions and then emotions, in turn, intensify symptoms. For example, people who are depressed have a lower threshold for pain. Also, pain can be intensified by anger, because anger usually creates muscle tension. Intensified symptoms, in turn, may generate more worry and pessimism.


First, being chronically ill adds new stresses to the challenges of everyday life. The additional stressors include the discomfort of symptoms, isolation, financial pressure, strained relationships and uncertainty about the future. Second, CFS and fibromyalgia are very stress-sensitive illnesses. They seem to reset the body's "stress thermostat," so that the effects of a given level of stress are greater than they would be for a healthy person. Controlling stress can have a big effect on both symptoms and quality of life. For ways to reduce and prevent stress, plus step-by-step instructions for several relaxation procedures, see Chapter 13.

Check out therest of the article here


Active Member
Hmmm - I was kind of surprised to be the only one so far to answer that my emotional states are pretty much the same as before.

I feel I should qualify it by saying that I experience more anger now - but it is a result of frustration at the medical system and a trauma reaction to ignorant/arrogant doctors denying my physical symptoms - but I'm not more angry as a symptom of ME.

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