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Re: head trauma and mood elevation

Posted by Victoria on March 18, 1999, at 21:14:59

In reply to Re: head trauma and mood elevation, posted by Elizabeth on March 17, 1999, at 17:28:26

The euphoria was a bit like being high--a kind of giddy feeling and a heightened sense of viual intensity. Fibromyalia is something of a mystery. The symptoms can include fatigue, muscle pain, tingling and other odd sensations in the muscles or skin, sleep disturbances, cognitive problems (esp. with short term memory); a lot of people with fibromyalgia also have irritable bowel syndrome and/or teeth-grinding and TMJ problems. Some people say that depression is part of the problem; others that depression is a a reaction to the physical pain and limitations. There's no agreed-upon cause and no widely-effective treatment. Some people apparently get better through taking medication for sleep and anti-depressants, and by managing diet, exercise, and stress very carefully. I recently read a book, Betrayal by the Brain, by Jay Goldstein, MD, who hypothesizes that it is a neurochemical dysfunction that affects processing of pain and other stimuli. He reports success using a variety of drugs. One thing I will say for fibromyalgia is that it's very handy to have a "physical" diagnosis. I think I've probably had this in a milder way for years (I'm on my 4th diagnosis and 14th doctor), but since I thought of it as depression, I didn't talk about it much. All of a sudden, I have a diagnosis I can talk about and people are rallying round, giving me all kinds of support that I didn't have before (and doubt I would have gotten if I had talked about depression, at work for example). I've also found that I experience my moods differently and more constructively, now that they are in a clearer context of what's "physical" and what's "emotional." One warning: if you decide to read up on fibromyalgia, tread carefully. I got very discouraged by many of the books, which define it as a permanent disabling condition, with lots of emphasis on grief over loss of mobility, etc. I didn't find that very helpful, although if you can get past that, there are some useful coping tips in some of the books I looked at. Good luck!

> > Not panic attacks, but I had an experience that might possibly be related. Last August, I had an injury, fell and hit my chin, causing a whiplash-type neck injury. That triggered post-traumatic fibromyalgia. I did experience a very unusual period of euphoria (a few hours long) the evening before I first began to develop the flu-like fibromyalgia symptoms. (Of course, I thought it was flu, and it took several months be be properly diagnosed, but that's another story.) The euphoria was something I had never experienced quite that way before, and does seem to me to be related to whatever chemical or other changes in my brain turned on the fibromyalgia.
> Hmm. What was the euphoria like? Did you have any other sensations along with it? I usually get pretty spacey and sometimes things look a little off (or I even have visual or auditory illusions).
> Do feel free to vent about your problems getting a proper diagnosis - I'm sure that's something that a lot of us can relate to!
> How does one treat fibro, anyway? I don't know exactly what it is, although it sounds (superficially anyway) like it might sort of be similar to what I have (depression, anxiety, sleep problems, chronic pain).
> -elizabeth




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