23 doctors weighed in:

Is fibromyalgia linked to depression?

23 doctors weighed in
Dr. Betty Keller
Internal Medicine - Rheumatology
13 doctors agree

In brief: Yes,

The frequency of clinical depression or anxiety is higher in fibromyalgia patients then the general population.
This is also true of other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Current research does not support depression as a cause of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is not depression. However, chronic pain can cause feelings of anxiety and depression, which can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms.

In brief: Yes,

The frequency of clinical depression or anxiety is higher in fibromyalgia patients then the general population.
This is also true of other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Current research does not support depression as a cause of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is not depression. However, chronic pain can cause feelings of anxiety and depression, which can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms.
Dr. Betty Keller
Dr. Betty Keller
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Dr. David Hardin
Wound care
3 doctors agree

In brief: Not directly

People with any long standing pain are obviously at risk for depression fibromyalgia does not cause or directly increase risk of depression nor does depression cause fibromyalgia but might make symptoms more bothersome if you have both.
Interestingly several treatments are also antidepressants but most antidepressants don't help.

In brief: Not directly

People with any long standing pain are obviously at risk for depression fibromyalgia does not cause or directly increase risk of depression nor does depression cause fibromyalgia but might make symptoms more bothersome if you have both.
Interestingly several treatments are also antidepressants but most antidepressants don't help.
Dr. David Hardin
Dr. David Hardin
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Dr. John Benson
Psychiatry
3 doctors agree

In brief: Inflammation+brain

Recent advances in understanding the inflammatory response and state in human brain and body functioning, has suggested fairly strong links between inflammation and mood disorders, for example.
Inflammation may represent a "final common pathway" for many human illness states, such as cardiovascular disease, infection and now, depression. It is a big soon to solve the "chicken vsegg" question.

In brief: Inflammation+brain

Recent advances in understanding the inflammatory response and state in human brain and body functioning, has suggested fairly strong links between inflammation and mood disorders, for example.
Inflammation may represent a "final common pathway" for many human illness states, such as cardiovascular disease, infection and now, depression. It is a big soon to solve the "chicken vsegg" question.
Dr. John Benson
Dr. John Benson
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1 comment
Dr. Jay Rosenfeld
Add obesity, diabetes, dementia to that list of conditions in which chronic inflammation may be the common pathway.
Dr. Laurence Badgley
General Practice
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Most chronic pain patients have interrupted ; non-restorative sleep. Combination of non-refreshing sleep ; daytime fatigue highly associated with onset depression. Ask tired people about their level of enthusiasm. Most people with fibromyalgia are dejected at least; a goodly portion are overtly depressed. Unfortunately, approved "fibro meds" do not improve sleep!

In brief: Yes

Most chronic pain patients have interrupted ; non-restorative sleep. Combination of non-refreshing sleep ; daytime fatigue highly associated with onset depression. Ask tired people about their level of enthusiasm. Most people with fibromyalgia are dejected at least; a goodly portion are overtly depressed. Unfortunately, approved "fibro meds" do not improve sleep!
Dr. Laurence Badgley
Dr. Laurence Badgley
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Dr. Chad Boomershine
Internal Medicine - Rheumatology

In brief: YES and NO

About 1/3 of fibromyalgia patients have clinically significant depression.
Patients with both fibromyalgia and depression tend to have more severe symptoms because it creates a vicious circle; ie, depression worsens fibromyalgia pain and, in turn, fibromyalgia pain worsens depressive symptoms. In order to treat these patients, you must break the cycle by treating both depression and fibromyalgia.

In brief: YES and NO

About 1/3 of fibromyalgia patients have clinically significant depression.
Patients with both fibromyalgia and depression tend to have more severe symptoms because it creates a vicious circle; ie, depression worsens fibromyalgia pain and, in turn, fibromyalgia pain worsens depressive symptoms. In order to treat these patients, you must break the cycle by treating both depression and fibromyalgia.
Dr. Chad Boomershine
Dr. Chad Boomershine
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Dr. Kevin Considine
Family Medicine

In brief: Yes

Usually fibromyagia (fms) is often overlapped by depression/anxiety which often are coexistent with chronic pain.
One can argue about which comes first however, as already mentioned, many dual action antidepressants like effexor, Cymbalta can help. Now there is one that actually has the indication for fms called savella (milnacipran) that I have tried on fms patients in my own office with mostly positive results.

In brief: Yes

Usually fibromyagia (fms) is often overlapped by depression/anxiety which often are coexistent with chronic pain.
One can argue about which comes first however, as already mentioned, many dual action antidepressants like effexor, Cymbalta can help. Now there is one that actually has the indication for fms called savella (milnacipran) that I have tried on fms patients in my own office with mostly positive results.
Dr. Kevin Considine
Dr. Kevin Considine
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Dr. Samuel Miles
Psychiatry

In brief: Yes

Symptoms of fibromyalgia overlap symptoms of depression: sleep disturbance, diminished energy, aches and pains.
Treatment which works for fibromyalgia is similar to some approaches to treat depression: some antidepressants, exercise, sleep hygiene. Chronic pain and disability often evokes depression -- so it is not unusual for someone with fibromyalgia to also be depressed.

In brief: Yes

Symptoms of fibromyalgia overlap symptoms of depression: sleep disturbance, diminished energy, aches and pains.
Treatment which works for fibromyalgia is similar to some approaches to treat depression: some antidepressants, exercise, sleep hygiene. Chronic pain and disability often evokes depression -- so it is not unusual for someone with fibromyalgia to also be depressed.
Dr. Samuel Miles
Dr. Samuel Miles
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