Fibromyalgia flare ups can be incredibly frustrating for those of us who have to deal with them. Thankfully, there are lots of different types of treatment plans that can help to prevent fibromyalgia flare-ups.
One type of treatment plan that has been researched in recent years is cognitive behavior therapy. But how can cognitive behavioral therapy have any effect on fibromyalgia symptoms?
What can it do to help relieve your symptoms? That’s what we’re going to take a peek at in this article.
What is The Relationship between Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Cognitive Behavior Therapy?
Many of us have at least heard of cognitive behavioral therapy, but most of us don’t realize exactly what it does.
In short, cognitive behavior therapy is therapy that helps us to change the way that we think about certain situations and that helps us to change the behaviors that we will often have in response to the things that are happening in the world around us.
Many of us just refer to this as “therapy” or “counseling,” but it’s really so much more than that, and it’s important for us to get the distinction.
That being said, a lot of people will not even bother going to this type of therapy in the first place. Why? Because one of their misplaced beliefs is that, no matter what they do for it, whatever the problem is will never go away.
In the case of fibromyalgia, this happens in the form of “I’m in so much pain, and I’m stuck with it, so why should I even bother with trying to get help?”
As you can see, this is pretty self defeating, and because of that, we aren’t really able to see or understand what the best course of action is for our particular issues.
Cognitive therapy can actually play a rather large role in helping fibromyalgia to chill out somewhat. In certain cases, anxiety and other mental health issues make the fibromyalgia worse than it would be, so dealing with the feelings of anxiety and nervousness can actually play a huge role in preventing further problems from arising in the person.
That being said, if a person goes to cognitive behavior therapy, they could lessen these feelings and, ultimately, make it so that the person is better able to cope when the pain actually comes around. It all comes around full circle.
It can also help the person to start developing behaviors that allow them to reduce the pain instead of further exacerbating it.
For example, if a person is eating in order to try and relieve the pain from their fibromyalgia or as a reaction that makes them “feel better,” cognitive behavioral therapy can play a significant role in helping them to stop that behavior and to, instead, go toward other, healthier behaviors that will have a better result in the long run.
It takes time and help, but, in general, it can be a huge help if the patient is open to it.
What Types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Help?
There are a few ways that cognitive behavior therapy can play a role in helping a person to get past their fibromyalgia symptoms, but it’s important to note that it works best in situations where other types of therapy are being employed as well.
By having a well rounded treatment plan, a person can start to see significant differences in their quality of life over time, if they include cognitive behavior therapy as a part of the whole thing.
One of the best examples has to do with weight, exercise, and pain management. If someone has fibromyalgia, they are a lot more likely to be fighting off the pain and having struggles when it comes to exercising.
If you aren’t exercising as you should, you’re going to be a lot more likely to gain weight, which will make the pain worse.
It’s a terrible cycle that, if a patient doesn’t stop it, can end up making the fibromyalgia debilitating and a lot more stressful than it would be otherwise.
That, as a result, will make the person more frustrated and, possibly, give up on any possibility of trying to lose weight in a healthy manner.
So where does cognitive therapy come into play with this? If a person is in cognitive behavior therapy as part of their fibromyalgia treatment plan, then the therapist will be able to help them change the way that they thing.
They will be able to determine that, yes, they can manage their pain during their exercise program and that, as a result, they will feel better.
Over time, their reaction will not be to just give up and “deal with it;” instead their thought patterns will be more positive.
Then, this will start a healthy cycle. Exercise helps to keep the body loose and limber, so the pain is less likely to become overwhelming.
The patient will also be able to keep their weight down, and they will, generally, have a better quality of life. And isn’t that all the patient really wants in the long run? They want to be happy and live the life that they deserve to live.
This isn’t the only case where this happens, either – there are all sorts of behaviors that can be changed and helped because of cognitive behavior therapy.
Everything from fibro fog to insomnia can be reduced if a person understands how to cope with and fight off the issues in a healthy manner.
As mentioned above, it takes time, but it’s worth the time it takes. If you work with a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist, they can help reduce the amount of flare ups that you will be dealing with.
They will work alongside your doctor and your other specialists in order to put together a plan that works for you.
Contact your doctor to get more information and to determine whether or not cognitive behavioral therapy could be a good option for you and your particular symptoms.