does stress make the pain worse?

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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 10/27/2008 9:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I have an extremely negative and judgmental office mate.  I try to ignore him and have been sticking earbuds in my ears to drown him out and to cue him to leave me alone.  I can handle it for so long, then it gets too much.  Tonight I am extremely exhausted and overwhelmed.  I did only get about 6 hours of sleep last night.  I worked very hard all weekend cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, grading papers, etc.  Worked hard all day and came home after 12 hours to prepare for a meeting tomorrow.  I am not sure if I will get everything done.  I brought home the wrong jump drive, so am going to bed now, so I can go into work early tomorrow.
I know I have worked too hard and should have gotten more rest, but could the stress be making the pain worse, or the pain making the negative office mate seem worse or the negative office mate making it more difficult for me to handle the stress?
What are your experiences.

getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41816
   Posted 10/27/2008 10:16 PM (GMT -7)   
mental stress can make the pain and fatigue worse. It kind of magnifies it. And it can be something that you don't even know you are stressing about. So I would say yes.

I know that many years ago I became a type 2 diabetic from stress that was going on in my family. I got so sick, I was down to under a hundred pounds (and I am 5'8" tall) and my blood sugars were all over the place. Once I got rid of the stress, then I got better. I have been diet control with the diabetes ever since.

But I know that when you are stressed, your muscles tense up, which in turn makes them ache more. Also I think it eats at your immune system. Also you get more tired.

I hope that this helps some

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1279
   Posted 10/28/2008 5:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sue-

I do notice if I have increased stress my pain gets worse. :( I have been off work since this fibro hit but I also had a couple of "winners" I had to deal with at my job. It is a long story but I just wanted you to know I can relate to what your going through.

You did alot physically over the weekend and then put alot of hours in getting ready for the meeting- I would be tired and stressed too. Hope the rest of the week gets better for you!
Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, TMJ, Arthritis/neck, SAD
Zoloft, Tylenol 4000 mg., Darvocet  

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 278
   Posted 10/28/2008 6:13 AM (GMT -7)   


Stress definately makes my pain worse. It tenses up my chest area and the pain radiates from there....

You did do alot of activity this weekend. That is why you are so fatigued. I am proud of you for getting so much done! Keep up the good work. :)

Fibro is a life sentence, but not a death sentence.
Fibro since 2005

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 10/28/2008 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Stress definitely does make things worse. I think my fibro was at its worst when my mom got her hip replaced recently. The actual day of the surgery was certainly stressful, but then there were complications after surgery and she was in a rehab center for weeks after the surgery. The hospital and rehab center were kind of far from home so those long drives out there almost everyday really took a lot out of me(and I wasn't even the one driving the car). The pain was so much worse during that time and many days I had trouble walking. My fibro definitely wasn't as bad after she finally came home.

Allergies, Asthma, Anxiety, Depression, IBS, PCOS, Fibromyalgia

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 10/28/2008 9:40 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for the feedback.  Today I had a tangible evidence of how stressed I am (as if I needed one).  I cried because I thought my TA was quitting because she thought I didn't need her.  I cried right in front of her.  It was so embarrassing.  redface

I try to get to work before the negative person does, but I cannot.  I try to stay late, but the negative person does, too.  I am trying to keep up good relations.  We share a tiny office.  This person saw me crying today and hugged me and said, I love you Sue, I don't know why, but I do.  I know he doesn't mean to be negative and difficult.  I hope the TA didn't say anything, otherwise the entire office will know that I cried.  Sheesh! 

On a positive note, the TA and students got one of the consumers (an adult with profound mental retardation) to push a musical ball across the table without throwing it AT people.  That was quite an accomplishment. 


Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 10/29/2008 3:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Statgeek, Sue, whatever. Boy, are you beating yourself up or what? It sounds like your plate is overloaded, and everyone has an occasion or three at work when they lose it. It used to happen to me almost every month, like clockwork. There was this one nurse that would yell about "protocol" while we were in the midst of a crisis with a patient, from the doorway and later in the office. Yup, I cried. It's to bad you can't put some distance between Mr. Negativity and you. If he hugged you and said "love you" , slap him with a harassment charge. Or just tell the boss it's become very unprofessional conduct and you need to move.
Good luck.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17497
   Posted 10/29/2008 4:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Stress will definitely make your pain worse.  You tense up when under pressure.  The stretching exercises in Fibro 101 help and can be done at your desk. 
Try not to let him irritate you.  Really focus on your work and tune him out.  If he gets really annoying, picture in your mind that he's standing there in his underwear!  devil It will make you smile and actually "give" you a sense of power over him.  Just don't let anyone know what you are doing!  tongue  
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 10/29/2008 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Whoa yea, I guess I am beating myself up - and probably having a little pity party, too!  Karen, under 100 pounds?  That sounds like a lot of stress!  Oh, and the hugging, it was not sexual at all.  He was trying to be supportive. I thought he was being nice.  He was feeling bad that I was crying.
 But I think the pain and stress create a huge cycle and make it harder to deal with things that normally would not bother a person.  Then that creates stress and there goes the cycle.  Listening to rock music helps and thinking positively and being grateful all help.  But I think that imagining a someone in his or her underwear will help a lot!  That's a crack up!  smhair
Btw: lack of sleep adds to it, doesn't it.  You gotta get ahead of the cycle.
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