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Is chronic pain caused by stress?

I’ve been told many times that my pain was just caused by stress. I didn’t really think so because I’m probably the least stressed I have been in years. In college when I was working full time and going to school full time and didn’t always know where my next meal was coming from, that was stress, and it showed itself through migraines that went away when I graduated.

When trying to decide where to go for our vacation this year I thought this would be a great opportunity to test the stress theory. I planned a laid back vacation full of nature and I planned to be in the mountains, so there was little cell phone signal and no internet. I was cut off from almost all the stresses of my life. Of course, this was a family vacation, so along with my husband I had my two kids, so the vacation wasn’t entirely stress free, but it was pretty close. I laid around by the lake enjoying the fact that my kids are getting old enough to play with each other without needing my assistance 24/7. I did some minimal hiking which I absolutely love to do, but I didn’t go crazy and walk for miles and miles. We spent a lazy afternoon by the lake just skipping rocks, it was amazing.

Through all this relaxation I kept waiting for my pain to magically go away, proving that my health problems were the creations of my over stressed mind.No such luck. My pain levels were pretty consistent. I wasn’t rolling around in pain, but I wasn’t skipping through the fields completely carefree (although, it’s worth noting I would never skip carefree through a field, that’s how you get ticks).

So now I know, it’s not stress, it’s what I thought it was, Lyme disease and the permanent damage it caused by giving me fibromyalgia. So suck it doctors.

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3 thoughts on “Is chronic pain caused by stress?

  1. Sorry to hear the magic disappearing act did not happen on your holiday. The stress that everyone talks about though, for me, it was major long term stress on my body. This tipped me over the edge and caused fibro and other autoimmune diseases. Now no matter how relaxed, they do not go away.

    1. Good point, I definitely think part of my problems were caused by the long term stress I put on my body. Years of school during the day and working at night, followed by the stress of throwing up for 9 months during my pregnancies had an impact on my health. Yet somehow the doctors I saw seemed to think if I went home and took a bubble bath my problems would be over!

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