Fibromyalgia and Disability
Dr. Jerald L. Cook
Fibromyalgia is considered a functional disorder with unknown etiology and unclear pathophysiology. It's not well understood because there is little objective information to support the physical and psychological impairment that affected individuals report. This often becomes a challenge for individuals that feel disabled by the disorder and try to prove that the disorder prevents productive and meaningful work, so they qualify for disability benefits. Fibromyalgia is characterized by complaints of widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and poor sleep, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms, headaches including migraines, and a variety of other symptoms. With or without psychosomatic symptoms, depression and anxiety are common in fibromyalgia (Ghiggia, et al. 2017) and should always be assessed when evaluating the presence of and effects of fibromyalgia. Individuals with fibromyalgia experience a heightened response to stimuli.