Psychological distress can be strongly felt in patients with fibromyalgia, especially those suffering from paresthesia.

Psychological distress can be strongly felt in patients with fibromyalgia, especially those suffering from paresthesia.

Personality, generally defined as personality and character, often differs greatly within each group of individuals, although certain characteristics appear to stand out among groups. Temperament refers to involuntary emotional gestures and reactions which are considered to be more heritable, while temperament is often inherited but sensitive to social change and maturation.

Risks of developing mental illness

Researchers undertook a demographic study using the Skane Healthcare Registry, which contains all of the primary care, outpatient specialist treatment and inpatient care appointments that took place in the Skane region of Sweden between 2007 and 2016.

“The region contains 13 per cent of the national population and compares to Sweden as a whole demographically,” they wrote. The data were used to understand whether patients with fibromyalgia or other types of pain (here limited to dorsalgia, spinal column pain, or abdominal pain) are at increased risk of developing mental illness, specifically depression or anxiety, compared to the rest of the population.

Researchers also tried to answer the opposite question, i.e. whether mentally ill patients are at increased risk of developing pain or fibromyalgia. The analysis showed that pain patients are at higher risk of developing mental illness than pain-free patients, and the opposite is true, too.

Mental illness patients also have a higher risk of developing future pain compared with those without mental illnesses. In patients with fibromyalgia or abdominal / back pain the increased risk was detected.


The ability to adapt to different situations in pursuit of desired goals or values is defined as self-directedness; low scores here imply a lack of such adaptability. Self-transcendence is associated with an embrace of such spiritual ideas as to consider oneself a vital part of the universe, which leads to a spiritual union with the universe.

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Psychotic signs of bipolar, depressive, schizotypical and psychotic personalities are linked with high self-transcendence ratings. The study reported that the fibromyalgia patients showed a greater tendency towards those negative emotions by scoring higher here than healthy adults serving as controls.


By nature, rumination is a specific way of thinking, marked usually by repeated, distracting, and uncontrollable thoughts; often negative. The study suggests that these thoughts may influence a multitude of psychological factors such as coping and optimism, which in turn may then amplify the perceived fibromyalgia stress sensation.

Higher rumination rates should be related to psychological factors that are related to stress it, “says Katrina Malin, one of the writers who wrote the report. “These variables include mood, control, optimism, sleep, and dealing with things. We aimed to examine the role of rumination thinking style and to investigate whether this style of thinking contributes to FM stress levels.

Reduced habituation

Previous studies have shown that patients with high scores of harm avoidance have “anticipated pessimistic concerns with future events, fear of the unknown and shyness with strangers, leading to reduced habituations in potentially hazardous situations, seeking to remain clear of challenges or involvement in new conditions.”

Patients with fibromyalgia experience more severe psychiatric pain and have more complex negative feelings due to high scores of HA [harm avoidance] and low scores of SD [self-direction]. The risk of experiencing mental illness after pain was greater than the opposite (pain developed after mental illness).

However, patients with fibromyalgia showed the opposite trend, since the risk of developing fibromyalgia was found to be higher after mental illness.

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Association between stress and rumination

“The strongest of all the variables tested was the association between stress and rumination,” the authors wrote. “High rumination has been linked to high stress. Using this cross-sectional approach, we did not identify the cause and effect; nevertheless, we conclude that rumination was likely to produce emotional anxiety, rather than the other way around.

We have previously shown that stress influenced the levels of FM ‘s signature phenotypic clinical characteristics, including pain, inadequate sleep, comprehension and exhaustion, in this same cohort. These findings are consistent with the effect of stress on other psychological and functional variables as reported in earlier studies, “Malin continued.

Temperament and Character Inventory

Researchers recruited and grouped 101 women with fibromyalgia, depending on whether or not they had paresthesia. They also hired a balanced management squad. Participants were measured using a questionnaire called Inventory of Personality and Character.

Temperament here is divided into four categories: avoidance of harm, seeking for novelty, persistence, and dependence on reward. Character is divided into three parts: cooperative, self-transcendent, and self-direct. Researchers found that both fibromyalgia groups had significantly higher scores of harm avoidance (excessive worry, pessimism) and self-transcendence compared to controls, regardless of paresthesia, and lower scores of self-direction (self-determination; ability to adapt behavior to achieve desired goals). But, in both harm avoidance and self-directed patients with paresthesia scored significantly higher than those without paresthesia did.

Negative thoughts

Our brains are the most outstanding part of our bodies, really. Our brains control our heart beatings, allow us to continue breathing even when we’re asleep, and interpret the world around us so we can safely navigate it. And while our brain does have the power to function instinctively, one of the most remarkable qualities is the capacity to think freely. However, a recent report reports that if your feelings are pessimistic it may directly affect the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

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