Hello I am 41 and have kind of diagnosed myself with FM. I read an article in GH magazine and recognised myself after researching the condition. I basically ticked all the boxes! I saw a GP today, who seemed more interested in my depression and telling me body pain can be caused by depression - not really sure where he was going with this. Anyhow he has put me on Amatrtiptylin alongside citralopram and asked me to go back in 3 weeks. Is this a normal response from a GP, should I have been referred or will that come later??? He checked blood testes carried out over past couple of years, as I have been in the Docs on a few occasions with the most awful fatigue and insomnia.

46 Replies

  • Hi. Welcome to the group! Depression can cause body pain, that is why he is going down that route first I expect, I have suffered depression on and off for years, then when I started getting all this pain and fatigue ect he assumed it was from the depression, done blood test, which were all clear to rule out arthritis, I was then sent to a rhumy after many test he couldn't find anything wrong, it was when my GP sent me to another rhumy and told me to write down all my symptoms and show them to him that I got diagnosed with FM, so it might take a while to get diagnosed, it took about 8 years for me to get diagnosed, but I think they are getting better at diagnosing it now.

    Hope this help

    best wishes

  • Welcome to our brilliant site. We do cover all aspects of Fibro and you can look up areas that might interest you by going to

    www.fibroaction,org this is our mother site and carries many interesting links .

    Do have a look and oh sorry you can also click on the butterfly on the right hand side of the page.

    The site is manned by people with Fibro and when advice is given do remember we are not medical people we are just talking from personal experiences so always check with your own Doctor about changes you experience.

    So your visit to the Doctor produced meds for depression, well they are ones taken for Fibro as well so they should help no end. So please start them as directed and see how it goes.

    We are always about so never feel alone just come on,line and say Hi


  • Hi witchie

    Welcome to the forum and it is wonderful to make your acquaintance. I genuinely hope that you are feeling as well as you can be today? And also, that you find the forum useful?

    Interesting response from your GP? However, there are always many members coming on the threads and saying that their GP's do not listen to them or take them seriously! It will help you a great deal if you can find a GP that is very understanding about Fibro.

    I would like to state that Fibro can cause depression due to being in constant pain and not the other way around! It is not a case of depression causing Fibro. I see that gins has given you the link to our mother site, FibroAction, which has loads of useful Fibro information on board.

    I genuinely look forward to bumping into you around the site.

    All my hopes and dreams for you

    Ken x

  • Oh, do get that chair under control Ken :P

    It's good for the general population to be engaged in our own health but ultimately diagnosis must come from a doctor. I've seen ignorance kill too often. If you're convinced and can guide the doctor so much the better but don't pick symptoms that suit your agenda. We get anti depressants because of the way they work on the neurological bit of fibro - not because you're depressed, though that might be a useful help. Do look at those links you've been given. there's information about how and why some pain treatment works better and some do not. The 3 weeks is very likely to give the medication time to settle down. It took months for me to get my levels right and when I started I had 2 weeks off work as the meds hit me straight away on a low dose.

  • Hello my friend! I have those pig slaves attaching the last piece of Dalekanium to my chair right now! And then I shall conquer the universe, nothing will be able to stop me. My daleks and I will be the superior beings in the universe! And everybody else will obey! obey! Oobeeyy!!

  • You should never diagnose yourself with any complaint, just because you have the symptoms don't mean you have the illness, always get professional advise as somethings may be serious.

  • I disagree strongly with your opinion. In Dubai something like 90% of people with fibromyalgia diagnose themselves first before it is confirmed by doctors. True the population there, both local and expatriate, is educated and used to researching on computers. A lot of people in UK first diagnose themselves, including me, and it saves them years of going to and fro to doctors being treated like hypochondriacs. It is very wrong to criticise someone who has come on this site for the first time looking for support. I think your remarks need to be more thoughtful.

  • [Edited by Admin] comments removed as per FibroAction guidelines, I was not criticising just just pointing out the dangers and I stand by what I say you can't diagnose if you ain't medically trained.constantly [Edited by Admin] comments removed as per FibroAction guidelines

  • I would like to very nicely say rubbish!!!! I think this is a point on which we will both have to disagree as we hold convergent views. There was one study that showed that 70% of people waiting in doctors surgeries who had not been diagnosed to their satisfaction had positive tests for fibro, some of them had symptoms for a number of years, and presumably they would not have been diagnosed at that time but for this study. Yes, you may need to have your diagnosis confirmed by a medical person, if only to give you access to treatment or to allay your anxiety. Personally, I can't think of one single reason why it is dangerous or unsafe to self-diagnose. Have you not self-diagnosed a verruchae or flu? A bad cold or allergy? A tummy upset? When I dropped a stone on my foot I knew at once - ie, I correctly diagnosed - that I had broken a bone which was very helpful because I didn't walk on it until after it was xrayed and treated. Also I correctly diagnosed that I had acute angle closure glaucoma and that diagnosis was not accepted by 4 doctors at the Bristol Eye Hospital, so I referred myself to Moorfields where it was correctly diagnosed in 20 minutes, so I saved my eyesight - the situation was so acute that I had to have immediate treatment as I was in imminent danger of instant loss of sight in my left eye. I have worked in countries like Africa and Yemen and also travelled in USA extensively where many people can't afford to visit a doctor and they regularly self-diagnose and then go to the pharmacy and buy the treatment needed; (yes, in USA people who can't afford medical insurance are in this category) without the self-diagnosis they would be untreated. Surely we in the developed world can do the same? I hope this explains why I hold this view.

  • you are so right, we are advised to go to the GP if we think there is something wrong or we think we have a condition, lots of love!!! x

  • ps - in case you want to know how I diagnosed my eye condition, my mother has very severe glaucoma and had lost much of her sight, she had been wrongly diagnosed as open angle glaucoma and wrongly treated with eyedrops. Then my daughter was diagnosed as acute angle closure glaucoma, which is a different disease with completely different treatment - laser or surgery. So I went on line and found that it was hereditary and usually passed through the female line. So I KNEW that I (and my mother) MUST have it. After being told I didn't have acute angle closure at Bristol, my son in law who is a solicitor who does work for Moorfields told me I could self-refer there, so I did (I don't think you can self-refer now with the recent changes to the NHS). So I persisted and was proved to be right, and the acute angle was so acute when a doctor confirmed my diagnosis that I could have completely and irreversibly lost my sight within hours - the doctor at Moorfields sarcastically said that people who can't diagnose AACG should not even try - he was referring to the four eye specialist doctors who had ALL misdiagnosed me in Bristol. You can guess that I don't care one jot that I upset the doctors at the Bristol Eye Hospital, nor my GP who supported them, and I don't care what they think of me either, especially I don't care if they think I am a hypochondriac. Love x

  • My previous GP I think is very confused himself between fibro and depression. So I changed GPs. See how you go for 3 weeks and ask for a second opinion if you are not happy. GPs don't like patients who diagnose themselves, sadly. Lots of hugs.

  • Thanks so much for all your replies. I think it is going to be a long road for me and I intend to see my own GP in 3 weeks time. It is amazing to feel support from the forum already! Jjudith I totally agree with you, I have been to my GP many times over the years with chronic fatigue, pain and depression, however each has been treated separately, I joined the dots as well as recognising so many other symptoms I have learnt to live with. XX

  • so if you diagnose yourself then why [Edited by Admin] comments removed as per FibroAction guidelines know what you have.

  • I came onto this site for advice and support, if you feel you cannot offer either, please do try ad keep your opinions to yourself

  • Hi witchie, welcome to the site, it really isn't normally like this, I can promise you. It's a lot of fun and friendly, and very informative, and as you'll have been able to see from Fenbadger and The Author's posts, most are rather bonkers, which provides great entertainment for normal people like myself (ahem).

    Keep pushing your GP, ask for a referral to see a rheumatologist. I had to make such a song and dance with my GP. She was a bit of a moo, and instead referred me to a psychiatrist, listing my 'imaginary' symptoms...the most satisfying thing ever was when the psychiatrist wrote back and said that my symptoms sounded very much like FMS, and that she would advise a referral to a rheumy, before pursuing psychiatric intervention :). I would have cartwheeled out of her office if I hadn't had FMS at that moment.

    The others are right with the meds though, for me the amitryptiline was a lifesaver, but unfortunately only introduced after 6 years of suffering. I sleep so much better now...but take heed of Mr Badger's advice, when you first start taking them, you can literally sleep through the whole of the next day, so start small.

    Gentle hugs, here's to getting an official diagnosis soon x

  • rogerbear, are you the grizzly rather than the teddy kind? Please be a little more thoughtful. My best friend who is a farming lawyer diagnosed me with FMS, I had never heard of it, and my GP thought I was imagining the pain and needed more Prozac. I 'bothered' my GP after my friends diagnosis, to ask for a referral and sure enough the rheumatologist said "a classic and severe case, just as well your friend did that reading". I then 'bothered' my GP again in order to get the correct treatment even though he wasn't involved in the diagnosis, well, because I can't write myself a prescription. Do bears still eat honey to sweeten them up a bit? ;)

  • As I just told mayrose PLEASE read my FIRST REPLY to newbie I was simply pointing out the dangers of self diagnosis and it's turned into this. [Edited by Admin] comments removed as per FibroAction guidelines , All was going well until newbie came on the scene. this site is not for this type of thing so end it now. anything else on this subject will be deleted.

  • It was your 3rd post which was a little strong. It was not down to witchie at all, perhaps when you've calmed down you'll read it back.

  • thank you jigsawcat, I am keeping my head down at the moment I think!!!x

  • You mustn't, it's just one persons opinion. Chin up xx

  • rogerbear, whatever is bothering you in your life, I am very sorry for you and hope you can find some peace and dignity

  • yes they do but when you try to help someone and they throw it back at you it's not nice, all I was doing was saying be careful as it may not be what you think, [Edited by Admin] comments removed as per FibroAction guidelines . hope your day is going good. best wishes,

  • Dear Rogerbear, it has been my misfortune to discover that my emails are often read differently to how I meant them. I now get someone to read them before I post them. Not here though. I am sure that you meant well. There is a risk in self diagnosis, however it was my mother who diagnosed me and told me to ask my doctor. He was amused and told me he had been going along that line with his tests, though he hadn't mentioned it. I had no idea what it was and thought I was a hypochondriac coming up with all this aches and pains. Personally I don't think self diagnosis is the problem if you then check with the doctor. I think self diagnosis and then self medication is the danger. [All said in a friendly tone].

    Soft hugs

  • your so right, what I am trying to get through is. If people keep self diagnosing then there is the problem you get it wrong and end up seriously ill, provided your not constantly looking up every ache and pain that's fine as long as you get it confirmed by a professional. if you look up every ache then that's bad as you cannot get a true picture off the internet and start thinking, hmm I have that symptom and that one but in effect what may just be a common cold suddenly you think wow I have pneumonia and one thing leads to another and you scare yourself to death. Do you see what I am getting at. And your even more right, self medication is worse as you may take something your allergic to.My advice was be cautious Best Wishes..

  • They normally start of treating FM like that. What they don't understand is that the pain and suffering makes the happiest person depressed. If you don't see any results go back and try again. If your doctor still don't get it, I'd change doctor's. Hope you are feeling better soon sweetheart!!! xxx Mitzi

  • Right on. There's much ignorance in the medical profession too but it's getting better. It's difficult to pin down and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.

  • Absolutely!!!

  • Thanks, for your support x

  • I think rogerbear's first reply was a warning to be careful and that it's always recommended to see a gp or rheumatologist for diagnosis as there are a lot of conditions with similar symptoms.

    the other comments regarding a gp prescribing anti-depressants and them helping with the pain are also right. Sadly, it is true that there still gps who fail to accept or learn about fibro.

    but can I remind people of the guidelines on fibroaction and healthunlocked including treating each other with respect.

    We need this site to be a safe place to be able to question, chat and share. thanks folks!

    Hi Newbie, glad you have found us! give the med's a chance to work, maybe keep a symptom diary, and ask for a referral to a rheumy and/or a connective tissue clinic.


    hamble :)

  • Hi, I am now keeping a diary so I have something to go back to the Doctor with and hopefully get a referred. I have spent so many years in pain and feeling rubbish, which I am sure is not normal, so this is my first step to try and find out what it is an if anything can be done x

  • Hello witchie welcome to the site, There are a lot of good people on this site who want nothing more than to help you, If some one says something that you dislike do not hesitate to report them.

    Hugs sue xx

  • [Edited by Admin] comments removed as per FibroAction guidelines

  • correct and thank you for understanding what I said in my first reply, You simply cannot say you have an illness simply by ticking boxes. As you say there are many conditions similar to FM and ticking boxes is not the way to find out if you have FM or a more serious complaint.

  • [Edited by Admin] comments removed as per FibroAction guidelines

  • Hi rogerbear

    I am attaching a section of the HU guidelines entitled 'Community Atmosphere' below to bring to your attention:

    Community atmosphere

    Your participation on HealthUnlocked should be with respect, honesty, and in the spirit of

    supporting and learning from your fellow users.

    HealthUnlocked is not a form to create negative feedback about identifiable individuals. Negative and damaging references to identifiable individuals may be edited or deleted either by

    HealthUnlocked or by a community administrator

    If an account is suspected of violating any of the guidelines particularly in the instance of bullying or spamming, that member's account may be restricted or banned.

    I would like to thank you in anticipation of reading these guidelines.

    Thank you

    Ken (TheAuthor)

    Volunteer FibroAction.

  • Wow I am really sorry if I have wasted anyone's time as implied by rogerbear, I came on this site looking for help and support not abuse, I have to say everyone else has been very helpful and kind, but I would hate to think people think I am a time waster

  • Hello I replied to you earier. You have NOT wasted any ones time. Because a lot of doctors still dont understand fibro it is not unusual to recognise your own symptoms as fibro, you may not be right. but then you might be right. It is well worth asking your doctor to look into it. and please stay with us.

    hugs sue xx

    Oh and I asked my doctor if I could have fibro before I was diagnosed by a neurologist.

  • thank you x

  • Hi Witchie :)

    Welcome to our forum I have read the post and the replies which are of mixed opinions, that is all they are.

    You are not a time waster and welcome to ask questions the same as any other member, please don't let this particular incident put you off from being here.

    I would like to say that I do think keeping a diary of your symptoms will help you for when you go to see your GP, there are other things too that we can do to better our relationship with our GP's.

    I'd like to give you this link to a section of our Mother site titled 'How to deal with doctors' it contains some useful information :)

    It actually comes from the 'Becoming an expert patient' section :)

    You have been given some good advice already so I thought I'd give you a few links to some of our FAQ's. :)

    FAQ - I'm relatively new to this community, is there anything I should know? This may contain some useful links for you :)

    FAQ - I'm newly diagnosed, where can I get information on Fibro please?

    FAQ - I am having trouble finding my way around the site, please help? I include this just in case!

    Our FAQ's can be found under Pinned Posts :)

    Fluffie hugs and smiles for you and looking forward to seeing you around

    :) xxxsianxxx :)

  • thank you x

  • Welcome. I hope the helpful advice is of use to you? Having FM can feel like you must be a hypochondriac and it all be in your head. It is such a relief to finally have a diagnosis.

    Please note that the meds may not suit you so any concerns contact your doctor. It can take many tries at different meds before everything has a chance to calm down. I am off to the doctors tomorrow because I am so stressed at work my pain levels have gone up!

    Are you working?

    Soft hugs

  • Hi and welcome!

    It is good to go to the doctor with your concerns and even better when you get a diagnosis. If you do feel that your medication is not helping then do ask for a rheumatology referral. Not wishing to alarm you but very often Fibro can mimic other conditions and often goes hand in hand with them. This is where expert opinion is very useful to rule out anything else.

    The medication you have been prescribed is pretty much standard for Fibro.


  • HI Newbie

    I was told I had cfs 20 years ago , 9 years ago I had a terrible relapse I started trawling the net as I was at my wits end I discovered fybro which I had never heard of after reading about pressure points I discover I have practically everyone , not sore unless pressure applied I always wondered if I banged my arm ect why it louped with pain for so long, anyway off to doc again on a bad day he says are you thinking there is something more sinisister going on than cfs I say no but I think I have fibromyalgia he replies now we are talking.

    I asked why have I never been told I have this he say cfs and fybro are the same thing and it is very difficult for doctors to tell a patient they are stuck with a chronic illness I asked why cant you refer me to a specaialist he repied we know what the problem is and I am trying to solve it with you in the treatment we are experimenting with

  • Hi babyinny

    That doesn't sound very encouraging, does this mean he is using you as a guinea pig? My advice is to take a family member, who can confirm how you are on a daily basis, for your next appointment, and insist for a referral for a rheumatologist. If he refuses, ask why, particularly if you say you want a second opinion.

    If you are not satisfied, ask the receptionist if there is another doctor within the same practice who is familiar with fibro. Younger doctors seem to accept fibro as a proper recognised condition. Good luck!

  • Hi Newbie. I too 'self-diagnosed' before doctors agreed with me. It's natural when faced with the weird symptoms of fibromyalgia to worry about yourself and to try and figure out what's wrong. I have read the comments above re. self-diagnosing and, while it is generally a good idea to seek medical advice, the advice about fibromyalgia and how to treat it is, often, not very good. I think there are a lot of people on this site who have researched the topic and now know A LOT more about fibromalgia than their doctors do. Let's face it, GPs don't have time and they are by definition generalists, not specialists. The bad news is no-one really understands fibromyalgia, what causes it or how to treat it, not even the specialists, so you can't rely on the medical profession to fix you. The good news is that you can research the illness yourself and engage in informed discussions with your doctors about how best to treat it in your individual case. And don't be deterred by doctors' focus on depression. Some doctors seem to think that the best way to get rid of you is to tell you you're depressed and send you off with pills for it. Do prepare yourself and be strong.Getting a fibro diagnosis can be a bit of a battle, as can finding an understanding, helpful doctor. But when you do get that diagnosis confirmed, it is a huge relief and you can focus on finding ways to manage your illness. Good luck.

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