I seldom write on this site as I have tended to use Action on Depression and the local fibro support group which are great. However I thought I would share with you how I am managing to reduce my fibro symptoms as well as generally feeling more positively.
I have a long term emotionally traumatic history, suffered from depression, had sleep problems and had joint problems. After a really bad 7ft fall I developed fibro and was diagnosed 4 years ago but by last winter I was in pain much of the time every day and was feeling 15 years older than my age which is 64. I became more and more frustrated by the seeming lack of help, took a very low dose anti-depressant which shifted my mood a little, joined the local support group who are great and really supportive, and then decided I was NOT going to let myself be beaten by fibro so began researching and tackling my problems one by one.
The first thing I tackled was being overwieght. Losing is easier said that done but I use Extante meal replacement shakes sometimes and the rest of the time eat carefully but normally, listing what I eat on the website My Fitness Pal which is brilliant as I can see straight away what is high in sugar or fat, or calories, etc. and preventing weight loss. Writing everything down has made me much more aware and research shows it leads to greater weight loss - I lost one and a half stone and my joint pain eased as a result - but many of the fibro symptoms didn't. I find I am not snacking as I did and not feeling so hungry when I don't eat for longer periods. I'm continuing to try to lose weight but decided to also try other approaches.
I added some supplements - Vitamins C & D, a multivitamin, high dose Calcium, B12, and Glucosamine and Chondroitin. I noticed on the My Fitness Pal website that my daily intake of Potassium was VERY low so added a Potassium supplement, then read about the link between Magnesium and fibro/joint pain so take Magnesium Citrate. The best thing is that while buying those (from Amazon) I came across Rhus Tox which is long established as a homeopathic remedy for joint and soft tissue problems. I noticed everyone who reviewed it said it completely shifted their fibro symptoms - of course I didn't believe them but bought some and within 2 days the intense muscle spasms in my arms that had been causing me so much pain every day stopped. I couldn't believe it! I continued taking Rhus Tox for 5 days then stopped and since have had no spasms. I can't say what shifted them but they have gone for the moment and I am relieved. If they come back I will take Rhus Tox again, I've already ordered another lot from Amazon.
As my joint pain had eased I decided to join a gym and went a couple of times but found it boring so joined a local healthy walking group. As they are called the Plodders I imagined they went slowly - plodded - otherwise I would never have gone, but in fact they go at a moderate walking pace which is fast for me. To my surprise I managed to complete the first walk which was almost 4 miles, ached all over when I went to bed but was fine the next day! Again, I couldn't believe it as I had been thinking of applying for a disabled parking permit - my husband has one as a result of chronic renal failure but often he had been able to walk to shops etc whereas I would struggle! Anyway, I then went to try swimming once and by chance overheard some women in the Jacuzzi saying they went walking with the Ramblers. I said how much I had always loved the idea of getting out and about but couldn't manage the distance, but they persuaded me to join the local branch and last weekend I went on my first walk. The Ramblers do a range of walks, the easiest being 5 miles over a whole day and to my surprise I managed 6 miles easily and could have gone further! I was again amazed. The group were lovely, really welcoming, lots of chatter and laughter, it was a really lovely day out in the Lake District. I have now bought walking clothes and rucksack and plan to do the 5 mile walks every fortnight as well as the weekly Plodders walk. The rest of the time I am as sedentary as ever and spend a lot of time sitting at my computer, but I am pleased to have a new enjoyable activity that gets me out and about and meeting people who are supportive.
This morning I saw the rheumatology specialist physio for an assessment. She said that the combination of weight loss, supplements and walking was exactly the right thing to get the best possible chance of overcoming fibro pain and that the only additional thing I might do is try a low dose of amitriptyline to help me sleep better as poor sleep quality has been shown by research to exacerbate fibro symptoms.
So... do not despair but try to tackle each bit of the problem in turn, one thing at a time. Research for yourself and try whatever seems to make sense to you as you are the person who knows your body best. Do not think you cannot do things but find out by doing, have as positive attitude as possible, if you can't do that then lift your mood with meds if necessary.
I hope my experiences help other people. I am not over fibro and not over depression but I have found ways to shift things into another gear and hopefully walking and increased health will feedback into making my symptoms easier to cope with if they reappear.