Do you think people with fibromyalgia are hypochondriacs? I have two friends and two family members with this diagnosis and they never stop complaining about it. I can’t help but wonder if all that yammering just keeps them focused on the problem and not the solution.

One of the universally recognized key features of this condition we call fibromyalgia is widespread body pain. The person with fibromyalgia often says, “It hurts all over.” With pain everywhere and a host of other symptoms that characterize fibromyalgia, we might all find ourselves complaining (or at least commenting) on our situation.

But there is an interesting observation that has been made from studies about patients with fibromyalgia. They do tend to report their symptoms and seek medical care earlier and more often than patients with other pain-related problems.

You may be observing the phenomenon of over-reporting (as this behavior is referred to). The younger generation might call this TMI (too much information). They tend to count up all their symptoms — maybe because there ARE so many but perhaps because they are people who are just more focused on their bodies. The debate about this is ongoing.

On the whole, people with fibromyalgia don’t sleep well, don’t feel well, and have psychologic, physical, and emotional distress. Put that all together and we might find ourselves unable to do anything but complain, too.