Posted by: Little Miss | September 13, 2007

Common Denominator?

When my rheumatologist diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, she said she commonly sees it in “high performing” women. Maybe that’s one way of saying “type A” personalities. But in reading some other blogs of women who have fibro, it occurred to me that perhaps there’s another common denominator. I have noticed a higher level of sensitivity to other people.

Hmmm. How can I explain that better? Maybe it’s called a sixth sense, a finely tuned intuition, a character that literally can feel other people’s pain, joy, happiness, sadness, and any other emotion. Not everyone has that level of sensitivity. But for those of us who do, are we more susceptible to developing fibromyalgia?

It’s just a hypothesis, and I have no scientific facts for it. Just a hunch. Just my intuition.

I know I have developed a keen intuition. I have to remove myself from highly negative environments because I tend to literally absorb the energy, unable to fully deflect it from my psyche and spirit. Conversely, I feel happiness and positive things more than some might think rational or appropriate. Extreme mood swings? Or just a hyper sensitivity to life?

I also know I feel things quite deeply. I think it’s something my mother who raised me never fully understood. My emotions run deep, and often I keep them hidden or buried because I’m not quite sure how to deal with them myself. Consequently I think this backfires because people think I’m strong and don’t need help – particularly the single men who want a woman to rescue or take care of. Ha! I think feeling the emotions so deeply and being so sensitive to them could possibly be a breeding ground for the fibro.

So, either way, if it is or it isn’t, having this depth of perception, to me is a good thing. Even with the fibro, I’d rather be who I am, and be able to love and live fully, deeply, even painfully, than not at all. At least that’s how I feel right now. Wait five minutes, and like the Seattle weather, it could change.




  1. I so agree with you. I’ve wondered the same thing. Sometimes, I wish I could take a poll. It seems that there have to be some common threads linking us Fibromaniacs.

    Being super-empathetic is a blessing and a curse, but I don’t think I’d trade it for anything. I’m not particularly type-A, but I’m very perfectionistic and hard on myself. I’ve had several bosses say, “There’s no use getting on to you, because there’s no way I can be harder on you than you are on yourself.” Or words to that effect.

    This makes the fibro worse, because when it flares, I can beat myself up like no one else!

  2. i know exactly what you mean about picking up on the emotions in the room. when i proctor state testing for the schools, i come home absolutely exhausted. proctoring should be easy….just stand around and make sure no one cheats. nope. i take on all the tension and anxiety in the room. even on a regular day, i can look at student and instantly know if they having a good day or bad day. for better or worse, ds#2 is the same way.

  3. Checks the little box in the poll for herself too. I hate explaining to my husband that he is mad about something and that he just needs to figure it out so he can then figure out why. And he never believes me! I usually can convince him. I too pander around people I know are upset and tend to absorb it away from them. I also know and feel emotions of people who can be oblivious to them. Some persons throw me off sometimes. But yeah… its a horrible curse and if its also caused fibro somehow that makes it so much worse… but I still dont think I’d give it up. Granted it seems like life without that extra knowledge might just be easier sometimes lol.

  4. I’ve read the stuff about Type-A personalities too and have my own theory. There are probably people out there who are naturally not motivated (nice way of saying very lazy) that would never notice the fatigue as much as someone who’s highly active. And not to be mean, but people who aren’t razor sharp would not be as effected by the fibro fog, perhaps. So maybe FM effects all walks of life, but the Type-A people or overly sensitive folks just notice it far more and feel the most effected by it. Take my husband for example… an excuse to sit on his rump and watch TV all day would be a dream come true! But days that put me on my rump just KILL MY SOUL!

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