My latest book review column is available! Understanding Women with AD/HD was a fascinating read, and I had a very specific reason for choosing it. I like browsing books on Amazon, because many of them allow you to preview the table of contents and some of the other stuff; and when I previewed this one I noticed a chapter on fibromyalgia included in the section on associated disorders.
Since I’ve struggled with fibromyalgia for the past 15 years or so, that really caught my attention, especially since the reading I’ve been doing on AD/HD makes me suspect that my bipolar diagnosis may not be accurate . . . My symptoms (and history) seem to fit much better with an AD/HD diagnosis, so I’ve been trying some of the strategies in the books to see if they help. (I figure whether or not I have it, if the strategies help me, it’s a good thing.)
So anyway, back to the connection between AD/HD and fibromyalgia. The chapter on fibro provides an excellent explanation of how stress and fibromyalgia are interconnected; including explanations of how the limbic system and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis work, how they’re affected by stress, and how that ties into fibromyalgia (dysfunction of the HPA axis is suspected to play a large part in fibromyalgia.)
Once this background material has been covered, the authors move on to various stressors specific to women, followed by a section on stressors specific to AD/HD, and concluding with an explanation of the path from stress (via AD/HD) to FMS. The chapter ends with:
“While we still have much to learn about both AD/HD and FMS, it’s becoming increasingly clear that these disorders are related and that effective treatment of either requires aggressive treatment of both.”
Although this “feels” right to me, I think it’s going to take more research before it’s generally accepted by the medical community. Just because something makes sense or feels right to individual patients doesn’t necessarily mean that the science will support it in the long term.
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