How Celebrities are Coping with Fibromyalgia

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There are a lot of unidentified aspects of fibromyalgia that require attention to better help people with this condition. A small percentage of the population has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. But the actual number could be much higher from undiagnosed cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 2 percent of American adults have fibromyalgia. It’s also most common in middle-aged women; although the reasons for this aren’t know. As it happens with many other chronic diseases, it affects all parts of the population, and that includes, of course, celebrities as well.

It is certain that many people believe that celebrities, who are known to have glamorous lifestyles, are somehow immune to medical issues. But this is not true. The truth is that media only communicates what they want people to know and if there are not any economic interests behind that information, there is a strong possibility that that information does not spread unless they want it to spread.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that affects many people around the world. The true reason for causing fibromyalgia is not known but it is thought that it may have a genetic origin. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is usually an undiagnosed condition because of the many different testing processes patients have to undergo through in order to determine it is not another type of condition.

In reality there are quite a few more well-known people with FM out there who have not up till now made their diagnosis public. Some may be in denial, unwilling to admit it even to themselves. But my guess is that most simply don’t want others to know they have FM because of the negative impact it might have on their careers.

Of course, we in the FM community get excited when we hear of another celebrity who has fibromyalgia not because we want to see anyone else suffer, but because we are confident that someone who is famous can help raise responsiveness for this frequently misunderstood sickness.

There are also some famous people in history who we strongly suspect may have had FM, like Mexican artist Frida Kahlo or English nurse, Florence Nightingale. But as no one actually knew about or diagnosed FM until more recent years, for the purposes of this list, we will stick to modern celebrities who have recognized having FM.

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Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman is a celebrity that seems to be everywhere, whether he’s acting in movies, playing voices for animated roles, or narrating films. Freeman is also an honest advocate for fibromyalgia awareness. In an interview with Esquire magazine, Freeman discussed not being able to do certain activities anymore, such as sailing, due to his fibromyalgia. Yet he wanted readers to know that the condition isn’t all gloomy. He stated, “There is a point to changes like these. I have to move on to other things, to other conceptions of myself. I play golf. I still work. And just walking the land make me pretty happy.” With fibromyalgia life doesn’t stop, and Freeman requests others to know this. Read More detail article on him HERE

Jo Guest

(English actress and TV host) Ms. Guest began her career modeling and has appeared in several adult magazines. She was a guest on the British TV show This Morning in January 2008, where she discussed a mystery illness which left her not capable to work. Three months later, she returned to the show and reported that she had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia as a direct result of help from viewers who had seen her previous appearance.

Janeane Garofalo

Janeane Garofalo has made audiences laugh at her dry sense of humor and sarcasm. While Garofalo has covered a wide range of topics over the years, her health has taken center stage recently. She hasn’t been widely quoted in interviews or other more formal contexts. But she talks about her fibromyalgia as a part of her stand-up act. In 2009, she told her audience, “I had no idea I was chronically dissatisfied,” in reference to her new treatment involving antidepressants. It’s significant to keep an optimistic outlook when dealing with fibromyalgia. And as Garofalo demonstrates, it may also help to laugh it off once in a while.

Susan Flannery

(American actress) Ms. Flannery is best known as one of the original and current cast members on the popular TV soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. In 2007 she made headlines when she asked the show for medical leave so she could try to treat her fibromyalgia.

Sinead O’Connor

Despite her talent and Grammy-winning record, in 2013 O’Connor abruptly declared she was quitting the music business. She attributed her departure to severe pain and fatigue due to fibromyalgia. At first, O’Connor was quoted as saying that her career in music was to blame. “It rendered me invisible. Murdered my soul, I’m never going back to music,” she announced.

Mary McDonough

(American actress) Most of us would recognize Ms. McDonough as Erin Walton from the long-running hit TV drama series The Waltons. She suffered with pain, fatigue and numerous other symptoms for 10 years before finally being diagnosed. In addition to fibromyalgia, Ms. McDonough has also been diagnosed with lupus and Sjogren’s syndrome.

A.J. Langer

(American actress) Ms. Langer might be best known for her character as Rayanne on the popular, albeit short-lived, 1994 TV drama series My So-Called Life. Although she wasn’t diagnosed until she was 21 but her FM symptoms began in childhood. On the cover of the very first issue of Fibromyalgia Aware Magazine in 2002 Langer was featured.

It is true that celebrities can access a bunch of different methods, equipment, and substances that are part of the most innovative options developed by medical technology. But they are only available for some selected groups, groups many celebrities are part of. 

Also Read: 10 Celebs who don’t Eat Carbs

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Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga gives her views about her struggle with Fibromyalgia Lady Gaga is renowned for her distinctive reach to singing, style and known for about everything else. So it is not that startling that the thirty years old artist has some unusual medications for chronic pain – with infrared saunas, frozen peas, emergency blankets and ice baths. It is not easy to talk about chronic pain, but in case someone does, then it can be calming for numerous people who are actually suffering with it. Lady Gaga posted two of her images on Instagram showing her struggle against chronic pain. Institute for Chronic Pain referred, “chronic pain starts with an acute injury or illness.”

In case the pain lasts for around six months and sometimes it can last for years, then it is more likely considered chronic. According to the Institute, “Patients tend to report some combination of fear, irritability, anxiety and depression. Patients also tend to express that they have lost their sense of direction to life. They are stuck. These problems are all common when living with chronic pain,” Furthermore she said, “Having a frustrating day with chronic pain, but I find myself feeling so blessed to have such strong intelligent female doctors.

I think about Joanne too and her strength and the day gets a little easier,” In one of her posts she also wrote, “I was so overwhelmed by the empathy, confessions [and] personal stories of chronic pain in response to my previous post I thought what the hell. Maybe I should just share some of my personal remedies I’ve acquired over the past five years,”  

Related Article:

22 Times Fibromyalgia is Featured on TV Show


  • How Celebrities are Coping with Fibromyalgia via Find a Top Doc
  • 5 Celebrities with Fibromyalgia via Health Line
  • Lady Gaga Opens up her struggle with Fibromyalgia by M H Shahid via Fibromyalgia Resources

For support and Discussion join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”

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