Psychological determinants of fibromyalgia and related syndromes
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Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain and fatigue syndromes constitute an increasingly greater societal burden that currently is not being approached effectively by traditional Western medicine. Although the hallmarks of fibromyalgia—chronic widespread pain, fatigue, and multiple other somatic symptoms—have neurophysiologic and endocrinologic underpinnings, these biological aspects derive primarily from psychological variables. Female gender, adverse experiences during childhood, psychological vulnerability to stress, and a stressful, often frightening environment and culture are important antecedents of fibromyalgia. To understand fibromyalgia and related syndromes and to provide optimum care requires a biopsychosocial, not a biomedical, viewpoint.
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