Fibromyalgia is one of those conditions that’s a little difficult to explain, largely because the symptoms can be somewhat hard to pin down, and they can easily be attributed to other causes. It’s marked most commonly by widespread chronic pain, general fatigue, or a consistent, dull ache in your limbs. As you can imagine, this can also make it somewhat challenging to diagnose and treat; because of this, fibromyalgia is often referred to as “the invisible illness.”
That’s why seeing celebrities with fibromyalgia who open up to the world about living with the condition, and who use their platform to spread awareness, are so empowering to those who may be struggling for a sense of validation and support when it comes to this often misunderstood illness.
For a little more background on fibromyalgia, common symptoms can also include muscle tenderness, mental fogginess, joint stiffness, sleep troubles, mood swings, and psychological stress. The condition is a complicated one, in that it doesn’t have a cure just yet, though factors like genetics and traumatic experiences are thought to play a role in triggering the condition.
Again, it’s important to recognize that living with chronic pain is a very real, very difficult daily reality for many people. If you, too, are struggling with some of these symptoms, have been recently diagnosed, or even know someone who has to deal with chronic pain on a daily basis, know that you aren’t alone, and there are real people with huge, influential platforms out there who are willing to speak about the challenges and drop some #TruthBombs on what living with fibromyalgia is really like.
Freeman has been open about his struggles with fibromyalgia and chronic pain since a 2012 interview with Esquire, during which the journalist speaking with Freeman recognized he was in pain while they spent time together.
Developed after the fallout from a car accident, Freeman is proof that living with fibromyalgia, while truly difficult, doesn’t have to stop you from achieving incredible things in life.
Lady Gaga has shed a major light on the condition since the recent release of her Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two. So pop some corn and get to watching if you want to see what she has to deal with before, you know, casually performing at the Super Bowl.
The singer has bravely opened up about dealing with severe chronic pain and the daily battles she endures as a result. Her documentary shows how deeply frustrating and severe the illness can get on levels both physical and psychological. Gaga is keen on holding nothing back, and the awareness she has spread as a result has been wide-reaching and so, so inspirational.
This badass Irish singer (who once ripped up a picture of the Pope on SNL, #NeverForget) has been open about her struggles living with fibromyalgia, as well as hardships related to childhood abuse and a bipolar disorder diagnosis.
Never one to stray from telling it like it is, this biting and hilarious feminist comedian talks candidly about her fibromyalgia, as well as her struggles with substance abuse.
While Garofalo doesn’t take these things lightly, she’s also pretty darn pro at making anything funny — even the super serious sh*t.
The actress who played Rayanne (aka the coolest high school kid ever) on My So-Called Life has talked about the tough reality of chronic pain she has been dealing with since she was in her teens.
So, if you or someone near and dear to you is dealing with chronic pain, know that there is help out there; you aren’t alone in the struggle. Moreover, being open about what you’re going through can do nothing but help the cause by spreading awareness and bringing us all one step closer to finding a cure.