Fibromyalgia / CFS / Anxiety & Depression / Invisible Illness: The vicious circle of ‘Catch 22’ & Setbacks versus Flares: Which is which?

Do you have Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fog, Depression and/or Anxiety or any other Illness where you flare from time to time and one illness rubs onto another one making you feel worse?

Do you know the difference between a flare and a setback?

Many people don’t and often treat themselves for a flare when in fact they’ve possibly just over-exerted themsselves and need to rest up for a few days and develop their pacing routines better.

I’d like to take this opportunity to look at this in a way that is is easy to see how each illness has a knock on effect on each other through the use of Flow Charting examples of my own experiences of flares and setbacks.  By doing this I hope to show that by doing this yourself you will also be able to recognise some of your own triggers so you can begin to create coping strategies for your own times of need ie: for during a flare and for during a setback, and also for when you become ill.  Also, I hope to show the differences between a setback and a flare.

I have Fibro, Chronic Pain, CFS, Chronic Anxiety & Depression and occasionally have terrible cognitive capabilities including Fibro/Brain Fog.

My thoughts/experiences/examples regarding myself are below!


  • Do you find your pain levels rise?
  • Again, do you feel weaker?
  • Does your level of mobility change as a result?
  • How’s your mood, had it changed again?
  • Does it make you lethargic and depressed?

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Sometimes you’ve got to chuckle 🙂