Central sensitization: Turning negatives into positives

Negative or distorted beliefsPositive and rational beliefs
Because of my pain or symptoms, I am no longer the person I was. I no longer feel loved and appreciated.I may have changed somewhat physically, but I am more than just a physical being. I am worthy of love and of being appreciated for all that I am.
People reject me because they can see I am disabled.I am not disabled. I have goals and dreams and can accomplish many things.
I used to be able to do so many things—now I can’t do anything. I am no longer competent or adequate.I can do a lot more than I thought. Almost everything I used to do, I can still do to some degree.
I can’t do anything because of my symptoms.With moderation, I can be actively involved in life. I just need to pace myself and take breaks.
I have no control over my happiness. The pain or symptoms control me.I can control my happiness. I can be happy and enjoy life even when I have pain or other symptoms.
People think I’m faking this.People sometimes need help understanding medical issues. I can share what I know about chronic pain.
If my symptoms act up when I’m out with friends, I’ll be embarrassed and ruin things for everyone.I can help my friends understand. I can take breaks and still enjoy myself when I’m with them.
Medical science can do so much. Surely there must be a cure for my symptoms.Even if medical science can’t fix everything, I can choose my response and focus on self-care skills.
People at work are upset with me. I have restrictions and they think I am not doing my share.I will do the best job I can. If people don’t understand, that’s their problem—I can’t please everyone.
  • From Mayo Clinic Patient Education. Managing your Fibromyalgia (MC2593-100). Rochester, MN: Mayo Clinic, 2017, pp. 7 & 32; used with permission of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, all rights reserved.