Fibromyalgia syndrome: A role for sexual abuse and other traumatic events?

Karen G. Raphael

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although numerous studies and some reviews contend that fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) may be caused by sexual and physical abuse and other forms of psychologically traumatic stress, this article does not support such a conclusion. Many studies have methodologic problems that preclude conclusions about the relationship between traumatic stress and FMS onset. Further, existing data suggest that a better explanation of the association between FMS and traumatic stress is that individuals with FMS have a dysregulated physiologic stress response system that may predate the onset of symptoms. Thus, individuals characterized by biologic "stress vulnerability," are at increased risk not only for FMS, but for posttraumatic stress disorder and possibly other psychiatric disorders associated with life stress as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-65
Number of pages5
JournalPrimary Psychiatry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Fibromyalgia syndrome: A role for sexual abuse and other traumatic events?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this