According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Senior Health, fibromyalgia (which is also known as fibromyositis or fibromyalgia syndrome) is "an inflammation of the fibrous or connective tissue (muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons) of the body" (2nd edition, 2015). Formerly known as fibrositis, this chronic disorder does not have an identifiable cause, but is characterized by symptoms such as widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and specific areas of soreness on the body. More specific symptoms include the following:
Symptom information from Medline Plus, Fibromyalgia
Statistics from Gale Encyclopedia of Senior Health
Due to the uncertainty of what causes fibromyalgia and the resulting difficulty in diagnosis, this condition is sometimes considered controversial in the medical community. As a result, those affected by this syndrome can be subjected to skepticism regarding the extent of their pain and suffering. According to an article published in Scope, a blog founded and produced by the Stanford University School of Medicine, a patient with fibromyalgia described living with a "nonexistent illness." They noted withdrawing themselves in many aspects of life in order to "minimize [their] chances of being criticized or attacked by those who don't understand." It was only when they were given a diagnosis that they felt validated to say what they were feeling was "real."
Article from Scope, Fibromyalgia - living with a controversial chronic disease