By: Paige Wyant
Fibromyalgia is a chronic, incurable condition that can cause a variety of symptoms such as widespread pain, fatigue and brain fog. It is estimated to affect 10 million people in the United States and between 3 to 6 percent of the global population – and celebrities are no exception.
Although fibromyalgia is more common in women, it can affect anyone, regardless of gender, race, age or class. Celebrities may have more money and resources for expensive treatments, medications or alternative therapies, but that certainly doesn’t mean they are immune to the debilitating symptoms the condition can cause. Their platform does, however, offer them the opportunity to raise awareness and donate to research so better treatments (and potentially a cure) may one day become available.
The following celebrities have opened up about living with fibromyalgia, but hopefully more will step forward and speak up to help break down stigmas and contribute to a better understanding of the condition.
1. Lady Gaga
After being open about her struggles with chronic pain for many years, Lady Gaga confirmed in September 2017 that the cause of her pain was fibromyalgia. Previously, the musician and performer said she tested “borderline positive” for lupus and that she dealt with chronic pain after breaking her hip.
In her Netflix documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” released on September 22, Gaga gave her fans a behind-the-scenes look at her struggles with pain and opened up about the challenges of finding treatments and coping techniques to help manage her symptoms.
“My pain does me no good unless I transform it into something that is. So I hope people watching it who do struggle with chronic pain know that they’re not alone. It’s freeing for me… and I want people that struggle with it to hear me,” Gaga said.
2. Morgan Freeman
In 2008, Morgan Freeman was involved in a car crash that left him with multiple injuries, including a broken arm, a broken elbow and shoulder damage. He revealed in a 2012 interview with Esquire that he continues to experience “excruciating” nerve pain and now lives with fibromyalgia.
Freeman has also been spotted wearing a single compression glove on his left hand due to the nerve damage, most recently at the 2018 Screen Actor’s Guild Awards. The compression glove helps his blood flow since he can’t move his hand.
In 2015 he told The Daily Beast he treats the pain with marijuana. “I have fibromyalgia pain in this arm, and the only thing that offers any relief is marijuana,” Freeman said. “They’re talking about kids who have grand mal seizures, and they’ve discovered that marijuana eases that down to where these children can have a life. That right there, to me, says, ‘Legalize it across the board!’”