I am not a doctor. I am a person which suffers daily with Fibromyalgia. I am giving you information in which my doctors shared with me. I have had Fibromyalgia for about the same length of time that your mother has. Yes, I went without a proper diagnoses for a long time. Fibromyalgia has many test which can be preformed in order to get a correct diagnoses. One is the 18 tender touch test. This is where a doctor who is "Qualified" in Fibromyalgia touches 18 different spots on ones body. I beleive you need to have 11 to qualify as a Fibromyalgia patient. These areas will make one want to literally jump out of their bodies. Areas that I didn't even think that would bother me hurt so intense that I felt as if I were going to jump out of my skin. Another area of physical proof is a sleep apnea test. Many Doctors theorize that people that have Fibromyalgia do not enough restorative sleep such as stages 3 & 4 and REM sleep. This is a symptom, not the cause of Fibromyalgia, but it heightens its system. When I took my sleep test, I slept for a total of 5 hours and during that time I awoke (unknowingly) 134 and stopped breathing over 35 time. Also women that have not reached menopause will probably have extremely painful period (Sorry guys for mentioning this, and I am sorry ladies that we have to put up with it). There really isn't a blood test or an x-rays that can given to your mother and provide her with a direct answer. My best advice would be to look up her symtoms (Internet, library, etc.) and see how many she has.
As for the anti-depressants, The doctor is correct in giving these to her. Not necessarily because she is depressed, however Fibromyaglia can make anyone become somewhat depressed after long bouts of pain. The reason her doctor gives her these medications is because it appears that people with Fibromyaglia produce more of a chemical in their bodies called ďSubstance P". Substance P tells your body when to feel pain. When you produce too much, the slightest bit of pain is excruciating.
My doctor requested for me to try and walk for at least 5 minutes a day and build up from there. I have been told that people with Fibromyalgia needs to have somewhat of a low impact exercise regiment. Never should they try and over do it because this can cause more pain and longer relapses. Diet also helps. I try to maintain a high protein diet mixed with lots of veggies. Itís better to try and stay away from fatty snacks and high carbs.
There are some days (very few), I can function as a normal person (never without pain) and other days I feel exactly like your mother. If the weather changes, or a catch a slight cold, or if I am under too much emotional stress, I relapse very quickly. A few tips which I have learned over the years is to try and stay away from stressful situation, this only make me feel worse. I try to eat healthy (even though the chocolate candy seems to drop in for an occasional visit, but the most helpful to me will be finding out what medication will work for me. It is truly is a shot in the dark, a total hit and miss. I just keep working with my doctors and one day I pray that we will hit the right formula. I hope this has helped. I know that what helps me more then anything is my family and friends, like yourself, that really try to take an active role in my life to lend a hand during such hard times. Please keep up the good work. You will never know how much your mother appreciate your help.