Monday, 17 September 2012

Fibromyalgia is a joke?

Disagree with the title of this blog post? I do. If you're on Facebook, please go to this page and report it:

How to report a page on Facebook:
  • Next to 'message' click the little arrow.
  • Select 'report page'
  • Select 'hate speech'
  • Select 'targets people with a disability or disease'
  • Click 'continue'
  • Check 'Report to Facebook'
  • Click 'continue'
  • Click 'ok'

Just a sample of what the delightful individual who made the page has to offer:

Is Fibromyalgia a disease with a physical pathogen, or merely the result of depression and stress? The pain may be 'real' but the cause may be literally all in your head.

One sure way to stir up controversy is to say that Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or some other illness that has no physical symptoms (other than reported pain) is a made-up illness. People will get incensed and say, "Our Pain is Real!"

And that may be true. But pain does not occur in your joints, your muscles, or even in your nerve endings. No, it occurs in your mind. Even if someone saws your leg off with a chainsaw, the pain doesn't occur in the leg, but in your mind, where you actually feel pain. Similarly, you do not "see" with your eyes, but rather receive light signals. It is the mind that assembles these into images that we see.

But mental illnesses have a stigma in our society. And depression is one of those illnesses where we tend to blame the victim. "Cheer up!" we say, as if it were a cure. And people are thus reluctant to seek help for depression, convinced it is too trivial a matter to bother a doctor about.

And as a result, it is not uncommon for a lot of maladies to appear in the mind - psychosomatic illnesses. And these do occur with regularity, particularly among depressed people or hysterical teens. And some folks often make hay from these things - doctors or political activists with an ax to grind.

And the sufferers from these illnesses do enjoy the attention they get, and are comforted in having an official diagnosis of their ailment. After all, just "getting too old" or "drinking too much" or "being depressed" are not as concrete a diagnosis as a mysterious disease without any physical symptoms - other than pain. The mysterious disease has a name and a cache. And if anyone calls you out on it - that it might be fake - even the Doctor who first gave it a name - you can go on the offensive and call them all sorts of nasty things. Just wait for it...3.....2.....1.... FLAME!

He is right. It's made me very angry. I do not suffer with depression, so I disagree very strongly that FM or M.E. / CFS are physical manifestations of mental illness. I have suffered from depression and anxiety for years in the past, and yes, some of those years were while I was ill. I had a breakdown in 2001. I am not ashamed in the slightest to admit any of that. It says something about the author of the page that he assumes that every single person with Fibro would be ashamed to admit they had any psychological conditions. A few of my Fibro friends do, and they're not ashamed to admit it either.

I am insensed that someone has made this page. I do not understand what they stand to gain from it. I am assuming that there must be someone in their life who has Fibro, and they are jealous of the attention that person, or those people, get. He has talked about enjoying the attention from the illness after all. Personally, I do not get any attention from the illness, so I don't really understand what he is talking about there.

This is hate speech, plain and simple, and it should be squashed.

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