One of the links for this week’s lecture was a personal blog written by a woman who suffers from the subjective medical condition known as Fibromyalgia. She explains what she has to go through on a daily basis and how it has affected her life. On top of that, she describes how others close to her are affected by her Fibromyalgia.
As one of main drug companies selling medicine to treat the symptoms calls it, “Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic widespread pain and tenderness for at least 3 months.” That company is Cymbalta. Fibromyalgia is not something that can be tested for making it hard to diagnose. In diagnosing Fibromyalgia, the main thing doctors focus on is the pain the patient is suffering or has suffered. After reading the woman’s blog it seems that there is a lot more to this medical condition than just pain.
The woman that is writing the blog explains how the current definition of Fibromyalgia is much too simplified and needs to be revised. She goes on to described many of the symptoms she’s had due to Fibromyalgia. There are a few too many to write all of them of down so I’ll just describe a couple. Some of her symptoms include irritable bowel syndrome, development of allergies when before none existed, flu like symptoms that may or may not last for just a day, and symptoms of a heart attack that turn out to be false.
Much like post-partum depression, Fibromyalgia can be viewed as a way for women to relieve themselves from child rearing. Others can either believe them or not. By believing that their symptoms are real and not a manifestation, others can better understand Fibromyalgia. However, by identifying the symptoms as a real thing, you may be enabling the person to create new symptoms. As I have said before doctors have a hard time diagnosing this medical condition. It seems that people that suffer from Fibromyalgia show symptoms of other medical conditions or illnesses. Doctors may prescribe a medicine that may help one or a few symptoms, but it would be hard to treat all of them at once. Cymbalta, a medicine aimed at helping people with Fibromyalgia, is mainly used to treat depression. So it seems that one thing that may be effective in curing all of the symptoms is a Placebo. The Placebo effect is that when something has no known therapeutic value actually makes people feel better. How the pill affects you is determined by your mind. I think Placebos could be way to treat people with Fibromyalgia, much like the woman who was cured of depression in the class video. If the medical condition is truly all in the person’s head then a placebo, if they believe it will work, can rid them of their condition.