Fibromyalgia Syndrome. Not disease. not illness, but SYNDROME. With such an ambiguous name for such a rare occurring issue, it’s no wonder that this medical condition is misunderstood in the American culture. From my understanding in this weeks materials, Fibromyalgia is a medical condition in which the patient suffers from chronic muscular pain. The symptoms one can experience from this condition are of a very wide variety and can differ from person to person. The pain can include anything from joint pain, sore muscles, and stiff limbs, to nauseating migraines and irritable bowel syndrome.
Unfortunately this medical condition is not always recognized by all as a serious ailment. Because the symptoms are not PHYSICALLY visible, it makes it hard to “believe” in this condition from an outsiders perspective. From a bio medical perspective its also very difficult to prescribe medication specifically FOR Fibromyalgia seeing as how the symptoms and ailments are of such a vast variety and can really be linked to any disease or illness. Therefore, it is no surprise that as a culture we are likely to reject is as an actual illness or disease. In the study done in the Social Science and Medicine article, it was found that women were very contradicting when expressing this illness they possessed. They had a tendency to describe themselves as strong individuals who could handle this issue, yet also played the role of the sick victim which society did not take seriously. Through the narratives of these women it became obvious that their stories reflected “how we have learned to talk about illness from institutional stories that provide a model of how illness should be described in our culture.” In other words, due to the negative connotation brought about my fibromyalgia, people are hesitant to talk to people about this illness. More importantly, the study showed that the women were very wary of seeming like they were complaining or whining. They didn’t their pain to be cast aside, using the excuse of their “femininity” or the social stigma of fibromyalgia against them.
In my opinion, more than half the process of healing an illness is the MENTALITY of it. If the patient and those surrounding him/her are constantly viewing the situation with a negative attitude, then there is no way the patient will ever be fully recovered. Even in the placebo video in lecture it was mentioned that those who took placebo drugs for a long time even experienced severe withdrawals once taken off the “medication.” This shows that one’s mentality has a very strong influence on the effects of a drug or treatment on the body. I know I personally have tried to take on a more positive outlook on life and it has definitely worked for me. Ridding your mind of negative thoughts and emotions will in turn have a more positive outcome for you overall, as I’ve come to learn from my experiences recently. This then applies to Fibromyalgia patients as well. If they see that their illness has such a negative social stigma, they may even begin to doubt themselves and never get the help they require. Therefore, by doubting their pain or disease we are increasing it.