I have chosen to reflect on the illness “fibromyalgia” and how our culture can influence this in a way that is negative when it comes to treatment. After reading the article that was written about a woman who is suffering from fibromyalgia, which is pain that can occur anywhere at anytime, it occurred to me that as I was reading about this woman’s pain, I was seriously judging and almost mocking her in my own mind. I’m not generally a mean spirited person, but this article really bothered me for some reason. I can see how this is culturally instilled into my brain on some levels, because of how quick I was to write off her condition and automatically assume that she is either making up the symptoms, or exaggerating to an extreme level. To me, it clouded my entire ability to provide compassion or empathy for this woman, as she is validating her inability to finish tasks, and to do the activities she used to. I am not even allowing her to fulfill the sick role, as I am shedding my judgement first. I would say that it would be hard to treat and manage this condition because it is so “random” and effects each patient so diversely. It would have to be a treatment that would be personalized, and that tends to take up much time, whereas just perscribing medication can be simple and across the board “successful”. People who suffer from Fibromyalgia, I can imagine, have a hard time getting the attention and healing that is necessary to keep the condition at bay.
I think that belief and healing are almost one in the same. The fact that the mind has so much power over our physical symptoms gives proof to this. As seen in the Placebo film, a “false” surgery that shows complete cure has to raise some eyebrows. There is something to be said for surrendering your trust and being placed in a vulnerable situation such as surgery, that I do believe once the surgery has been completed, much of the healing process has to do with the belief that the patient had going into the surgery, and the mindset that they have as well. There are plenty of situations in my life where I have convinced myself one way or another that a medication worked for me, or didn’t work for me, and it becomes obvious that it’s the belief in the medication that is the root cause for either route of mental justification.