I decided to reflect on fibromyalgia for my post. I had always heard of fibromyalgia through TV commercials advertising drugs to cure fibromyalgia, but I never knew what the syndrome was, or even that it was a “syndrome” instead of a disease. Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by musculoskeletal pain, and it can also include fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. When I read Edwina Caito’s description of her fibromyalgia, it gave me a much better understanding of what she was going through. She seems to be suffering very much and it seems to be very hard for her to get people to understand exactly what she is going through.
Since women suffer from fibromyalgia more often, I think that the culture sometimes considers women being dramatic or weak. This makes it hard for them to be taken seriously by many doctors for their chronic pain. Doctors have to prescribe them medications for many symptoms since there is no cure to the wide range of symptoms of fibromyalgia. Many people suffering from fibromyalgia also consider themselves more “emotionally strong” than many others around them.
Placebos are important in experiential anthropology because they can help people heal without using medicine, which is a mystery to many people. The use of placebos show that we can alter our experience by the way that we view it. It shows how much power our own beliefs have, and that we can heal ourselves as much as biomedicine can sometimes. I think we have a lot of control over our own bodies. We can control a lot of the healing in our own bodies with a positive attitude and by believing we’re healing, especially with things such as chronic pain. In “Placebo: Cracking the Code,” when the fake surgery was done to help the pain from osteoarthritis and it worked, it showed that we have a lot of control over our own bodies. By believing we were healed, we can heal ourselves. The woman with antidepressants also felt cured of her depression and was convinced that she had taken real medication although she was on a placebo the whole time. This shows that our minds can sometimes be as much of a drug as any biomedication can.