I believe that fibromyalgia is misunderstood in our culture.  Fibromyalgia is more common than one may think.  About 5.8 million Americans are affected by fibromyalgia.  Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and mood swings.  Professionals believe that fibromyalgia works by amplifying pain signals in the brain.  Symptoms can be caused by a single event like neurological stress or surgery, but they can also accumulate over time with no specific cause.  Woman are more likely to be affected by fibromyalgia and there is no cure.  Symptoms can be controlled and managed.  Treatment it often times difficult because it varies from one person to another.  People with fibromyalgia appear to be normal, but in reality are living a life of pain.
Biomedicine does not influence this disorder very much because it is not fully understood.  Moods can cause the pain to be stronger or weaker and  the pain moves to different areas of the body day by day.  I don’t think the culture fully understands this disorder and in some cases may take it too lightly.  I do not have fibromyalgia, but I cannot even imagine how I would feel if I was in pain every day.
I think that the placebo effect would definitely help patients with fibromyalgia.  I think the placebo effect can help patients suffering from not only fibromyalgia, but a variety of other illnesses as well..  I think that the mind plays tricks on itself, and this causes one to think their symptoms are worse than they really are.  I also think the mind can convince itself that the body fells okay and nothing is wrong.  In the film a lot of the illness deal with pain (similar to fibromyalgia) so this makes me think that the placebo effect may work for this disorder too.

Mayo Clinic. “Fibromyalgia.” Definition. (accessed July 26, 2014).

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Vu Ho says:

    In my view if I were to not know much detail of fibromyalgia I would also think that such symptom are being pretended. The reason of the perception is that an excuse to be lazy or to avoiding doing things. The reason is that many people try to evaluate thing from what they see from observation, and from experience. Imagine a person seeing a person knee bleed from a fall would also have a mental image of what it feel like from their experience. But if a person were to look at an illness that they are not familiar with will be skeptical. And fibromyalgia is one of misunderstood disease. If a person would be more informed biologically or to more culturally accepted it will change how we see fibromyalgia.
    The biological perspective is that the pain of fibromyalgia are a result theory of an increased sensitivity of the nerve in the spinal cord or the brain leading to change of mood and experience of pain on the body. The treatment are by using medication such as antidepressant or anti-pain medication to reduce the symptoms, the cure are unknown.
    In the cultural perspective giving a stereotype of a women being more sensitive or weaker. With addition to fibromyalgia being more prevalent on female make correlation to such stereotype.

    But now learning about the material about illness. If I were to look at an illness that are not familiar to me, I would be less skeptical and would focus on learning more about an illness. By learning more detail about an illness from my family, friends, institution makes me to be more cautious be judging. By learning and being informed about illness can make a person to understand the illness to be believable and explainable. Not only that but also aware of the symptoms of the illness because it is more expected. Then I will not only see the illness differently but also treat them differently in a way that is more appropriate.

  2. Mohkam Singh says:

    Hey Megan, although I have not learned a lot about Fibromyalgia, I agree with your statement that the placebo effect could help a lot with “treating” chronic pain in patients with the disease. As you stated, moods can affect how patients feel and can effect the degree to which they are in pain. Thus, if they were to take placebo pills, which they believe would help their moods, they might get in better moods, and that could ease the intensity of the pain. Because I have not learned very much or heard very much about Fibromyalgia, I think the general public does not receive enough information about the disease for people living with it to feel comfortable in every day society. I’m sure that most people do not realize when a patient with Fibromyalgia is suffering, because they are so used to being in pain all the time. If people were made more aware about the disease, they might be more caring and help those people feel more comfortable in society. I personally don’t know anyone who has this disease, but I can imagine that it can be an extreme burden to people who have it, as well as their families.

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