I came across this article from Howard B Pikoff, PhD that I need to share with all my Fibromyalgia sisters and bros. I would almost bet that everyone has experience the mislabelling of their Fibromyalgia pain as psychological. We should be outraged that Fibromyalgia is still being met with disbelief TODAY!
Over 100 years, actually over 2 centuries women and men have suffered because of what, scepticism? I know even when I have a day that the doctor comments that “I look good” I can see and hear the disbelief in him that I am in pain. Tell me what does your looks have to do with you pain anyways? Sure some days you can see it in a Fibromyalgia sufferers face because the pain and stress are overwhelming and none too obvious but some days you can look good and be in a lot of pain and some days you can look like hell and be in less pain. The saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” was perhaps meant for the Fibromyalgia sufferer.
I have to ask, could it be because it is predominately a woman’s illness and it is mostly men who are the ones diagnosing with disbelief? We didn’t have a right to vote at one point so why would we have a right to pain? It can be extremely frustrating and emotionally devastating for the sufferer to be met with this skepticism especially when you have done everything in your power to get well. I have had many, many agonizing appointments from male doctors who reek of disbelief as they ridiculed me and made me feel small. I know hundreds of women who have been emotionally tormented by doctors who underestimate the pain that one suffers with this illness. You just need to exercise! Yet my husband gets full sympathy and belief to all his whims and whines. He has diabetes and is over weight and not once has he told him to exercise. I am thin and fit and I am told to exercise every visit. Hmmm.
So the highlights in this article that caught my eye were:
- the Psychological enshrinement of fibromyalgia was over 100 years in the making.
- chronology started in 1592 when a French physician introduced the term ”rheumatism”
- in the 1800′s an American neurologist clustered widespread pain, fatigue and anxiety in a psychologically-based syndrome he labelled “neurasthenia”. The seed of a century of psychological mislabelling
- psychogenic Fibromyalgia reached it’s full flowering in the 1930′s, from a Scottish disability examiner labelled it as a psychological disorder at best, a form of malingering at worst.
So in conclusion, after over 200 years of trying to disprove this illness as physical, reviewers from psychology, psychiatry and rheumatology have found little evidence that Fibromyalgia is caused by:
Sexual Abuse and the like
or that Fibromyalgia can be a result of:
Deep seated conflict or any other emotion
Nor is there empirically-based evidence for a Fibromyalgia personality
So Fibromyalgia can be added to a list of medical disorders formerly thought to be psychological in nature (asthma, migraine, peptic ulcer, epilepsy ect.)
What is clear is the final undoing has begun!
Isn’t it amazing how much time it is taking? If only that much time, energy and money was put into finding a reason
why instead of trying to disprove it’s existence. We have arthritis in joints, disease in all organs, heart, kidneys, liver, why wouldn’t we have disease in the muscles as well? Unbelievable!
Please read the full article, it is only 10 pages and has a sense of relief to it for the Fibromyalgia sufferer. Thank you for your article Howard Pikoff!