I heard a doctor of some description on the radio say that the reason so many people have diseases like Fibromyalgia and ME/cfs is because we are angry and unforgiving people. He didn’t back his extraordinary claim with any research, but he put it out there as if it went without saying. When asked if something like scholiosis could be caused in the same way, he didn’t think so; but didn’t explain why.
What I will call neofreudianism is causing a great deal of damage in the care of people with all kinds of chronic illness. it’s psychobabble with no empirical scientific value at all; but much loved in political circles. It is simply unethical and has caused terrible damage to the proper funding of research and the proper care of patients with these diseases. Patients are being denied tests and treatment as well as facing shockingly poor behaviour from medics and it all seems to be hooked on the politically motivated approach to trying to undermine the seriousness and reality of the diseases. It’s only relatively recently that the CDC have admitted that ME is a serious life threatening, life shortening disease.
There is, thank God, a growing body of research that shows the biological roots of FMS and ME and some excellent work on comorbidities. We are seeing FMS more tightly linked with autonomic dysfunction and adrenal dysfunction. Most of us have at least one dysautonomic dx such as some form of POTS and/or IST with other orthostatic disorders.
ME patients are shown to have all sorts of nasty viruses as well as MAST Cell, EDS and Mitochondrial disorders.
There is a growing number of us being dx with Lupus, Lymes and other serious disorders to go along with the already hideous problems we face.
Despite all this, most of the people I know with FMS/ME/POTS/etc etc. are happy, well balanced and forgiving people. The fact is many many of us have faced the need to forgive (mainly neurologists) since becoming ill. The anger, resentment and sadness I’ve seen expressed as come as a RESULT of being so ill and the horrible behaviour of others towards us just because we’re ill. I don’t know anyone who became ill because they were angry with someone.
I do know someone who carries a lot of anger and isolation who has scholiosis. I don’t for a minute assume her illness was caused by her anger. There is no evidence to support such an idea.
It is bad enough being chronically ill, coupled with a shocking lack of well funded honest research, without having someone who patently knows nothing about the illnesses spouting misinformation on the radio.
How could FMS or ME be a result of anger and unforgiveness when it occurs in clusters. More nurses get it on average – are we a more angry bunch? It’s ridiculous to try and tar us with this brush.
I have emailed Catholic Answers and asked for a retraction on air. I hope they do this. I do love Catholic Answers; it’s a well put together and usually very honest and accurate program. This is a one off hopefully and one that I pray wont be repeated.
It is not because we are a bunch of angry unforgiving grudge bearers that we are so ill. We just have a disease, like other sick people. We should be treated with the same respect.