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mowens's avatar

Is fibromyalgia fake, or real?

Asked by mowens (8285 points ) November 23rd, 2011

This all started when my brother in law said something about fibromyalgia. I said that the disease was bullshit. A friend of mine told me his girlfriend’s mom had fibromyalgia, and that it was just a disease that doctors think are fake, and give them pills to shut them up.

My brother in law then said he had fibromyalgia. Insert foot in mouth now.

Anyway… your opinions?

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22 Answers

fizzbanger's avatar

A good way to get medical marijuana?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I think it’s easy to dismiss things that we don’t understand, or something that is new, or not easily visible to the naked eye.
I think it is real.

SuperMouse's avatar

I personally know a couple of people who are living with fibromyalgia. I’ll tell you what, the pain these folks live with every single day is very, very real. The thing about fibromyalgia that makes it an easy target is that it is a term that refers to a group of symptoms for which no one knows the cause. Yes I believe it is real. Here is some information from Web MD.

mowens's avatar

Is it possible that it is psychological? (also confirming it is real) The reason I ask, is everyone I have seen or heard of having it is out of shape. (including my brother in law) He stated, that when he works out, he feels much better. Just an observation by an untrained eye using no form of the scientific method.

mowens's avatar

Seeing as thoguh I have met only 2 people with it it is a very limited test group.

marinelife's avatar

I believe that it is very real.

Here is a discussion of treatment approaches on the Mayo Clinic Web site. I hardly think the Mayo Clinic would have information on a “fake” illness.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t think that being psychological and being out of shape are necessarily related. To the best of my knowledge, a cause hasn’t been determined, so assuming it is psychological, but basing that on a physical observation doesn’t really even make sense.

mowens's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Makes sense. :)

Mariah's avatar

I am sure you friend is qualified to determine whether his girlfriend’s mom is really sick.~

Just because you can’t see it or don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

janbb's avatar

We probably need to move away from the dismissive notion that some things are just “psychological.” Whatever manifests itself in the body is physical no matter how it originated.

Coloma's avatar

I believe the symptoms are real, I also believe it is of an emotional/psychological origin.

The 2 women I have known that claim to have FM have also been the “victims” of a lot of unhealed psychological issues, codependency and abusive family/relationship issues.

The mind/body connection is very real, and while I do not believe it is helpful to lay a trip on people that are unwell as to their own part in their illnesses causation, it is, absolutely true that intense stress and emotional issues do lay the groundwork for the manifestation of many illnesses.

Factually speaking the odds of someone coming down with a serious illness within 2 years of a highly stressful life event has been proven.

One cancer researcher said that in many cases of cancer he had studied the patients had experienced an extremely stressful life event in the several years prior to onset. Death, divorce, family illness, job loss, etc.

The body is vulnerable to many things, but, make no mistake about it, unresolved, chronic stress and mental/emotional pain that is not addressed does lend itself to being expressed through illness. I do beleive that FM is a manifestation of these conditions.

Mariah's avatar

Correlation does not imply causation.
2 is not a good sample size.
Let’s not jump to conclusions.

And to echo Jan, if it has psychological origins…the brain is an organ like any other and can be sick beyond our control like any other.

Coloma's avatar

@Mariah

The brain is not the mind. Emotional/mental issues are not always the outcome of organic brain chemistry.

I am not saying ALL dis-ease is the result of ones mental health, but, a lot of it is.

Many ailments such as headache, back pain and other muscle related pain IS the result of ones mental state. That IS a FACT! The world of psychosomatic health is very real, indeed.

“Psycho..of the mind” and “somatic…of the body.”

Mariah's avatar

I am painfully aware of the effects one’s mind can have on the body. I am not contesting that. I think we as a society are a little quick to place blame on the victim, however, by saying “it’s all in her head” and by assuming we have so much more control over our heads than we have over the rest of our bodies.

Brains are just organs, and it minimizes mental health problems and physical health problems of the brain to imply that anybody could avoid this kind of stuff if they just got some therapy or practiced some yoga.

mowens's avatar

@Mariah It wouldn’t hurt. A little Yoga never hurt anyone.

Except when it did.

Coloma's avatar

@Mariah

I agree. Like I said, I too do not like to take a “blame the victim” approach, but, it is always best to look at the whole of the holistics. :-)

I was born with a congenital kidney defect, just as you have your congenital health issues. Sometimes there is no valid explanation, sometimes there is. ;-)

In the case of a lot of psychosomatic issues the person is completely unconscious of the mind/body connection, therefore, one cannot blame anyone for what they are not fully, or even partly, aware of.

Leanne1986's avatar

I have no reason to think it’s not a real illness but I don’t know enough about it to comment further.

chyna's avatar

@fizzbanger I caught an episode of Judge Judy last night where the guy was growing medical marijuana. When asked what condition he had that he was prescribed marijuana he answered “asthma”. Crazy!

Facade's avatar

Feels real to me.

jazmina88's avatar

I certainly dont know what else is wrong, if not fibro. That’s the only explanation for the fatigue, weakness, horrible pain. I feel like volts are shooting through my body.
Depression is also part of this dis ease. You cant move, get around, take care of things and that is very frustrating. I have been to PT for over 2 years, for shoulder issues as well. Did not help except after surgeries.
Also bulging discs is a problem in Fibro. I have a very hard time.and can not work. No joke.
I do need a shoulder replacement and have other joint issues, but it all molds into pain.
I was diagnosed a couple of years ago, but have probably had the disease for 5 years. Even elbows have great pain.
I work with healing stones and pain pills. Medical marijuana does help. That is my truth. It is real.

augustlan's avatar

I didn’t believe in it either… until I got it. I cried when my doctor gave me the diagnosis, and said “But, I don’t even believe in that condition!” I was rather indignant about it, to be honest. He’s a young doctor, and up on all the latest, and he certainly believes in it. It took him quite a while to ‘prove’ to me that, yep, fibro is what I’ve got.

By the way, I was in decent physical condition when I got it, and in decent shape mentally, too. I don’t think either of those things is the cause. (I suspect it’s auto-immune related, actually.)

I’ve had it for over 14 years, and let me tell you: it sucks ass. I take prescription strength NSAID pain killers (the kind that knock other people out) twice a day, every day, just to be able to marginally function. I’m still in pain, all the time, but prior to diagnosis and medication, I was literally laying on my couch in agony all day and able to do only the bare minimum to care for my children.

bewailknot's avatar

My doctor was the one who told me I had it after doing some tests to rule out other conditions. At that point I had never heard of it, and when I looked it up I was not willing to accept his diagnosis – an illness that may or may not be real? Come on! The pain has forced me to believe.

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