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Article: Shame, Stigma and “Unexplained” Symptoms

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS news' started by John Mac, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    My bolding

    Anna H, ahimsa, andypants and 23 others like this.
  2. Sean

    Sean Moderator Staff Member

    What is it like to experience severe symptoms for which a distinct diagnostic biomarker cannot yet be found?

    Thank you. That 'yet' is critical to this discussion.
    Anna H, ahimsa, andypants and 16 others like this.
  3. It's M.E. Linda

    It's M.E. Linda Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    A later paragraph within the link (my bolding):


    ETA spelling/tidy up
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
    ahimsa, Michelle, alktipping and 6 others like this.
  4. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Saw this video last night and it's kind of relevant. It talks of stigma and uses COVID (?) and AIDS as an example, even though almost all the COVID-related examples are people using COVID as an excuse for political persecution, rather than actual stigma of the disease.

    What is shows is how little has changed in this regard because of how stigma and discrimination work, mainly by being denied while it exists. We speak of the stigma of AIDS and leprosy (used as an example) mostly because of past behavior, but not of the currently stigmatized, systematically discriminated, diseases that continue the cycle of violence.

    Because by far the most stigmatized diseases right now are the chronic illnesses, us, fibromyalgia, dysautonomia and all the other "fake diseases" that medicine loves to hate. The stigma against these diseases, stemming from medicine itself rather than culture, is at least as heavy as the worst of the AIDS crisis, and yet it is entirely unvoiced, because that's how stigma works: the more consequential it is, the more it is denied. Especially with people having built their career on creating, then maintaining, the stigma, facing career ruin once it ends.

    This is why this cycle never ends. Because it's never obvious while it's happening. There are always excuses, platitudes, used to justify why 1) there is no stigma, but also 2) the stigma is good and justified. After all, we have a "laughable" illness, so clearly stigma is warranted. Similar dynamics play out in segregated societies that practice forms of supremacy between groups. It does not officially exist, but there are endless good reasons why it must be maintained.

    This stigma, and overt discrimination, has well-documented evidence, is massively harmful and serves no actual purpose. But it will be defended with vigor and purpose while it is happening, because it will not be recognized as a bad thing while it is happening, as it was not recognized in the examples of AIDS and leprosy. It was good, there were reasons. Bad reasons, but there are always more bad reasons to throw at anyone raising the issue.


    Anna H, ahimsa, cfsandmore and 5 others like this.

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