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Lady Gaga ties her fibromyalgia to previous trauma, sexual assault

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and Connective Tissue Disorders' started by Wyva, May 21, 2021.

  1. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    UK
    I don't see that as definitive proof of anything, to be honest. I had shocking chest pain as a result of severe iron deficiency anaemia.

    This page from the NHS doesn't mention chest pain as a possible symptom of iron deficiency anaemia.

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/iron-deficiency-anaemia/

    But this page from drugs.com (a US site) does :

    https://www.drugs.com/mcd/iron-deficiency-anemia

    ...

    Another condition in which lots of symptoms get ignored by the NHS is hypothyroidism.

    The NHS produced the following link to show the symptoms they consider as ones to be found in hypothyroidism :

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/underactive-thyroid-hypothyroidism/symptoms/

    And yet a list produced by a patient charity for thyroid disease shows a much longer list :

    https://thyroiduk.org/if-you-are-undiagnosed/hypothyroid-signs-and-symptoms/

    One of the major symptoms of hypothyroidism is fatigue which can be so severe that it hurts - a lot.

    ...

    And surely the same sort of comments can be made about ME. If a doctor was to create a list of symptoms they would expect to find in ME, it would be an awful lot shorter than a list created by patients.

    ...

    An n=1 anecdote. A few years ago I did a 4-part cortisol saliva test which showed that my cortisol was way over the range for most of the day. I was in a lot of pain, but I was also untreated for hypothyroidism and was iron deficient, so I can't prove that the high cortisol was adding to my overall pain, but I believe it was. For a few years after I discovered the high cortisol I took a supplement (an adaptogen) that lowers cortisol. It helped my pain levels rather a lot. I can't do saliva tests for cortisol any more though, because I have such low saliva that I can't spit, so I don't actually know what the result of my own self-help was.
     
    Graham, DokaGirl and Peter Trewhitt like this.
  2. boolybooly

    boolybooly Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I feel very sorry for Stefani. It sounds as though she has been treated very badly by someone who has hurt her and that makes me sad. I hope she finds justice.

    What occurs to me is that fibromylagic pain does not necessarily result from a PTSD inducing trauma and I dont think that is what she is saying either.

    It may be that she has two conditions to deal with, one of which is hers and one of which is a result of an abusive relationship and she is just showing how painful FM is by comparing it with something everyone can understand is very painful.

    They both cause intense pain. The body deals with psychological pain using some of the same parts of our brains as physical pain which is why we cry in either case, so for her both ordeals will seem to have this in common in the sense that they both are extremely painful and she has to dig deep in a similar way to overcome the pain and carry on.

    While vitD3 and calcium might help with the muscle pain, it wont help with the trauma much, though inositol might help a little if it involves obsession.

    The problem is we PWME are locked in a battle of perceptions in the media with a bunch of doollally psychologists working for the insurance lobby who claim that ME is caused by psychological dysfunction, which is nuts. So juxtaposing the two forms of pain like that triggers us because its so easily misread as supporting the psych lobby. I dont think it does though, on a closer reading.
     
  3. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think the clue is her use of the term "the body remembers" as that is the name of a book that the IAPT person recommended. I think there was a thread here on the book but I can't find it.
     
    MEMarge, Graham, Ariel and 3 others like this.
  4. Tia

    Tia Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Good points.

    The thread is here https://www.s4me.info/threads/book-the-body-keeps-the-score-bps-type-rubbish.16299/#post-280866 The book is called 'The body keeps the score'.
     
    Graham, Ariel, DokaGirl and 2 others like this.
  5. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    The article is a bit hard to make complete sense of. Here's Stefani speaking with Oprah about her trauma and fibromyalgia last year. I think it's pretty clear that she attributes her chronic pain to past trauma. Unfortunately, this idea of a link between trauma and fibromyalgia and/or ME/CFS doesn't get much critical scrutiny, and it does get a lot of promotion from powerful influencers.

    She mentions other possible causes of fibromyalgia too. Like the rest of us dealing with fibromyalgia and/or ME/CFS, she really isn't sure about what is going on.

    She makes a very strong commitment to facilitating the finding of answers to the question of what fibromyalgia is, which is great.

     
  6. boolybooly

    boolybooly Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks Hutan, that is pretty unequivocal. :)
     
  7. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    A financial commitment would make all the difference. Seriously she could single-handedly fund more fibro research than everything so far combined and it would probably not even cost half her fortune. If she wants to.

    Not blaming but it's annoying how many people could make a massive difference but choose not to. Especially as this is basically the only reason people continue to pretend rich people deserve to have more wealth than entire countries. And yet it disappoints every time because they never actually use that money in a useful way.
     
  8. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    I dont think it's fair to make such a criticism of an individual - many people choose to make donations anonymously. None of us can know what another individual is donating.
     
  9. Ariel

    Ariel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I am wondering if some kind of effort can be made to reach out to ask her to help with funding FM & related illnesses if she isn't doing so already. Chronic illness is part of her image and features fairly prominently in her materials. I think it's positive that she wants to find out the mechanisms even though some of what she says leaves the area open to misunderstandings. I didn't read what she said as being as dire as it could have been.


    A (potentially sensitive) personal story:

    I went to a recommended occupational therapist who was supposed to help me with some eg schedules etc after being diagnosed for the second time with ME/CFS. One of the first things she asked me is if I had ever been raped. I thought this was potentially a really awful (and irrelevant) question to ask someone and could have some really awful psychological effects if they started to associate their assault or abuse with their ME/CFS and symptoms. I have in fact had these bad experiences, but I knew some context and background about why she might be asking this - and I knew it was wrong. I knew I don't have ME/CFS because some things happened in my life years ago.

    I felt really bad that they were asking these questions. Worse, the OT seemed to have no idea how to cope if the person said they had been assaulted. I said no as I wanted treatment and advice about how to manage ME/CFS, not some kind of bogus psychotherapy. She seemed relieved and said that people had "all kinds of stories". She obviously had no training in dealing with sexual assault or abuse. If you ask a lot of people if they have ever been abused as an intake question, you are going to get a lot of answers. Unfortunately rates of abuse are high. She just seemed to say she had to get it out of the way and tick it off her list up top. Very worrying.

    I hope this is not still happening to people. Potentially extremely harmful, to say the least.
     
  10. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    2,823
    Speaking of singers and chronic illnesses, a contrasting example comes from Sia, who suffered from chronic severe depression (which is pretty powerfully described in the song Breathe Me below), and eventually discovered she had Graves disease. Treatment for the Graves pretty much resolved the depression.

    This article describes this briefly, but falsely claims that Graves disease is due to stress. Are we really going to say that if you work too had or feel to much pressure to perform in your job, you will be likely to get Graves disease? Lots of relaxed lazy arses get Graves. And I think its fair to say that 99.9% of people in positions like Sia (performance pressure mainly) don't develop Graves. Rather, Graves disease, when it occurs, is probably part of the cause of the stress, not its consequence.

    It seems that in the arts world in particular, illness has to be a metaphor for something else, it must have a moral or psychological "message" to convey. So that people can view it as a positive stage in their development and not some random bad shit.

     
  11. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Just thinking on it, the idea that autoimmune diseases result from stress has a really dark side: Because these diseases are more common in women, it promotes the idea that women are somehow more psychologically fragile and vulnerable to stress than men.
     
  12. petrichor

    petrichor Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I get the impression that there's a lot more willingness amongst fibromyalgia sufferers to accept that psychological factors and trauma contribute to or cause fibromyalgia. Despite their willingness to accept that though, that doesn't stop doctors from viewing them with a fair bit of disdain and judging them significantly, possibly even more so than ME patients, interestingly. Which might make for a good argument against capitulating to a psychological view of ME in any way (unless there's good evidence for it, of course).

    Maybe they're more willing to accept that because it is actually true in a certain regard - any type of pain is affected by psychological factors. However that doesn't make fibromyalgia psychogenic.
     
  13. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Yea, I've noticed that in FND too, and I think the reason for the greater acceptance of psyc accounts in these areas is that the accounts are more likely to emphasise the role of external events that the person had no control over, like trauma and abuse. So instead of telling the patient that their thinking is wrong (therefore putting the responsibility on the patient to change it), they give the person permission to attribute at least some of the blame externally (its not your fault, x, y and z happened to you, its not surprising that you've reacted in this way, now how can we help you address it).

    As you say, its all a bit of subterfuge really, because we know deep down that these doctors believe only certain vulnerable persons will develop illnesses as a result of trauma. But that's not how it appears to patients. So its a really clever lie.
     
  14. boolybooly

    boolybooly Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Where is the empirical data proving somatisation? I am not aware of any but the shaman will claim it is a scientific theory.
     
  15. JemPD

    JemPD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That is absolutely disgusting. In any setting to ask a person that, especially in the context of OH, or indeed in any context other than that where it would be explicitly relevant (eg examining evidence of a vaginal injury in the gynaecologist's office), is absolutely outrageous, and the only appropriate answer in my opinion is 'it's none of your f'ing business!!!'

    Not to mention asking that could be dangerous... They think they're so f'ing clever but they dont even know that it can be massively triggering even to disclose something like that, causing dangerous levels of flooding of traumatic memories/flashbacks etc. Its unsafe & potentially abusive, not to mention outrageously personal & intrusive, to be asking things like that.




    Also. I'm very sorry to hear you had that horrific experience @Ariel and that you had to deny it in order to get appropriate support with your ME. No words would do any of that reality, justice



    ETA sorry about all the 'f'ing' but wow that makes me absolutely livid :mad: How dare they?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  16. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  17. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    None. It's a belief.
     
  18. Tia

    Tia Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That's absolutely appalling. She wasn't qualified to be asking you such intrusive and potentially triggering questions without any warning. Like you say, what would she have done if you said yes? Very worrying. I'm sorry that you went through that awful situation.
     
  19. Michelle

    Michelle Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    As a writer, I can be a real sucker for a neat metaphor. But then I read Susan Sontag's Illness as Metaphor, which rightly disabused me of that rabbit hole. If only she was more widely read.

    WRT people with fibro or FND being more willing to embrace psychological explanations -- and especially Lady Gaga here -- I think there's a bit of being doubly victimized. As in "not only was I raped, but now that rape caused my fibromylagia." As you say, @Woolie, it gives one an explanation and an external explanation at that rather than being stuck with no explanation except random shitty luck.
     
  20. Tia

    Tia Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Also it makes it seem potentially fixable - 'if I can fix/process the trauma, the pain will go away'. I think that's probably the most seductive reason to embrace it.
     

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