Psychology Today article on CFS and Fibro

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jane32, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. jane32

    jane32 New Member

    This was in their issue last year and I just found it on the web today.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-20050503-000002.html

    Some good points. I did CBT therapy years ago after going through a stressful event years ago. It did really cure most of my anxiety issues. I guess I should give it a try again ..but trying to find the right therapist is always difficult. I actually was doing CBT as a therapist when I got sick but have since stopped working for obvious reasons.
  2. Jen102

    Jen102 New Member

    I appreciate that you are contributing an article that you think may be beneficial or helpful. Thank you for that. My following comments are in no way meant as an affront to you.

    However, while there are a few helpful points in this article, it is for the most part degrading, demeaning, and blaming. If the doctors can't fix the patient, it must be the patient's fault. Since they can't find the organic cause of FMS/CFS/MCS (YET!!!!) then we must blame it on hysterical, indulgent, mostly women (used in the most derogative sense) patients.

    Why must articles like this persist in saying that these illnesses are still controversial, that they have been called the "yuppie flu" and the such. When they are doing this, they are basically saying "this is all a joke but we will play lip-service to the legitimacy of the illnesses.

    When the causes and cures of the illnesses are found, these psychologizers will be known for the blood-letters and lobotimizers that they are. First of all, do no harm.

    Do you realize, that they would show total disdain towards this message list? They slammed support groups in the article, because they aren't in control of them.

    Just think happy thoughts, and we will be healed. Grrrrr! Jen102
  3. jane32

    jane32 New Member

    no offense taking. I just pass along interesting articles. The one thing that I thought was good is that they did mention CFS and Fibro in their magazine. I agree that it was not in the best light but this is not a medical journal more of a happy thought mag...ha if you know what I mean!

    I think reframing some things would help me though. I know my body does feel worse when I am upset. For instance, last week I barely got any sleep and I just cried myself through the weekend. I felt so depressed and I have not had that feeling since last year when I could not get a dr. to listen to me. (I first became ill last year). Anyway, it has taken me the past three days to recover from my weekend crying spell. My fevers came back and my fatigue was awful. So for me I know that stress..mental stress exhausts my body. I mean I will still feel tired and get my fever cycles regardless every month but draining myself like I did last week made me much worse. I think that is where CBT and the power of positive thinking comes in. It is by no way a cure but I guess a way to cope with this awful devastating illness.
  4. Jen102

    Jen102 New Member

    I think that psychological help could be beneficial to us, just as it could be for anyone who has suffered great losses and must find new ways to cope as a result of a catastrophic illness.

    However, someone who has cancer (just an example--a devastating illness--not trying to minimize it or make any comment about it) will not be blamed for the cancer when they seek therapy. It will be understood that they are trying to find new ways given the tragic illness, and it will not be inferred that their mental state is the cause of the illness, nor would the therapist try to "cure" the disease thru the therapy. Articles like this just perpetuate the problem.

    Another thing, someone with cancer could seek therapy without certain economic consequences. When someone with FMS, CFS, or MCS becomes unable to work, most LTD insurance plans limit benefits to 2 years if the illness is as a result of a mental disorder. Even if you have proven diagnoses of these illnesses, the insurance co's will try to deny benefits on the mental disorder grounds if there is the least shred of evidence. A medical record which includes use of certain meds and/or treatments will fuel their arguments.

    While a cancer patient may be applauded for seeking therapy, a patient with these DD's cannot chance loss of benefits by seeking mental health treatment. Don't ever let anyone kid you into believing there is no stigma to a mental health diagnosis.

    One more thing. I think therapy could be quite helpful if you could find a therapist who believes you are physically ill (I'll start banging my head against the wall now), but it seems that many docs dispense a sleepmed and muscle relaxer, and then dump the patients off into some therapy program in order to get rid of them. Therapy as an adjunct to medical treatment seems a wonderful and humane treatment, but therapy instead of, or in place of, or to the exclusion of medical treatment, STINKS.

    Just my two cents. I know I sound a little peeved, but truly not towards you. Blessings. Jen102
  5. jane32

    jane32 New Member

    I never get upset by others comments!

    I totally agree if you don't find the right therapist you can end up feeling worse then you did before.

    I always said that finding a therapist is like trying on a pair of jeans. Only a couple really give you a true fit!

  6. jane32

    jane32 New Member

    I just found this about the article. The association was not happy with the way it turned out!

    Advocacy Alert: 05/23/2005

    In the June issue of Psychology Today, which is on newsstands now, there’s an articlecalled “Is It All in My Head?” that reinforces the idea that CFS, or CFIDS, is caused by stress, the mind, or a patient’s illness belief system. All these concepts are integrated into the article.

    The author, Melissa Schorr, interviewed Dr. Leonard Jason, Kim McCleary, Dr. Dedra Buchwald and Laura Hillenbrand, among others. All the individuals interviewed no doubt participated thinking the article would be balanced and include current scientific and patient perspectives, not outdated stereotypes. Unfortunately, those interviewed have no control over the writer’s, or the magazine’s, editorial slant and they don’t get to approve how their statements are used.

    The CFIDS Association, and many members of the broader CFS community, are concerned that the article actually ends up contributing to the myths and misperceptions that thwart public understanding of CFS.
  7. Jen102

    Jen102 New Member

    It is interesting that the CFIDS organization had objections. I wish that I could talk to someone, but if therapists are reading and believing articles like this, then they are certainly getting the wrong message. It leaves people with these DDs without the same opportunities for help that people with other catastrophic illnesses have. Unfair! Jen102
  8. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    Why isn't "erectile dysfunction" tresated with the same degredation that FM is???? After all it is all in the mind isn't it?

    Drives me spare.


    Thanks for the heads up on the article. Psychology Today used to be a good mag, but it started being overfunded by drug companies I don't know if this is still the case.


    Thanks anyway.


    Love Anne C
  9. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    ... that believe we are ACTUALLY ill?
    Serriously, I do wonder if there are. In my experince (limited experience), they seem to think that we can push ourselves and pretend that we are Normal, and that it will work and then we won't have health problems anymore. Sort of a fake-it-till-you-make-it approach to heath care.

    Would 'fake it till you make it' work for ANYTHING, even for the strictly "mental" illnesses that they are supposed to be helping with?

    Has anyone here found a compentent therapist that really believes in CFS/FM, and won't tell you to 'push through' or that you immagined the whole thing into being?
  10. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    When I was still in Practice, I had clients with this illness and I always beleived in them.

    Little did I know I would get it.

    All my colleagues, so few of them believed in their clients anyway, thought themselves superior, and most laughed at them behind their backs, it was mainly paycheck was all.

    That is why I threw in the towel. I hated the way they spoke.


    Love Anne C
  11. jackiegraye

    jackiegraye New Member

    I think perhaps the article has SOME valid points, but I know that much of the so-called "negative points" do not describe my illness-- I have tried again and again to get back "on the wagon," but I keep on getting sick, no matter how positive I stay.

    I will point out that I do not see citations or hard numbers for the studies quoted, especially for the study from Seattle, which stated that 90% of the ill had pervious psychiatric issues. The sample size could have been astonishingly small, and the results are meaningless without the hard data to back them up-- at least, to anyone trained in statistics.

    "There are lies, damn lies and statistics."

    LOL.

    Dating a scientist is making me even more cynical.
  12. piebear

    piebear New Member

    Thanks for posting this article. I found it very interesting to read. And yea for me too there are some good points and of course some bad ones. I agree with some of what lamotta77 said especially because I got fibro in much the same way and yes it is indeed important to note the impact of the psychological.

    Starting in college I had many stressors like any student. I had hard time coping at times. I got through it but I think it left a big impact on me because years after college I would still get upset over things. Then for the next 5 years I had emotionially traumatic/stressful event after another happen. I still never learned to cope with these things and because of that they continued to build. And when things upset me my whole body gets into it too.

    Slowly my body started to feel different. It started out with small things but each year more would happen with my body until last fall boom! everything finally just hit me hard and I had constant pain, bad sleep..typical symptoms of the fibro. And even now whenever I get upset like someone else said, I end up in a huge flare whether it is pain or fatigue. Granted that is not always the case but for the most part.

    But I really don't know if I had some flaw to begin with and all the stress and emotional trauma that I had just triggered that flaw. I've just felt "off" since I first started college.
    I think that flaw in our body might make it easier for stress or other factors to trigger our illnesses. Which would mean that it could be biologically caused but may be triggered by psychological factors. I'm not going to say thats the case with everyone but I think that could be the case with some of us. I believe that might be the case with me at least.

    But its most definitely not our fault that we are ill!


    [This Message was Edited on 03/23/2006]
  13. violarose1

    violarose1 New Member

    its scary when we hear the words 'its all in your head, be happy, play with your kids,"........... I finally got disability, and what does it say??? bascially psedo seizures, - i was like no my seizures are very real, doctors and nurses say so. my husband was wise and told me to let it go.

    maybe they are right, something might be stressful that happens to you befor eyou get sick- i had spinal menigities - thats what got me sick, but 4 months ago we bankrupted. 6 months bvefore that i lost my last baby. but what ever happens to our minds, what we have is very very very real/ so they can say all they want to but we know, we know, and hugs to us who have had the very real physical painful scary symptoms/

    i have tried to be very positive during my illeness, but smiles dont take away my exhaustion. i think it helps in the long run though. and being stubborn ; )
  14. kch64

    kch64 New Member


    This article is only repeating what so many doctors have said for years. Basically a disbelieving group that thinks we're a bunch of psychologically disturbed people.

    I wish they could walk in the worst of our symptoms for a week.

    To feel the burning pains and the terrible weaknesses and dizziness day in and day out.

    To walk when you feel like you can barely make it into the doctors office.

    This disease is not our failure. So far, it is a failure of the medical establishment to find bioligical markers for the illness.

    I was afraid for years to discuss the possiblity of chronic fatigue with doctors, for fear of being labeled another "hysterical woman patient". It was only in recent years, when more talk about it came about, that I had the nerve to open the topic up with my doctor.

    There will evidence one day, and then all these docs that said we were in "hystrionics" will be shown that what we are saying is true.

    I'm much better now then when I was first stricken with this. I don't even want to think about those days. Not only are you sick, but you're often so sick that you think you will die. then, of course, the stress of life overwhelms you, because you're not physically able to function and take care of yourself.

    Anyway, i read it and it was informative, but nothing new.

    Tks.
    Kendra