Why do we have so much less men with CFIDS?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by monom, Dec 29, 2002.

  1. monom

    monom Member

    Hello everybody,I got 5 response from men with this DD.
    Does it mean they are hiding or really not many inflicted with this DD?

    Ladies, what do you think of it, some of are doing intensive
    reading and research?

    Any comments would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you all for your niceness and dedication as usual.


  2. JP

    JP New Member

    This is a good question and I have not researched it. I can take an educated guess and break it down to the basics. As we all know, not much of anything is black and white in our world. So here goes:

    Biologically: Due to a woman's ability to deliver life, her immune system is more complex to support the growth and survival of new life. Much like most living/non-living things...the more variables, the more opportunity for breakdown.

    Socially: Here in the US, and generally speaking, men are brought up to be stoic, tough, protectors, untouchable, wage earners and you know the list goes on and on. In general, it would be more difficult for a man to admit something was wrong and to seek help. This alone would skew the ratio data. Maybe there are as many men...who really knows if they are not seeking help.

    Take what you like ,and again this is from the top of my head...I have not researched this subject...just have a background in medical science and medical sociology.

    Very good question, by the way...Jan
  3. Sidereus

    Sidereus New Member

    Hi Monom (and others),

    Being a man, I am seriously offended! :) Kidding.

    I believe that there may be some social stigma relating to this illness as well as other instances of illness. Speaking for myself, the only time that I wanted to look at the message boards or research the illness was when I started to crash or just plain felt awful. I have made a lot of progress but seem to have hit a brick wall. When I dwell upon my limitations, I will feel a bit depressed. I have always been an over-achiever and fighting this illness is no exception - except for the fact that I mentioned earlier - I do not look for help or messages becauase it is a reminder of who I am now.

    I am one of the people who have refused to accept my condtion enitirely, and do not see myself mostly chained to my apartment.

    Having said that, I try to do thing that I used to be able to do: racquetball, odd projects on the side to try to get some money, DATING! Okay. Dating has been next to impossible but I try. Talk about a awkward situation. I have the ability to strike-up a conversation with a woman and even on occasion plan a meeting. (I am referring to on-line dating since it is difficult for me to get out). The idea of online dating doesn't bother me but it was something that I would have never considered before this illness. Don't get me wrong, it is good for some people . . . and maybe I'll get lucky ;) The few times that I have met someone, it didn't exactyl go very well. "Are you okay?", is often asked. Like most of us, I do not look sick. And, I am in good physical shape, thanks to the odd ability to play racquetball once in a while and the ability to still perform music (drums and keyboards) once in a while. Let me emphasize that I cannot even come close to performing ANY activity when I am felling the effects of this illness.

    As far as feeling less of a "man", as may be viewed by society - the short answer is, "I don't". When I tell my story to a female friend, more times than not, I'll hear a very encouraging response along the lines of, "you are very courageous". That makes me feel good. Alas, it doens't get me dates, but it is nice to feel "confort" in all forms.

    As far as admitting something is wrong, I try not to do this as much anymore. When I am able to play racquetball and still feeling ill, I explain to the men (and women) who I play with that I am feeling really ill (I then explain the symptoms) and then I usually get a blank stare or a comment such as, "you are too young for this to be happening". "Just try harder". I'm sure we have all heard that! :) Nowadays, I just say, "I'm not feeling well".

    Another bizarre effect that has been bestowed upon me is the inability to speak! It is a physically daunting task to speak for a normal length of time. I do not know why. This has always been with me since my condition started. I feel very light-headed and out of breath. :(

    Do I feel inadaquate as a man? No. Not as a person either. I will continue to fight, for better or worse, because that is who I am. I am better then I was in 1994, but it is only evident to me and some of my closest friends. By not giving up, my will has allowed me to use other parts of my brain and create music professionally. Of course, money is a big concern now . . . any type of job where I can sit down and not speak much? Any suggestions are welcomed.

    That was a fair question posted. Just wanted to give you my thoughts.

    All for now,

    age 35
    CFS since 1994

  4. Jaysea

    Jaysea New Member

    I've read that men with FM have less severe symptoms but I'm not sure that's accurate. Both my brothers have FM. My older brother is still in denial and my younger brother, who has had the illness the longest, doesn't complain much but he does talk to me about his pain and sleeplessness, if I ask him. Everyone in my family has this $%#@ disease . It really sux !
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Whether our illnesses really afflict more women than men or whether men are less likely to seek medical treatment. Since our illnesses seem to be genetically predisposed and since they affect our hormones, it could well be that women are more often affected.

    Love, Mikie
  6. seans

    seans New Member

    I'm 33. I got hit with cfids bad when I was in peak physical condition at age 28. I'm a ghost of my former self. I want my life back.
  7. Achy-shaky

    Achy-shaky New Member

    and this is what happens after years of abusing ourself! We need to spread the word that if you try to do it all, you will be the one who ends up paying, as well as any children you may pass it on to.

    I also agree with others that many men most likely do not seek help. I suspect my husband has CFS but he refuses to see a doctor unless he's dying...he says he has me to take care of him. I have FM/CFS and MPS (now called Chronic Myofascial Pain) plus other syndromes that go with them but he still acts like a helpless baby at times because he has arthritis in back and hips. But I love the ole fart so I will continue to try to keep a positive attitude and hope for a better new year.
    Wishing you all many blessings!