The fibromyalgia epidemic is a result of the steadily increasing rate of diagnosis of the disease and the decreasing percentage of patients receiving a cure or even real symptomatic relief. Fibromyalgia is a greatly misunderstood condition that has puzzled medical science for decades and continues to be enigmatic today.
Doctors struggle to come up with new ideas for treatment, while this epidemic condition continues to grow unchecked. The reason for this explosion of victims is ultra-clear. How can you treat a condition when you have no idea of its cause? Doctors continue to guess, while patients keep suffering.
This essay delves into the reasons why FMS is so difficult to treat and why the condition has victimized such a large percentage of the otherwise healthy (and mostly female) population.
The one thing medicine is really good at is diagnosis. When it comes to fibromyalgia, the diagnosis is on the rise every year. Medicine has created a set of criteria for the positive diagnosis of this illness, yet rarely even follows these guidelines. It is ironic that over half of the diagnosed cases of fibromyalgia do not follow those specific diagnostic recommendations. This really does not matter, since the diagnosis is made again and again. If there is widespread pain without an obvious cause, it seems fibromyalgia must be the apparent culprit.
The FMS diagnosis is usually made by exclusion and is also a contributor to the constantly growing epidemic of back pain. Doctors love to label a condition so that it will be easier to deal with. Fibromyalgia is not a classifiable disease. It does not strike patients equally or with the same symptoms.
If you look at the clinical picture of fibromyalgia, it does not make sense to classify it as a single all-encompassing condition. Fibromyalgia is actually a series of interrelated pain syndromes that can exist individually or in combination with one another. Many doctors speculate that FMS is simply a severe form of Dr. John E. Sarno's TMS diagnosis. This makes far more sense than the variety of far-fetched theories I have heard presented by respected medical professionals.
Doctors have had almost zero success in curing this condition. They have had extremely limited success in treatment of the symptoms. The few treatments that have made some progress towards fibromyalgia relief have come at a heavy price. The pain management drugs and hormone therapies have powerful side effects and health risks. Patients must sometimes question if the treatment is actually doing any good or if the side effects are actually worse than the condition itself.
Women have died from experimental pharmaceutical treatments, innovative herbal concoctions, various forms of detox therapy and even some extreme dietary changes. Many clinics have set up in areas of the world where governmental regulation is lax and therefore, they can provide virtually any treatment they want, at any cost they choose. It is a real mess for patients who do not know whom to trust when it comes to treating FMS.
Fibromyalgia is speculated to be a psychosomatic condition in many patients. Actually, following my own advice, I should say that fibromyalgia may be a series of interrelated psychologically-induced pain syndromes.
The condition exists to distract the patient from unresolved and painful emotional issues. These issues are usually very serious to elicit such a powerful set of symptoms from the subconscious mind. The few successes of fibromyalgia treatments occur not because the therapy is actually curing anything, but because the treatment’s side effects are often taking the place of the pain syndrome to distract from the psychologically painful issues. In essence, the treatment becomes the disease.
Knowledge therapy may be an alternative answer to the fibromyalgia question. The treatment is not an easy path for the patient to discover, but it does exist for those who look for it within themselves. I have seen knowledge therapy work time and time again when pharmaceutical treatment has failed. The fibromyalgia epidemic will end when both patients and doctors learn to embrace the connection between the mind, the body and the disease. Until then, research continues, treatment continues and most of all, suffering continues.
The biggest hurdle to the effectiveness of knowledge therapy is the attitude demonstrated by the victims of FMS themselves. Most patients simply do not want to even consider the idea that their pain is of mindbody origin, since they do not exactly understand the implications of the psychosomatic process. Doctors have fostered this attitude of denial and continually nurse it to be sure that patients will not see the truth of the problem and come to stop relying on the dangerous drugs in favor of holistic and effective non-pharmaceutical therapy.