I don’t talk about it too much, but I have fibromyalgia. I don’t mention it much because my FM is soooooo mild that I feel kind of silly mentioning it. I used to belong to a Fibromyalgia group, but eventually left because I realized I had NOTHING to complain about.
It rears its ugly head when I’m stressed or during extended periods of not getting enough sleep. (And I mean, I have to be REALLY sleep-deprived – not the typical I’m a Mom And I Don’t Get Enough Sleep stuff.)
But it hasn’t been bad since… high school? I used to have to take darvocet for the pain, but now I can usually manage with just tylenol and good old Slogging Through.
So that background leads into this: They might make FM be categorized as a mental illness.
I know this could be devastating to many, many people. And heck, it could affect me in ways I don’t anticipate. I do have a technical diagnosis of fibromyalgia in my records.
But I can’t stop giggling about it. For some reason, having something I’ve been dealing with since junior high suddenly be called a mental illness makes me laugh.
Particularly since one of my loyal View from Here readers has called me “crazy” in recent history (“and not the good kind,” snicker snort) (and, hell, maybe all of you have called me crazy, just not to my face – but maybe the “good kind”?). Suddenly, that comment is very “incorrect.” You can’t call a person with an actual mental illness “crazy” in our modern society, any more than you can call someone “retarded” or “gay.” (But saying something is “lame” somehow remains ok, that’s a big mystery to me.)
Regardless, I think it’s silly to reclassify it as a mental illness… sort of. I mean, in the end, mine is very clearly tied with stress, it’s definitely got a mental component. It’s not all in my head – it’s actual pain. It flares up when I’m not expecting it, and it doesn’t flare up sometimes when I really am expecting it, so I’m clearly not talking myself into it. But the fact that it remains closely associated with stress would suggest that it might more appropriately be managed by a mental health professional than a physician.
But the implications… I don’t know. For some reason, the idea having a diagnosed mental illness makes me giggle a bit.
(I’m not poking fun at mental illness. My mom had (undiagnosed) mental illness and it was no joke. I know others with undiagnosed mental illness and it’s absolutely not a laughing matter.)