I often wonder if this question shouldn’t be ‘Who doesn’t have it?’ 30 years ago, CFS was said to affect 1 in 1 million people and was as rare as it was misunderstood and dismissed.
Today it is said to affect 1 in 1000 people, and I have read in some areas it is as high as 1 in 100. Yet medically it is still dismissed and badly handled. Many are diagnosed as having depression or even hypochondria. More sufferers are addicted to pain medication and anti depressants than in any other health area – and most cases are not handled well at all, if at all.
One who deals with, or has, CFS/ME, lyme or fibromyalgia soon is able to discern who ‘has it’ and with the magic of the internet it’s often easy to confirm it. It also leaves you wondering about people from the past, very badly handled medically, suicides out of frustration, and chronically incapacitated without apparent cause.
I recently stumbled upon a number of websites that list a who’s who of CFS – and it’s very interesting. Please refrain from the urge to smack your forehead and say ‘Of course!’ Many have been diagnosed with mental illness and addictions – rather than actually dealing with what is underneath. Most people don’t understand this has been around since the start of the industrial revolution. So, who is on this unfortunate list? It’s by no means concise but it is interesting –
- Stevie Nicks
- Michael Crawford
- Flea (Red Hot Chilli Peppers)
- Blake Edwards (Julie Andrew’s husband)
- Laura Hillenbrand (author Seabiscuit)
- Florence Nightingale
- Charles Darwin
- Venus Williams (along with Sjogrens)
- Barry Sheen (racer)
- Duchess of Kent
- Leann Rimes
- Laine Beachley
- Bea Arthur
- Cathy Lee Crosby
- Laura Dundovic (Miss Universe)
- Shelley Taylor Smith
It’s a very interesting list and I have no doubt is much larger – but in most cases, often misdiagnosed and mishandled. Hopefully, those in the public eye will eventually be heard – and not to spout about some dodgy treatment or promote some drug therapy. We can live in hope that someone who has been successfully treated will speak out and the prognosis of the everyday sufferer will change!