A Made Up Illness
The other day I was drawn into a Twitter argument. Now, I don’t often get the opportunity to engage in conversation on Twitter, there’s usually so much going on here. However, having just got back from conference and having been reminded of the importance of being engaged with your followers, when my phone notified me that several people I follow had all followed the same person, I went to investigate.
And what I found, after following some conversations, was a storm about someone claiming that fibromyalgia is a made up illness. I kid you not. The basis for this claim seems to have been that different sufferers have different symptoms, and she believes that she herself was misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia. From these two pieces of information she has concluded that anything with varying symptoms is made up, and anything that can be misdiagnosed must be made up by doctors who “can’t be assed” to work out what’s really wrong.
I’d love to show you these pearls of wisdom, but I didn’t take screen shots and she deleted all of her (very many) tweets on the subject. Hey ho.
I got drawn in because I just couldn’t resist addressing this flawed logic. Of course, there is no point in continuing to rant at people who are wilfully ignorant, so I didn’t. But I haven’t quite finished making my points.
Coeliac Disease presents with different symptoms in different people, as does Lupus. Neither are made up illnesses and it is well recognised that the list of symptoms is long and varied, but that most people will have nothing like all of the symptoms. Likewise Fibromyalgia.
Coeliac Disease is often misdiagnosed as IBS. By this logic, IBS doesn’t exist. I’m pretty sure there are millions who would disagree.
Of course, some people will be misdiagnosed and that’s unfortunate. I fail to see how that means that the illness they were wrongly diagnosed with doesn’t exist.
I also fail to see how telling people they are lazy and workshy, not ill, because their illness is made up (by doctors) is going to win you friends. When people then call you out on your “facts”, it doesn’t tend to win much support to claim that you are being attacked, especially when you meet questions about your logic with gems such as this: