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  • Did our "thoughts" make us sick?

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    Old 03-09-2008, 05:08 PM   #1
    kjo99's Avatar
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    Did our "thoughts" make us sick?

    I just read an article in the Parade magazine in the Sunday paper. It begins, "Our thoughts can make us sick, and they can make us well."

    Dang it! I've been sick for over 9 years and all I really needed to do to get well was imagine myself on a beach in the sun -- "you become relaxed, your peripheral blood vessels dilate, and your hands become warm, as in the real thing." Apparently, I could have been healthy all these years if I would have just imagined myself as a healthy person on a beach.

    I understand the point of this article. I taught sociology and psychology on a college level and the research the author is referring to is pulled out of context. These studies didn't show cause and effect. It's extremely difficult to show that any one variable (thoughts) can CAUSE another variable (health OR sickness). They may very well influence our well-being but they do not CAUSE our sickness. I didn't expect to be sick, I wasn't thinking about being sick when this illness creeped into my body; therefore, how could my thoughts bring about symptoms that were unknown to me? I certainly have wishful thoughts about being healthy but they haven't cured me so far...

    Do you think articles like this make it harder for people to understand what our lives are like? We live with a concealed illness that is often misunderstood, even by those who are closest to us. It seems to me that these kinds of articles (lacking an explanation of scientific methodology) make other people's judgments of our situation more fierce.

    It's hard enough keeping our spirits up without having someone tell us we can just THINK OUR WAY OUT OF THIS, if we really wanted to. That's like telling me I must actually WANT to be sick. Good grief!

    Thanks for letting me vent.

    Last edited by kjo99; 03-09-2008 at 05:10 PM. Reason: correction

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    Old 03-10-2008, 01:20 AM   #2
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    Re: Did our "thoughts" make us sick?

    RIGHT ON!!!!!!!


    Old 03-15-2008, 01:39 PM   #3
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    Re: Did our "thoughts" make us sick?

    I know Kjo99, and I sympathize with you on this. A lot of people still believe this nonsense where just thinking happy thoughts somehow can cure everyone of whatever ails them. This technique of positive visualization may be good for helping to put the mind in the frame to help recovery, but it couldn't cure CFS any more than it could cure cancer. When your problems are of a physical nature, which CFS is, you need real medicine. Someday, I pray that someone actually comes up with some.

    Old 03-16-2008, 01:00 PM   #4
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    Re: Did our "thoughts" make us sick?

    I use guided imagery every day. But I never once thought i could cure myself of my FMS ,or lupus. I only use it as a tool to help with my pain and fatigue. And it really does work for that. KAT

    Last edited by kathryn+2; 03-16-2008 at 01:01 PM.

    Old 03-20-2008, 11:03 AM   #5
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    Re: Did our "thoughts" make us sick?

    I haven't been diagnosed with CFS but do believe that my recent sinus infection and sinusitis were a large part of my fatigue the last 6 months to a year. Now that i've finished a long antibiotic therapy, i'm starting to feel fatigued again... not sure if there is a connection or if i'm psyching myself out.. I tend to over analyze things. I do keep a journal of symptoms and will get back with the sinus doc if it is definitely back.

    Old 03-21-2008, 04:03 PM   #6
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    Re: Did our "thoughts" make us sick?

    When my kids were little and got ear infections they would usually get a runny nose about 10 days after their last dose of antibiotic. I remember one doctor telling me it wasn't unusual (even likely) that bodies react to having to fight off bacteria on their own after having taken an antibiotic. I gave my youngest child echinacea for a few days when he stopped taking the antibiotic and it seemed to work, but I can't guarantee that he wouldn't have gotten sick again had he not taken the echinacea. My point is that our bodies respond in different ways to medications and bacteria. I'm glad you're keeping track of your symptoms. I hope you feel better soon. Sinus infections can be brutal. One of my daughters would get a sinus infection every year in the fall and we thought it was just from getting worn out from her activities in high school. Finally, one year, the doctor gave her a prescription for nasal spray for allergies and it seemed to help - she didn't get a sinus infection the next fall when she used the spray. She is still prone to sinus infections, though. I think some people are more susceptable (sp) than others. Take care.

    Old 04-02-2008, 11:13 AM   #7
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    Re: Did our "thoughts" make us sick?

    I've definitely struggled with people saying I wasn't in the right mind-set. While I understand the benefit of positive thought and energy, I cannot accept 100% responsibility for bringing CFS upon myself. I'm only 20 and I've had it since I was 12... there's no way anyone can say a 12 year old wasn't thinking positive enough and so they got sick for 8 years.

    I get my laughs where I can and I find happiness when I can, but I resent that people think I just need to "think positive" in order for my health to improve.

    Old 04-09-2008, 08:46 AM   #8
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    Re: Did our "thoughts" make us sick?

    Originally Posted by kjo99 View Post
    It's hard enough keeping our spirits up without having someone tell us we can just THINK OUR WAY OUT OF THIS, if we really wanted to. That's like telling me I must actually WANT to be sick. Good grief!
    Gosh, well I don't know about you, but I've always wanted to feel so tired I can barely make myself get out of bed in the morning.

    I saw an endocrinologist once who told me to "think positive" and it would "all go away". This kind of attitude towards CFS really annoys me.

    If it were possible to think your way out of CFS, then I would have done it years ago. Thinking positively can help you manage CFS, but it's always there - like a background noise (incessant whining would be appropriate) - whatever you're doing (or at least that's what I've found).

    Since being "diagnosed" with CFS 4 years ago, I've tried to steer clear of the doctors as much as possible. I've probably been about half a dozen times, but am always offered antidepressants, which I will continue to refuse until I am actually depressed. Every day I make sure I get up and go to work or uni or whatever I've organised for that day. I have had 3 days off sick in the past 6 years. I work through a haze, but have found that I can work and fairly effectively. I've done A-levels in Chemistry and Biology, worked 6-day weeks, published articles, sat exams for medical school and am now studying radiography. Ok, mostly I've made myself run around like a maniac because I don't want to give in to the fatigue!!!

    The point I'm trying to make is that I'm very positive about my life. I'm getting on and doing what I want to do. I truly believe that if it was only a matter of being positive, that I wouldn't have CFS.

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