When was the last time you felt healthy, full of energy, and mentally stable to take on the day? For many of us, malaise, body aches, depression, brain fog, and lackluster are words that can be used to describe our current state. Why could this be? For a few years now, I have been on the hunt for answers to questions like, “What is the meaning of life?”, “Where do we come from?”, “Why am I tired all the time!!?”.
After a major family scare in 2020, I nose-dived into the connection between mental and physical health.
As I was researching the connection between mental health and the effects it has on physical health, I came across a few articles that described a condition called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or better known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). I listened to some accounts of how this debilitating illness was destroying the lives of people who used to have a well-functioning life. Among the people who were affected by CFS were doctors, lawyers, grad students, athletes just to name a few. These people with families, careers, goals went to their health care professional for help. They were sent away with only a prescription for antidepressants, pain medication, and told to reduce stress. How disheartening.
In western society, we are so conditioned to run to our primary care doctor (if we are lucky enough to have one) to have all the laboratory and other tests run to try and figure out what the problem is. But happens when modern or traditional medicine can’t give a person answers as to why they are sick. And worse, what if no one believes they are sick!
So what is CFS anyway?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disease that is characterized by profound fatigue, malaise, sleep abnormalities, light sensitivity, depression, lackluster, and just a feeling of lackadaisicalness. Back in the 1930s, certain populations around the world were becoming ill with “flu-like” symptoms that included malaise, tender lymph, sore throat, and joint pain. There was never a real explanation for this bizarre phenomenon.
In the 1980s, a town in Nevada reported multiple cases of people suffering from an unknown illness. The doctors in town feeling flummoxed and unable to give the townspeople answers to their questions about this mysterious illness enlisted the help of the CDC. After the government agents from the CDC gathered information, they packed up their bags and told the townspeople (Basically to) not call us, we won’t call you either! Time went on and the people were anxious to find out any new information the government may have discovered. After some correspondence between town officials and government officials, the townspeople were horrified to learn the CDC had no new information to disclose but also accusing the towns people of faking their illness. What an added insult to injury. A head researcher in viruses was shut down after she began questioning the veracity of certain people working for the company and the projects that were being kept secret. This researcher believed that her data was concrete proof that CFS was a real illness initiated by a viral infection. We have all been infected by a virus. So the potential to experience CFS is very real.
After some time, healthcare professionals across the country placed patients under an umbrella diagnosis when they could not pinpoint the cause for the symptoms people were experiencing. It became known as the yuppie flu after a Newsweek article described it as a “fashionable form of hypochondria”. Mmhmm, ok.
So, why am I talking about CFS? As I said, I had a close person to me who was affected by a virus. After they “got over” the illness, they were not the same vibrant, energetic person. They felt brain fog, numbness in their legs, and felt sad for no real reason. It is difficult to see someone close to me go through something alone. You feel helpless.
I want people across the world to understand that health is priceless. You can have all the money in the world and it wouldn’t matter if you were on your deathbed. I want us all to be more conscious of how we treat our minds and body. The images we see, the words we hear, are just as important as the food we consume. All things should have the right intention, be produced with love, and be shown gratitude.
I want everyone to take charge of their health. Do what is best for the body and mind. Do not fall into a trap of self-satisfaction. Take care of yourself first the healthful way to then be able to care for others.
With the increase of reported viral infections in 2020, we should expect to see an increase in reported CFS cases. What will you start to do today to ensure your body is prepared to fight off anything undesirable?