You probably have heard that Lady Gaga has fibromyalgia. If you are on social media, I don’t know how you could have missed it.
My first thought was how wonderful that someone with her level of fame is speaking about this illness. Now maybe we can get some validation and bring some legitimacy to a misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and mistreated illness.
I also perused the comments sections under the articles. Bad idea! I thought I had heard it all when it comes to the misconceptions regarding FM. I soon realized that wasn’t the case at all.
People lose their filters when they comment on social media. The anonymity makes it easier for people to say whatever they want without thinking or caring about the consequences. It isn’t as intimidating as saying it to a person’s face. It is a cowardly way to go, but sadly, it is becoming the norm.
Here are a few samples of the ignorant comments I found:
“It isn’t Fibromyalgia. It is an acute case of an adult seeking attention.”
“When emotional pain is not acknowledged or tackled, it will oft times express itself through the body and in the form of physical pain and symptoms. Fibromyalgia is a classic example of this.”
“It’s called depression and hypochondria.”
“Friend of mine has that too, and they’re pretty sure it came from too much partying.”
“Sadly there are some fibromyalgia sufferers who like to be competitively ill.”
“The real name is Wimpy White Woman Syndrome.”
“I don’t believe it’s real. It’s a made up term to make people feel good about having ‘something’. It even sounds scary!”
“Fibromyalgia is what used to be called getting older.”
And the comment that won the contest for most sexist and rude was: “I’d love to fibro her myalgia.”
With comments like this, it is hard to have hope in the uphill battle we face with this illness. How do we convince others this is a very real and devastating illness when they think like this?
What saddened me the most was the negative comments from other warriors such as “She can’t dance like that and have fibro” and “How dare she say she has fibro when she can work and party and do what she wants to.”
What we should know as sufferers is that this illness impacts everyone differently. Some of us work while some can’t. Some of us have IBS, but some don’t. Some of us can exercise when some can’t. Regardless of the circumstances, none of us should ever doubt another warrior. We should be welcoming toward all warriors, not just some. Give everyone a chance. Isn’t that what we have been asking others to do for us for years? Let’s show some compassion and love to our fellow sisters and brothers who suffer in their own way.
When I think about Lady Gaga and what she does, I honestly feel for her because I bet she pays dearly after each and every concert. Think about how you feel after going grocery shopping or after a long car ride. I think of football players who can’t walk for a few days after a game because of pain and stiffness. They may be able to perform at a high level for a game, but they pay a heavy price the rest of the week. Just like us!
Lady Gaga may make a lot of money and have access to medical care and other services that we do not, but she still feels pain and has to deal with the physical issues. My hope is that she uses her platform to make others aware of FM. Even if she only convinces a few, that is a start. If this illness is to be taken seriously, we need warriors like Lady Gaga to get the message out to the masses. We need to knock down the stigmas and misconceptions about this illness so we all can get the help and support we truly need to thrive.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.