I am writing this in regard to a Letter to the Editor comment in the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle of 2/15/12. It is a reaction to an unsolved outbreak of symptoms in nearby Leroy, NY. http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/201202070806/NEWS01/302070019. The following published opinion from a medical doctor speaks volumes with reference to fibro and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Historical context for the Le Roy outbreak
I have read with interest about the case of mass hysteria in Le Roy, Genesee County. The truth is that this phenomenon is far more common than presently realized.
Psychosomatic illnesses tend to spread in epidemic fashion, similar to infectious outbreaks. A survey of medical history demonstrates this concept quite nicely. Hysterical symptoms like paralysis and blindness were extremely common in the days of Freud and Breuer. Only after we learned that these disorders were a form of neurosis did the cases finally begin to disappear.
Psychogenic illnesses permeate the current medical landscape and are a tremendous source of health care expenditure. Disorders like chronic back pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome have spread in epidemic proportions despite little consensus among physicians as to their etiology or to an optimal management and treatment approach. These are the telltale features of psychosomatic disease. We have a lot to learn from the recent outbreak in Le Roy. It is far from an isolated incident.
DR. MICHAEL A. KADOCH
NEW YORK CITY
An Attitude That Prevails
Blog entry posted by bassetbait, Feb 15, 2012.