Would you dismiss abuse as a cause for ME CFS?

SWAlexander

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MODERATOR'S NOTE: THE FIRST FIVE POSTS IN THIS THREAD WERE MOVED FROM 'Long COVID Has Forced a Reckoning for One of Medicine’s Most Neglected Diseases -- Atlantic Article 9-26-22'



Ed Yong writes in this paragraph:
"While they wait for better treatments, patients also need the medical community to heed the lessons that they and their clinicians have learned. For example, the American Association for Family Physicians website still wrongly recommends exercise therapy and links ME/CFS to childhood abuse. “That group of doctors is very important to these patients,” Dimmock said, “so what does that say to them about what this disease is all about?”

In his link Association for Family Physicians from Oct. 2012, he mentioned childhood abuse as a possible cause.
"What causes it?
No one is sure exactly what causes CFS. Immune system problems may cause it. Childhood trauma (for example, physical or sexual abuse) may raise the risk of getting it."

Would you dismiss abuse as a cause for ME CFS?
 
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Rvanson

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Why?
Have you read: The Biological Effects of Childhood Trauma
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968319/
Thank you for this link, Murph! I was emotionally and mentally abused as a young child, by my alcoholic mother, and a father who fled the home when she went into INSANE/RAGE mode after drinking her Vin' Rose evenings. She had deep-rooted anger at her mother, that was never resolved at all, and took it out on her small boys instead. My father forsaked his wedding vows.

It was hell on earth for me and my younger brother, and due to his drug abuse in high school, she found a quack "doctor" to treat him, that, in addition to a con-artist felon, fleeced them for
all their wealth, which I alone am still paying for to this day, with a mortgage not in my name.

My father couldn't say NO to her, and they both lost it all. Both of us boys had _no_ girlfriends in high-school, where males learn to adapt to asking women out on dates. My younger brother, once again, took the easy way out and married a B***h from hell. I was only polite to her, as I wanted my two nieces to grow up without any anger seen, between me and their mother.

When they were not around, I would mentally, emotionally and verbally take her down real good, as she is a little short in the brains department.:) She has even threatened me with death, by her, or her police-officer older brother (she illegally carries a .38 Special pistol), that's how rotten she is. She's just another fake Christian/charlatan, playing by her own rules alone.

I fell ill due to ME/CFS just before turning 40 and lost my fiancé'. In my case, it was Salmonella poisoning that erased my life, as I knew it. I was lucky, and after 10 months was able to work again, minus becoming married. She moved on and married a SOB who doesn't treat her well.

This article makes me feel so much better knowing that there is scientific proof of exactly what happens to children mistreated in almost anyway, for years upon years. Thank you very much!
 
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SWAlexander

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The reason I posted "The Biological Effects of Childhood Trauma" is that childhood adversities (abuse) cause immunodeficiency.
This is denied by nearly every medical professional worldwide, even though there are scientific papers available. Here is a small collection.
For this reason, not understanding where immunodeficiency originated, they sent the childhood traumatized to therapy without understanding that no cognitive therapy can "cure" immunodeficiency.
As we understand (finally) today immunodeficiency, if not genetically inherited, is the gateway to most illnesses - unless proven otherwise.
 

hapl808

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The reason I posted "The Biological Effects of Childhood Trauma" is that childhood adversities (abuse) cause immunodeficiency.
I don't see why this couldn't be true, but I think care needs to be taken with blanket statements.

As we understand (finally) today immunodeficiency, if not genetically inherited, is the gateway to most illnesses - unless proven otherwise.
While immunodeficiency may be involved in many illnesses and disorders, I don't think you can really say 'unless proven otherwise' with a hypothesis.

From reading here, many people have difficult childhoods and that may have affected their health. Others don't really have that explanation. My ME/CFS is relatively severe at this point (100% housebound, sometimes bedbound, unable to stand without assistance). I can't really point out a difficult childhood - two loving parents, no major trauma I can think of, good education and financial situation at the time. If anything, I think the lack of difficulties made me less resilient to adversity that I experienced later in life, thus a decades long period of adjustment or denial as my ME/CFS challenges grew.

Any time I see explanations for poorly understood illnesses, I take them with a grain of salt.

We are the equivalent of people in the 1700s explaining how the weather works. They probably had observed enough to predict weather to some degree, but their understanding was likely limited by lack of satellite imagery, high altitude sampling, etc.
 
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I would not dismiss childhood abuse, ...but suspect its an exacerbation rather than a direct "cause"...

I had technically a happy safe childhood for which I am eternally grateful. Nothing really traumatic.

but since I was frequently ill and had severe food allergies, something was going on which at least: needs lots of processing...

I was very sheltered, so going out places didn't happen often and I would get pretty worked up out places.

Like back in the day(1960s suburbia), this bullying thing was quite uncommon...yet an older neighbor boy knocked me off my bicycle one day, on my way to school and I was freaked out about going to school, my older brother had to walk me there....(mom did not drive). I was put on phenobarbital somewhere in all this. For a while, nobody around can remember why.
 

Azayliah

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I do think abuse can increase chances of getting sick. It might be also be inheritable; I learned somewhere that abuse affects genetics for around three generations of direct descendants. And this doesn't apply only to abuse, as trauma and stress can come from a loss or something like a car accident. Stress does weird things to us, so I think cognitive therapy may be useful as a protection against physical deterioration from that.

However, I dismiss abuse as a cause of ME/CFS. It seems to me that a weakened immune system applies not only to ME/CFS, but also to everything that one can become sick with. I was sick a lot as a kid with cold, flu, ear infections, etc., and I would say that the abuse and stress I endured made me more likely to become sick or have psychological challenges, not that it made me more likely to specifically be afflicted with ME/CFS.

I would also dismiss examining the effects of abuse as a way to identify the cause of ME/CFS. Not everyone who has ME/CFS was abused, so that seems to rule it out. At best, it might be said that stress alone could play a role--there seems to be a lot ME/CFS sufferers who were high achievers, and a lot of people get sick after an illness, (which is also a physical stress)--but again, I think we could say the same for illness in general.
 

hapl808

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I would also dismiss examining the effects of abuse as a way to identify the cause of ME/CFS. Not everyone who has ME/CFS was abused, so that seems to rule it out. At best, it might be said that stress alone could play a role--there seems to be a lot ME/CFS sufferers who were high achievers, and a lot of people get sick after an illness, (which is also a physical stress)--but again, I think we could say the same for illness in general.
Yes, I think that sums it up nicely. I did get childhood colds more than I think was usual, but my parents were always supportive. If anything, I think they took my health more seriously than I did. I'm a bit more happy-go-lucky by nature, and they have always been more careful and cautious.

With enough people who have classic symptoms of ME/CFS and no childhood abuse or major trauma, that rules it out as an exclusive cause. That said, I've always felt ME/CFS is a large bucket. Possibly the disorder is the same, but the cause is different. Like a fractured arm could be from childhood abuse or from playing football. The fracture is the same, but the cause is quite different.
 
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My ME getting far far worse was associated with an intense stress event. And then I can count six months.

Its an almost unsolvable puzzle- so I try not to spend much time asking Why?
 

Alvin2

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Trauma can exacerbate or trip one over the edge in many diseases but its likely not a cause in itself.
Think of it as an additional stressor that may add the final straw to break the camel's back.

Its also an easy answer to when science doesn't have a better answer yet.
 

Anchoress

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really dont see why suddenly every problem on this earth should be seen as possible cause for ME/CFS.
smh.
And what does it matter? I mean really? Just seems to cause more pain in raking up and reliving what is past and gone. The trigger for my illness was unmistakably a bad flu. or is flu too caused by trauma? But flu it was. And it affected me permenantly..
None of these theories help.
And in all probability there is not a single trigger ( a more appropriate word than cause) but as many as there are sufferers. Stress of any kind leaves us vulnerable to all manner of ills. Weakens us in various ways; homes in on our weaknesses and injuries mental and emotional as well as physical. And there is no avoiding stress - we cannot live in a bubble. Maybe they need to focus on a healing...
 
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