Evil Agent Theories of Fibormyalgia

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Psychological motivation and determinants for generating evil agent theories[edit]

Strictly speaking, these are not psychological theories because they do not ascribe a psychological cause to the illness. That being said, the belief in them is psychologically motivated. They involve beliefs that an evil agent is the cause. These theories tend to be half-baked theories. There are numerous types but they all claim that a specific damaging agent or energy force is responsible for fibromyalgia. They tend to be simplistic and poorly researched. They often attract devotees who believe them fervently. Some involve a material that they believe has entered the body. These can be called “toxin theories”. This could be a poison or a germ.

Evil agent theories have the psychological effect of deflecting blame on an impersonal outside source. They also lead thinking down a path that avoids looking inward at one’s sleep patterns and mental life. They therefore can be described as “anti-introspective”.

They serve to absolve the patients from any reasonability for the illness. This may reduce guilt, but it is detrimental to efforts to take charge of stress and sleep issues in order to help to recover from fibromyalgia.

One such toxin theory is the Epstein Barr virus theory of fibromyalgia. It is true that fibromyalgia may start with or be exacerbated by any number of infections including after an attack of mononucleosis due to the Epstein Barr virus. It is also true that most cases do not start after an infection. Some people leaped to an idea that a virus was the culprit without considering other factors. For a full understanding see the entry for “vortex, The fibromyalgia:” It is an established fact that some cases of fibromyalgia begin with an attack of the Epstein Barr virus which is the virus that causes mononucleosis. The key question is this: Is the virus a direct or indirect cause. The author is aware of a case of fibromyalgia following mononucleosis. In the clinical history, it became clear that having the virus was very frightful to the patient and they had a big emotional reaction to being ill at the time. The virus also causes exhaustion. Perhaps the development of fibromyalgia following EBV infection is an indirect effect due to fear and sleep disruption.

A study by Rea et al. of 150 patients with acute mononucleosis found that it was common for them to have fibromyalgia tender points. Generally, these tender points improved over a 6-month period. (A prospective study of tender points and fibromyalgia during and after an acute viral infection. Rea T1, Russo J, Katon W, Ashley RL, Buchwald D. Arch Intern Med. 1999 Apr 26;159(8):865-70.

[Author’s comment: Fatigue is a major problem in acute mononucleosis. It is also stressful to have infections. A reasonable hypothesis is that the combination of poor sleep and stress causes for some of these patients with “mono” to get a transient form of fibromyalgia that is “superimposed” on it.]

Further information on psychological theories of fibromyalgia[edit]

For an example of a psychological theory of fibromyalgia, see the entry Psychogenic Rheumatism.

For more toxin theories see: http://paradigmchange.me/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/M.E.-and-Medical-Abnormalities.pdf.