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Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by HattieNC, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member

    Last week, my cousin posted on Facebook that her Fibromyalgia had been extremely bad this winter. She proceeded to detail how much pain she deals with on a daily basis. She's also suffered from Trigeminal neuralgia since her late 40's. In just a few minutes, she had 35 comments from people that said they too have Fibromyalgia and live in constant pain. These comments were all from friends and family that live in southern states. It's important to note this cousin is recently widowed, her brother died a few months ago, and she is a caregiver to her 90 year old mother.

    This exchange led me to ponder if southerners are more likely to have TMS. I've lived in the south my entire life. I adore the people, culture, food, accent, and slower pace of life. But, southerners seem to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing their "ailments." Even those in their 20's and 30's. The south has been dealt many economic blows and it's no secret we have an abundance of problems: poverty, lack of education, drug abuse... just to name a few. Historically, southerners have held tight to faith and family to get them through the hard times, but the demographics are changing rapidly. Now, fewer households attend religious services and families are scattered across the globe. I come from an extremely large extended family. I would estimate that 70% of those over the age of 30 have some sort of chronic pain issue. I'll admit, I'm cautious about discussing TMS with them. The few that I have, are not receptive at all. It's sad to me that so many of my loved ones are needlessly suffering.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Really interesting and tragic observation Hattie - and undoubtedly true. Anything which strikes at the core need for humans to feel both free and secure and for their lives to have meaning, is going to have this effect.

    I have seen more awareness in the last decade that the health professions are finally starting to recognize that chronic pain and compromised immune conditions are measurably higher amongst communities or populations which experience, for example, the lifelong effects of racism, among the many other forms of prejudice which human beings around the world promote. Which of course is a vicious cycle, no matter what country you're talking about, because these are the populations who receive the fewest resources to deal with health problems. The scope of the problem is overwhelming.
    HattieNC likes this.
  3. Kozas

    Kozas Well known member

    I'm from central europe, which was plagued by constant wars and communism so no fun times. Anyway, people here LOVES to complain, especially about their ailments, it's like national sport. I know that in America when somebody ask you "how do you do?" you should answer "fine" even if it's not fine, but in here you are expected to say something like "not good"(so not fine, but not catastrophic anyway). On the other side, there is this 'cult of work' as people are working really, really long hours. Which is weird considering how even those working those long hours are constantly complaining about their illnesses and pains. I think that it's subtle form of TMS - not present when people are not thinking about it(like in work) but active when person is not working. Which would also explain why people work here so hard - if work makes you feel better, it logical to work as long as you can. Until recently there was taboo here about mental health, and even now most people here don't want to hear about mental health/emotional repression etc so it's a sad state of affairs - instead of taking care of their emotional state, people are disctracting themselves using work(and alcohol sadly too :<). I would like to spread awareness about TMS where I live, but people thinks I'm wacko just by explaining what TMS is, and that's a real thing that many people suffers by
  4. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member


    Great insight into the correlation between pain/ stress /and a culture of extreme responsibility. Even though it's not funny, I had to chuckle when you said complaining in your country is a national sport. Yes, we southerners will say we are "fine" but in the next breath a litany of health complaints are exchanged. Of course, they are responded to with a cordial, "bless your heart."
  5. Kozas

    Kozas Well known member

    BTW funny thing is that when you say "southerners" I think about Greeks, Italians, or Portugese but I know that you are probably from USA, so you mean something more like Louisiana, Georgia, Texas etc. For me it's funny because even if we both use english words, they have different meaning for us, because our point of view. I only personally know few people from New Jersey, and they seemed rather relaxed, but it's too small group to draw any conclusions.
    Anyway, I long ago stopped discussing my pain with anyone, I discuss it only on this forum. I'm amazed now how people concentrate on bad sides of the life, even if they are pretty much healthy. I quess it's a habit, and in my home my mother was always catastrophizing, and complaining and everything always was wrong and just a step from real tragedy. No wonder I was like that before discovering meditation and TMS
    HattieNC likes this.
  6. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    The Italians are very fatalistic and neurotic...all sorts of crazy beliefs...."a hit of air" is their favorite expression because it can cause "cervicale"...apparently only Italians develop this mysterious neck/cervical condition from a breeze of wind lol. My husband is Italian and it's like being married to Woody Allen. My mom is Italian but she is the opposite...she's kind of an anomaly. I definitely think culture, superstitions and collective belief systems that have been passed down the generations play a role in chronic pain.
    Boston Redsox and HattieNC like this.

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