Gwynn Dujardin Profile picture
Jan 16, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
The selling of quick solutions is of a piece with disbelief in the medical (and general) community. Indeed, the fact that we use language such as "believe," the language of faith, speaks to more than the invisibility of the disease on our bodies & on conventional empirical tests.
There is a deeper aversion at work, which is facilitated by the word "fatigue," which people perceive as a transient state. "Fatigue" is something to be overcome, and our individualistic society cannot brook the idea that someone cannot master it w/o some flaw in our character.
But at some level I think people really *do get it: who hasn't had the nightmare of being unable to move in the face of a threat? These are *primal anxieties. I believe these deep-seated fears lie behind both medical/popular skepticism & the initiative to sell quick fixes.
People don't want the disease to go away for us; they want it to go away for *them. It's why so many of us lose our friends; not because they think we're lazy malingerers (they know us better), but b/c they have to, as @meghanor puts it, look away.
This is why it's so vital that as many people as possible see @Unrest, which does the job of offering testimony for all of us, to frustrate that impulse to personalize and limit the experience to one individual you can turn away from.
The language of faith - whether a doctor "believes in #mecfs"; an absurd proposition -speaks to the ways people don't *want to believe that this nightmare could come true, that it could happen to them. There are incentives to keep it in the realm of belief & not empirical fact.
And also to delimit what is a systemic neuroimmune disease as simply fatigue (which in Western sociotheology can always be overcome). Besides exposing you to the lived reality of the illness, #UnrestFilm shows the gendered factors that have long contributed to its neglect.

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