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Should Morgan Freeman Speak Out About Fibromyalgia?

morgan-freeman-fibromyalgia

People with FM fall into a wide range of functioning abilities.  Freeman appears to be fairly high-functioning since he continues to work and play golf.  The article did note, however, that he has had to give up several activities that he loved.  On the other hand, some people with FM are completely disabled, unable to handle even basic self-care tasks.  The rest of us fall somewhere in between.  While Freeman’s activity level should not preclude him from representing people with FM, I would hope that part of his message would be to describe just how debilitating FM can be and to explain that different patients have different levels of disability.

As a man, he is not representative of the average FM patient.

Frankly, I think the fact that he is a man with FM is a positive thing.  Whether we like it or not, when it comes to health issues, men are still given more credibility than women.  Studies have shown that health care professionals are more likely to take a man’s symptoms seriously, but attribute a woman’s symptoms to emotional causes.  Although the acceptance of FM has come a long way in recent years, there are still some people, including some medical professionals, who don’t believe it is real.  Therefore, having a well-known and highly respected man like Morgan Freeman speak out about FM might help improve our credibility among the doubters.

It’s a Personal Matter

Given the repeated urgings to step up and be a spokesperson for fibromyalgia, I sometimes wonder if Freeman wishes he had never mentioned it.  He probably never dreamed uttering that one word in the middle of a multi-hour interview would ever garner so much attention.

In our enthusiasm to have a prominent celebrity like Morgan Freeman speak out on our behalf, I think we need to keep in mind how doing so could impact his life.  Years ago celebrities did everything in their power to keep any health problems secret because revealing an illness could ruin their careers.  Although Hollywood seems to be a little more accepting these days, I suspect there is still some hesitation about casting an actor who has a known health issue.  And even if his career is not a major concern, Freeman strikes me as the kind of man who prefers not to dwell on his pain and what he can’t do but rather to push ahead and focus on what he can do.

Yes, it would be wonderful if Morgan Freeman would decide to become an advocate for fibromyalgia.  The entire FM community would welcome him with open arms.  His support could do wonders for increasing awareness and raising money for research.  But ultimately it’s a personal decision – each of us has to decide what is best for our lives at any given point in time.  While I hope he’ll choose to use his celebrity to help others with FM, I’ll respect his decision either way.

Read also:

I’m Faking Being Sick or Actually Faking Being Well?

Tell us your views in comments below…

Source: By Karen Lee Richards retrieved from ProHealth.com

7 Comments

  1. R.Freeman would make a wonderful spokesman. Especially as there6and are men in areas of the world that the Doctors tell the male patients that men don’t get fibromyalgia only women, it’s only in the men’s brain they’re being lazy, get out of bed, get up, get a job, go to school.
    On the flip side if the choose a woman to be a co-spokesperson, it would be nice to have some one that has been dealing with this illness 15-2 years,

  2. Yes, and I think he could reach out to those of us who are unfunctionable, mentally, and physically, and even fighting for disability, so he can see how we live and deal with life, on a daily basis.
    From an A personality, to this. Such a different life.
    I’ve always admired him, his strength.
    Vicky

  3. Yes.. I do think he should speak out.. He’s a well respected famous actor who could help put Fibromyalgia on the map and hopefully bring some leverage and weight to the condition that affects thousands of people every day.. Maybe it would subdue or reduce the number of doubters out there! Come on Morgan! Speak up!

  4. I losted the use in my right arm for kneely a year and this was way before i got told i had fibromyalgia
    and no one in years could tell me why i losted the use of my arm i cant still use it much even now it took me over 10 years to be told i had fibromyalgia i had to jump throw hoops to even get told i had it then when i did get told i have it i was told to lean to live with it and get on the best i can to live with it so i understand why there are so many ppl out there when dr don’t even wish to tell it’s out there and so manny ppl are having to live in pain each and every day of their life and being treated as fakes some days it takes a lot just to get out of bed and start the day let alone do a job so my hat off to Morgan Freeman who is doing what is best for himself he is the only one that know how much he can push himself the same as anyone of us that have fibromyalgia