Originally post to CFS newsgroup ..... your opinion required
nickf at nickf.demon.co.uk
Thu May 3 07:41:30 EST 2001
I'm now 39 and I suspect I've had CFS since my early 20's, for reasons I
really need to bounce off you guys. Since my early 20's, I've found that
when I get a cold or flu I suffer the usual accompanying physical and
mental malaise. BUT more intriguingly, there is marked remission from
Yes, there are the 'blues' and grumpiness that comes with feverishness - but
thinking is much clearer, there is no distracting 'mental noise' and
thoughts are much more concrete.
Because thinking is so much more crystalline, there is no difficulty in
expressing thoughts. As a consequence, I'm more switched-on/awake - and
consequently, more confident and sociable. No longer prey to the frustration
that results from brainfog, I'm a much more agreeable individual - and for a
fact, better company.
There is a marked diminishment of anxiety, which seems to free up a more
objective view of things and there is more 'mental energy' on tap - with a
corresponding increase in general mental output.
In short, it's a period of qualitative improvement in mental life (despite
the characteristic 'bluesiness' and associated physical malaise).
I've done some searching on the net and indeed, consulted my GP (to no
There is a field of research called Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) in which
AIDS and cancer research figure largely. However, despite the considerable
work which has been done investigating the effects of the mind on the immune
system, there is little on the reverse. It is noted by the field that the
CNS-immune system pathway is bi-directional and a certain Raz Yirmi (Israel)
has done work demonstrating the beneficial effects of fever on depression.
There is other, much earlier work of a similar nature in this area, and more
recent work has been done by Joachim Bauer (Freiburg Uni., Germany) whose
study was featured in a NewScientist article a few years back. The same
article prefaced the report with some observations made in Ancient Greek
times of the remission from symptoms of schizophrenia in patients suffering
fever - and one physician quoted as saying 'give me the power to provoke
fever and I'll cure anything'.
How CFS figures in the equation is difficult to say and whether this
phenomenon more generally, plays a pivotal role in the determination of the
relative social competencies of animals living in hierarchical society
(what, humans ?) remains the subject of a more conjectural kind of debate.
Food for some thought, I hope.
Your comments are valued.
Cheers for now.
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