This morning, a friend on facebook passed the sad word that a member of a small facebook CFS group had committed suicide. The friend was confined to a wheel chair when we first contacted and is now out of the wheel chair, walking, cleaning house, visiting family as a result of using the model that I advocate. She is not in full remission but have come a very long way since we first contacted.
This post will look at the suicide risk for CFS. The best medicine for this risk is hope and reduction of symptoms — which is the goal of this blog.
Mortality in Patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Cause of death Overall US population
All Cause 73.5 55.9 cardiovascular-related 77.7 58.8 suicide 47.4 41.3 cancer 71.1 66.3
Suicide risk in people with chronic fatigue syndrome 
- In England: 10.7 per 100,000
- CFS: 100 per 100,000
- Mortality of people with chronic fatigue syndrome: a retrospective cohort study in England and Wales from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Biomedical Research Centre (SLaM BRC) Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) Register . “There was a significant increase in suicide-specific mortality (SMR 6·85, 95% CI 2·22-15·98; p=0·002).”
- Evidence supporting a link between dental amalgams and chronic illness, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and suicide .
- Suicidal ideation in patients with fibromyalgia: a cross-sectional study . “48% reported suicidal ideation:”
- Causes of death among patients with chronic fatigue syndrome . ” The mean age of those who died from cancer and suicide was 47.8 and 39.3 years, respectively, which is considerably younger than those who died from cancer and suicide in the general population.”
Increased risk of a suicide event in patients with primary fibromyalgia and in fibromyalgia patients with concomitant comorbidities: A nationwide population-based cohort study .
- “in patients with fibromyalgia (4.16 per 10 person-years) and 424 in matched reference subjects (2.63 per 10 person-years)”
- “fibromyalgia patients with comorbidity led to a markedly enhanced risk of a suicide event relative to the matched reference subjects, with adjusted HRs ranging from 1.51 to 8.23.” -i.e. 8.23 times more likely
- Suicide risk in patients with migraine and comorbid fibromyalgia. “Suicidal ideation and attempts were reported in 27.3% and 6.9% of patients with migraine, respectively, and were higher in patients with comorbid FM than in those without (ideation: 58.3% vs 24%; attempt: 17.6% vs 5.7%; p < 0.001).” i.e. FM with migraine had 18% attempting suicide!
- Suicidal ideation and the risk of suicide in patients with fibromyalgia: a comparison with non-pain controls and patients suffering from low-back pain . “The likelihood for suicidal ideation and the risk of suicide were higher among patients with fibromyalgia (odds ratios of 26.9 and 48.0, respectively) than in patients with low-back pain (odds ratios 4.6 and 4.7, respectively).”
- Suicidality in chronic pain: predictors of suicidal ideation in fibromyalgia . “The prevalence of suicidal ideation among FM patients was 32.5%.”
- Suicidal ideation in patients with fibromyalgia: a cross-sectional study . “The sample comprised 373 patients of whom one hundred and seventy-nine (48%) reported suicidal ideation: 148 (39.7%) reported passive suicidal ideation and 31 (8.3%) active suicidal ideation.”
- Suicide attempts and risk of suicide in patients with fibromyalgia: a survey in Spanish patients . “Thirty (16.7%) of them reported one to three previous suicide attempts…FM is associated with an increased risk of suicide and suicide attempts. Suicidal behaviour seems to be related with the global severity of the disease.”
- Mortality in fibromyalgia: a study of 8,186 patients over thirty-five years . “Mortality does not appear to be increased in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but the risk of death from suicide and accidents was increased.”
- Mortality in a cohort of Danish patients with fibromyalgia: increased frequency of suicide .
- [Is there an association between fibromyalgia and an increase in comorbidity: neoplastic and cardiovascular diseases, infections and mortality?] . “Patients with chronic generalized pain may have an increased risk of developing cancer. FM may also carry an increased risk of accidental death and death from cancer.”
Hope is the best cure for a tendency towards suicide. I have seen the general pattern for people that go into remission is to disassociate themselves from the CFS/FM community — which is very understandable. CFS/FM is a bad, traumatic experience and “best forgotten”. There is the story of the 10 lepers (Luke 17:11-19), Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” which states the reality of the human condition.
I am the one that stayed.. have faith. I get a continuous stream of reports from people who use my model to experiment with suggestions that have gotten major improvement — from wheel chair bound to walking to the beach!
If you return to normal life, please, please — send my your story so I can at least share it to give hope to your fellow suffers! Or post it as a comment on this story!