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Marina reveals chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis

‘It’s hard to maintain optimism when the world feels like it’s moving on without you, but hope always exists’

By Hollie Geraghty

Marina Diamandis performs live in 2022
Marina Diamandis performs live in 2022 (Picture: Wikimedia Creative Commons/ Justin Higuchi)

Marina Diamandis has opened up about her recent health struggles, revealing that she’s been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.

The singer – who previously performed under her stage name Marina and the Diamonds, but now goes by the mononym Marina – said she had suffered with symptoms and felt “poisoned” for a long time in a social media update shared with fans last week.

The singer was diagnosed with the condition, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), after seven years of health issues.

“I’ve had symptoms like deep fatigue, numbness, tingling, low appetite, brain fog, rashes, insomnia and a feeling of being ‘poisoned’ for so long it’s been hard to remember what healthy feels like,” she began her post.

“My baseline energy has been at 50 – 60% for a long time. Aside from a few periods of remission, the last 7 years have consisted of relying on adrenaline and will power to push me through each day.⁣”

The singer explained that her recovery started two months ago “after an unusually bad flare up that involved shooting pains and burning sensations in my hands, legs and back”. She continued: “After seeing countless doctors, I started working with a functional medicine practitioner to find the root cause of the symptom.”

Marina went on to explain that “after a lot of research” she realised her symptoms were a result of a hypersensitive nervous system, developed in response to chronic stress. ⁣

“My body has felt stuck in ‘fight or flight’ mode and there were many warning signs it gave me before the worst symptoms set in,” she continued.

She said that after retraining the nervous system to regulate itself, she is now “feeling better today than I have in a long time”, and that her energy levels are around 65 – 70 percent most days and that dips have been shorter.

She went on: “Healing is demanding a lot of my energy and attention right now, but the better I feel, the sooner I can get back to my creative life again. I worked for the first time in a while yesterday and it felt so good.

“I am very grateful for the lessons this experience has given me and I KNOW it’s going to change my life for the better! I feel like I have been given the opportunity to rebuild my life from scratch, exactly how I want it to be.”

The singer concluded by sharing that her experience had “cultivated a deeper empathy for the millions of people who live silently with chronic illness”, adding that it’s hard to maintain optimism when “the world feels like it’s moving on without you, but hope always exists”.

“Answers always exist. The body wants to heal — and what I’ve learned is that you have to work with it, not against it.⁣”

Marina’s most recent album, Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land, came out in 2021, and her last live show was in November.

Among those to show support for the artist in her Instagram comments were Nelly Furtado, Empress Of and Glüme, the latter having recently told Rolling Stone UK about her own struggles with chronic illness as a touring musician.