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There are many theories about Nightingale’s chronic illness, which caused her to be an invalid for most of her adult life. Many people have interpreted this as hypochondriacal, something of a melodrama of the Victorian times. Nightingale was rich and could take to her bed. She became ill during the Crimean War in May 1855 and was diagnosed with a severe case of Crimean fever. Today Crimean fever is recognized as Mediterranean fever and is categorized as brucellosis. She developed spondylitis, or inflammation of the spine. For the next 34 years, she managed to continue her writing and advocacy, often predicting her imminent death. Others have claimed that Nightingale suffered from bipolar disorder, causing her to experience long periods of depression alternating with remarkable bursts of productivity. Read about the various theories of her chronic disabling condition and reflect on your own conclusions about her mysterious illness.
Answer the following question:
With supporting evidence, what are your conclusions about Nightingale’s health condition?