1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Phoenix Rising Adds Two New Board Members
Mark Berry introduces the new President of Phoenix Rising, Dr. Gary Solomon, and welcomes Professor Jonathan Edwards to the Phoenix Rising Board of Directors.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Authors of Our Own Misfortune: The Problems with Psychogenic Explanations for Physical Illnesses

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by Ian McLachlan, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

    Messages:
    5,824
    Likes:
    5,982
    Cornwall England
    Have you read it Adam? ;)
     
  2. Adamskitutu

    Adamskitutu *****

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    58
    Noooooo! :eek:
     
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,725
    Likes:
    12,641
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Angela Kennedy does not always say thing people expect, and does not always agree with "conventional" wisdom on ME matters. That doesn't make her wrong. It also doesn't mean she is right. I will formulate my opinion after I read her book, not before. Whatever that is I will blog about here. I find her arguments typically very rational. Some seem to object to her because she is passionate - she is one of those who is in a position to be an effective advocate. She has seen some of the very worst of what the UK can do.

    In my opinion most of the differences people have with AK stem from politics and standpoint. I can only guess at what is in her book. My interest in it may be more than the average because I am writing a book on the same topic - that makes me interested, not convinced. For example, I am writing a blog on Skewed by Walker, and I find it very interesting. In particular it recounts historical events and milestones I was not even aware of. However it also makes lots of presumptions about motivations about things. Such motivations cannot be proved, they can only be shown to be consistent with the facts. Motivations are slippery things: I prefer to avoid them. I like to look at outcomes and processes instead.

    Bye, Alex
     
    currer and jace like this.
  4. Ian McLachlan

    Ian McLachlan

    Messages:
    26
    Likes:
    32
    Angela Kennedy also writes from the position of being a carer for her daughter who has ME. So can relate to aspects she writes about.
     
  5. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,579
    Likes:
    974
    As much as I don't care for Angela's style of writing or her views, she does deserve some recognition for writing a book and for that I congratulate her. How many of us could do the same? I'm lucky if I can even write a coherent post.

    I don't think anyone here is saying she shouldn't have published.


    That being said, can we have a separate post for Fifty Shades of Gray? I haven't laughed so much in a long time. Is there a humor thread in the community forum? I need to go look as I often forget that there are forums south of the XMRV forum.

    Barb C.:>)
     
  6. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

    Messages:
    5,837
    Likes:
    4,732
    Ontario, Canada
    This thread had undergone a significant amount of moderation.

    This thread was started to let people know about a book written by Angela Kennedy. One of our forum rules is the 'No Dumping' rule:

    This rule was breached throughout the thread. If you read the book and hate it, it would be fair to criticize the book to say why you hated it. If you read the book and love it, it would fair to post about that too. It is unfair to criticize the personal qualities of the writer of the book in a negative manner and destructive manner.

    We have also removed some off-topic comments that had nothing to do with the content of this thread.

    I will not contact members whose posts I have edited/deleted. If you have any questions, you can contact me via Conversation.

    Hopefully, when somebody has actually read the book, they will return to this thread and give some constructive criticism related to the content.
     
  7. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes:
    4,944
    As with other ME/CFS-related literature, I care more about the content than the publisher. I think IVI's points about self-publication (some of which may have now been moderated?) are more relevant for textbooks and perhaps certain research papers, rather than critical commentary, in this case on "psychogenic explanations for physical illnesses".

    There is a currently a dearth of ME/CFS-specific critique on psycho>somatic hypotheses, the biopsychosocial paradigm, the cognitive behavioural model, the role of psychological and social factors, et cetera. A number of people are working on such projects themselves, but are years away from completion. Nor do I expect to see authoritative books from respected publishers covering this subject anytime soon either.

    I hope Kennedy's new book helps to fill the gap. I do not expect any book to single-handedly revolutionize the field, but contribute to the big uphill climb we have. No matter what people think about social sciences in general, psychogenic explanations for physical illnesses is not just a medico-scientific issue but is also very much a social phenomenon with a long and colourful history. As a social sciences lecturer with an academic and personal interest in the issues involving ME/CFS, Kennedy should have some important perspectives and points to bring to the table.

    I generally agree with Alex's post (#23), so I do not need to repeat the specific points he made. I will however repeat a few points made on other threads. People have been fighting psychobabble since the 19th century. When one wave of psychobabble gets discredited, a new wave erupts. Often there are multiple waves. Some people in the ME&CFS communities think it is a complete waste of time even bothering to deal with it because emphasis on biomedical research is the sole answer. However, some of us disagree with that assessment and think it is also of fundamental importance to deal with psychobabble because it will keep coming at us irrespective of organic pathologies found.

    Just to clarify, there is nothing wrong with genuine well-conducted research into psychological and social aspects of illness. It is the diversion of funding, the implications of flawed research, the dubious interpretations, and the questionable ideologies; these are the problems which stifle progress and prolong suffering.
     
    Valentijn, Bob, alex3619 and 4 others like this.
  8. currer

    currer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    Likes:
    774
    I thoroughly agree with biophile's post.

    Why are people put out because one of our number is capable of getting a book published?

    If the medical profession is incapable of protecting patients and policing itself against the fantasies of psychiatric pseudoscience then that responsibility has to be shouldered by others.

    There have been repeated scandals in medicine because of the ease with which a psychaitric theory can be constructed to "prove" any and everything. It is the responsibility of medicine to protect patients against such irresponsible theorymongering.

    It is a scandal that the current medical establishment has abrogated its responsibility in this matter..
     
    justinreilly, Bob and biophile like this.
  9. currer

    currer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    Likes:
    774
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Cotton_(doctor)

    Henry Cotton was a psychiatrist who believed that the cause of psychosis lay in bacterial infection. He pulled out his patients teeth, so that they could not eat, and when that failed to cure them removed their colons. His death rates were 30-45% among those he treated.
    He operated on his mentally ill patients despite their fear and protests.
    He was never stopped and continued with his treatments until his death.
    He was protected by his psychiatric peers.

    This is an example of the uncritical thinking that goes on in psychiatry. A bit old, but not irrelevant, I think. The disproportion in power between the psychiatrist and the patient, and the disregard for the rights of the sick, is familiar.

    Henry Andrews Cotton, MD (1876 – May 1933) was an American psychiatrist and the medical director of New Jersey State Hospital at Trenton (between 1907 and 1930. He embraced the concept of scientific medicine which included a belief that insanity was the result of untreated infections in the body.
    Cotton began to implement the emerging medical theory of infection-based psychological disorders by pulling patients' teeth, as they were suspected of harboring infections. If this failed to cure a patient, he sought sources of infection in tonsils and sinuses and often a tonsillectomy was recommended as additional treatment. If a cure was not achieved after these procedures, other organs were suspected of harboring infection. Testicles, ovaries, gall bladders, stomachs, spleens, cervixes, and especially colons were suspected as the focus of infection and removed surgically

    He reported wonderful success with his procedures, with cure rates of 85%; brought him a great deal of attention, and worldwide praise. He was honored at medical institutions and associations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

    However on investigation.....
    "......From the outset, Greenacre's reports were critical, with regard to both the hospital, which she felt was as unwholesome as the typical asylum, and Cotton, whom she found "singularly peculiar". She realized that the appearance and behavior of almost all of the psychotic patients was disturbing to her because their teeth had been removed, making it difficult for them to eat or speak. Further reports cast serious doubt on Cotton's reported results; she found the staff records to be chaotic and the data to be internally contradictory. In 1925 criticism of the hospital reached the New Jersey State Senate, which launched an investigation with testimony from unhappy former patients and employees of the hospital."

    Countering the criticism, the trustees of the hospital confirmed their confidence in the staff and director, and presented extensive professional praise of the hospital and the procedures followed under the direction of Cotton, whom they considered a pioneer.
     
  10. currer

    currer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    Likes:
    774
    Soon Cotton opened a private hospital in Trenton which did a hugely lucrative business treating mentally ill members of rich families seeking the most modern treatments for their conditions.

    Admitting a shared belief in the possibility that focal sepsis might be the source of mental illness, Meyer never pressed his protégé to confront the scientific analysis of the erroneous statistics the hospital staff provided to Cotton, his silence guaranteeing continuance of the practices.

    Later Cotton would occasionally admit to death rates as high as 30% in his published papers. It appears that the true death rates were closer to 45% and that Cotton never fully recognized the errors his staff made in analyzing his work.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Cotton_(doctor)
     
  11. currer

    currer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    Likes:
    774
    http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=11866
    Scull adds that his long-suppressed story "demonstrates the vulnerability of the mentally ill to victimization and the hollowness of professionals' claims to police themselves" (p. 277).

    The context for Cotton's reign of terror was the uncertain state of scientific medicine in the early twentieth century, when the implications (and more especially the limits) of germ theory were not fully appreciated, and when the prestige of medicine was based largely on advances in surgery.

    He came onto the scene at a time when American psychiatrists were anxious to prove their own scientific credentials, and this meant a resolutely physicalist (and, in operational terms, often surgical) approach to diagnosis and treatment.

    Adolf Meyer, head of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins and Cotton's lifelong patron, took it for granted that mental conditions had somatic origins, and that it was the task of mental hospitals to study this connection and treat it by physical interventions.

    The approach was consistent with the contemporary status of surgery and in the tradition of Isaac Baker Brown, who in the 1860s had famously sought to cure mental problems such as hysteria and epilepsy in women by means of clitoridectomy; it was also consistent with the less famous example of Peter Charles Remondino, who claimed to have cured insanity and blindness in men by means of circumcision.[1]
     
    alex3619 likes this.
  12. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,150
    Likes:
    1,720
    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    Currer
    wonderful, ugh!

    *Silverblade portrays this as a fairground barker*

    "The wonders of psychiatry, we will cure you by lopping your dick or clitoris right off!
    Stop that mucky self abuse and sexual lusts that drive you to madness!
    Who needs such, especially women?
    See the wonders of modern psychosurgery in action, folks!
    Roll up, roll up! surgery starts in half an hour!
    *A question is asked by audience*
    Why no sir! this isn't the same as those backward practices of genital mutilation as practiced by heathens in Africa!
    Not at all, this is SCIENCE!"

    Yes indeedy!!! :rolleyes: :thumbdown:

    as I keep saying it seems ot me waaay too much of this is really religious hysteria by the psychiatrists!
    If their system was so great, why didn't they start dick-lopping themselves?
    The new award for psychiatry: the Golden Shears of Lingam Lopping! :alien:
     
  13. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,725
    Likes:
    12,641
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Currer, essentially the same thing was said in the book I revewed on The Fall of the Biopsychosocial Model, a large section was on these abuses. This is in conjunction with other horrors. The history of psychiatric intervention is a history of horror and abuse. It looks likely we are kidding ourselves if we think things have improved. Medicine seems never to learn. Nobody steps in to stop these kinds of things. Some special interest group gets involved and protects the practitioners who have crossed the line. I think psychiatry should not be covered by the same protections as regular medicine, so they can be challenged and shut down more effectively when they go off the deep end into the abyss.

    To SilverbladeTE, one of the themes that has been developed to explain Freudian psychoanalytic thinking is that its a cult. Many descriptions of Freudian history and practice are written at though it is religious doctrine. Modern psychiatry has not fully shaken free of that. At some point I might write a blog on this, but not this year.

    Bye, Alex
     
    currer and Enid like this.
  14. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,150
    Likes:
    1,720
    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    Alex
    sensibility such as yours (and kindess, fun etc of may folk of course), helps prevent me descending into mysanthropy! ;)
    Keep up the good work :)
     
    currer likes this.
  15. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes:
    2,876
    Scotland
    :) Melanie Safka debunks Freud.

     
  16. currer

    currer Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    Likes:
    774
    Absolutely, Alex, I couldn't agree with you more.

    Psychiatry needs to be actively regulated separately from other medical specialties.
    I cant imagine that bringing this about would be easy, but I also believe it to be necessary.

    Psychiatry is frequently used by all states for political ends to silence inconvenient minorities.

    Perhaps some legal challenge to the status of psychiatry under the Human Rights Legislation?
     
  17. Bob

    Bob

    Messages:
    8,913
    Likes:
    12,611
    South of England
  18. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

    Messages:
    2,490
    Likes:
    1,175
    NYC (& RI)
    I like Angela and think she is very helpful to people with ME. the threads been moderated so I don't know exactly what anyone thought was negative about the book other than it not being put out by a well regarded publisher. Im very happy the book finally came out and it sounds really good. I can't imagine why anyone would have a problem with it. Hopefully I can get it soon, got so much else going on (mostly lying in bed!). I wish there were an e book version.

    in any event, a big thanks to Angela!!
     
  19. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,725
    Likes:
    12,641
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Hi justinreily, I think an ebook version is planned. My copy has still not arrived because I bought a bunch of stuff together and one item (a similar book by another author) is still not available, so Amazon has not posted any of it to me.

    I am currently trying out an alternative to Amazon called Fishpond, which is in Australia. Due to a zero postage fee rule inside Australia (unless you get priority postage) its cheaper and faster than Amazon from here, or at least appears to be. I have ordered yet more books from Fishpond on related matters, including this:

    http://onlinejournalismblog.com/2010/04/08/review-heather-brooke-the-silent-state/
     
    justinreilly likes this.
  20. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,725
    Likes:
    12,641
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    I got my copy of Angela's book a day and a half ago. I am reading it very slowly. Its not that its hard to read, its not, its that its information dense. It really is written as an academic treatise on the topic. So far the issues raised are ones I expected to see, and being a lecturer in sociology she is very thorough in covering the topics.

    I find this book both rewarding and annoying, so far anyway. By annoying, I mean that in a good way. Its rewarding to me because I am writing from a similar position to her, and the material in this book might help me reduce the time it will take to write my book by several years. Its annoying because the additional material might mean it takes me several more years to write my book. This is not light reading, though the reading style is very readable.

    I suspect, but still reserve my final judgement, that I will be recommending this book to every ME and CFS advocate, and also advocates for every other "psychosomatic" illness.

    Bye, Alex
     

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page