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Never Ask Us if We're Hungry -- The Answer's Always No
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Blog article in Psychology Today

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by Kati, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    You guys, the sad fact is PT does NOT monitor its blogs and so blog postings are not representative of a shift in the magazine itself. The other sad fact is that the more you post, no matter how negative, the more successful a blog posting is seen because its all about page views and comments...so you could end up feeding a beast.

    Some years ago PT published an absolutely horrendous piece on CFS titled someting like, Is it All In Your Head? The piece was sloppy, inaccurate and enraging to many important people. I don't know why the editor in chief comissioned and ran that story as she's an intelligent gal.
  2. _Kim_

    _Kim_ Guest

    Thanks Koan, Mark, and islandfinn for sharing another perspective. The angry comment that I left on the blog was very "out of character" for me. I never would have been so critical of the article if he didn't have that mocking subtitle Does Your Doctor have CFS fatigue? That got my goat!

    Today I am in a much different place. I woke this morning to discover that my Valtrex-delayed period had come and recognized my exaggerated response last night was likely influenced by PMS.
  3. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    mea culpa?? no!

    Hi, comments from Koan and Islandfinn and others made me go read the piece again--I am one who left a decidedly negative comment. There is no doubt I was a bit aggressive, but I don't really feel apologetic--I like Mark's first paras--the whole thrust of the piece is towards simple minded sleep stuff--no day time naps (but some of us need those to survive!), no late caffeine (do any of us need to be told this?), "exercise in moderation" (wish I could!) etc.--this piece is classically bad stuff, and I don't think pointing that out does any harm--does it? Sugar or the stick--sugar produces fat and unhealthy babies; OK, beating kids doesn't help either... but this guy is writing as a professional rheumatologist, not as a layman--and does this piece demonstrate what any of us would accept as professional knowledge of the field he claims as his own?

    Whether being aggressive helps is another question--I maybe am content to express my views and let things take their course. Still unrepentent after a bit of reflection--but not very much. Best, Chris.
  4. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Very reasonable comments, everyone. And, I agree, it was a far from perfect blog. It just seems to me that less than 2 mo. ago we might have assessed this differently and seen it as a step into the light rather than a vile act. For anyone associated in any way with Psychology Today, it is a step into the light, I think.

    I just don't see what we gain by using an attack strategy in a case like this. Maybe he is somehow dastardly and not simply behind the times. Rheumatologists don't, to my knowledge, treat ME/CFS so I don't expect him to be up to date. The ground moved for us, but not for everyone else as is all too obvious from the non-reactions of our freinds, families and doctors.

    Kati, I posted a bit of my history with ME last night so that, in a discussion like this, people can know that I am all too aware of the things you mention and experienced most of them personally - the only one, of those you list, which I have not personally experienced is death. I really have been at this a long time. I know the cost, I really do. This is just my opinion but it is a considered and experienced one. Doesn't mean anyone has to agree with me, of course.

    Thank you all for expressing yourselves to me in such a reasonable way. Posting what I did left me feeling pretty anxious. It's just an opinion and I am aware I'm as likely to be wrong as the next person. I suppose, though, that I may be just as likely to have something to say which has some merit and I am grateful to you all for considering that.

    Peace out,
    Koan
  5. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Hey Kim,

    Re: the title, Does Your Doctor Have CFS Fatigue, it confused me at first. I didn't understand what the heck he meant by that.

    Then I figured out that he meant like "compassion fatigue" and I thought it was a pretty good title which put the onus on the doctor to deal with whatever they may be feeling and get with the program.

    Yes, unfortunately, his program was really out of date but at least he suggested that it was doctors who needed to deal with their issues and not us.

    In one of my old careers we dealt with the whole issue of "compassion fatigue" a lot and it is a very useful concept which does not blame the "victim".

    Ok, keeping the rest of my cents in my pocket.

    Peace out, Kim, have as good a day as you possibly can!
    Koan
  6. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    The thing is, it's just a blog posting and as I said, they let their bloggers post whatever they want and they like having many bloggers. Some are controversial, some post crap, some post interesting stuff. It has the PT imprimatur so that makes everyone see it as the equivalent of a PT article but it's not. Unlike other magazines they don't have the desire, money, inclination, time, whatever, to get a few really good bloggers, pay them, and treat the blogs like articles in that they get edited or overseen. They just let it all loose and hope to get page views and more subscriptions. It's a simple business model.

    And frankly I finally went to read the tiny article or blog posting and it looks to me like it was just a rush job. He probably read about.com or something. He didn't labor over it. He didn't mean much by it. He's a rheumatologist and they shouldn't treat CFS anyway, an immunologist and or neurologist should. It's really just a meaningless little blog entry that he probably thought few would read and he's probably shocked at all the replies. It's not a bad thing to rake him over the coals for his ignorance, but I don't think he intends malice or harm.

    I will say that they probably monitor page hits and comments and that they may get story ideas from that. So you never know. PT and the editor in chief were ultimately embarrassed by their bad CFS story but never wrote a good story on the infectious basis of "psychological" disorders. And they probably won't because they are now basically a woman's magazine. The seven steps to this, the six steps to that, how to stay in lust etc.
  7. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    last thoughts...

    Hi; I suspect the title was added by the editor, not the author; and did anyone else notice a side bar along the piece with a link to an excellent attack on the CDC's research on child abuse and CFS, which had been published in PT some months ago? In my paranoid mind, that opens such possibilities as a request from the CDC to PT for a balancing piece, or just a desire by the editor to placate a powerful organization.

    On another tack, I slept from 11 to 5 last night on virtually nothing (OK, .06 mg Clonazepam--not a misprint!)--my best sleep since this stuff began 3 years ago. I don't know if my comment will do the writer or editor any good, or even if one of them will read it (probably not), but it did me some little good, and that counts too! Best, Chris
  8. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    For the third time...

    Nobody believes me but I know the folks at this magazine. I'm telling you, they do not review and edit their bloggers. They don't have time nor money (to pay staff). And the CDC has not requested anything. You are making too much of this. They just have a lot of free bloggers and mostly, anything goes.
  9. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    I've revisited the article yet again, and one thing's for sure, the comments are a lot more well-informed than the article itself! So even though we may have over-reacted given the whole context of Psychology Today, and we may have contributed to raising the profile of the web page, I don't think we've done a bad thing here.

    By the way, it has occurred to me a few times that it would be incredibly easy for a web tech to work out where all the posts are coming from; they could find out the link we all use to jump to their page for instance, or they would probably find us using some smart googling. So it seemed like a good moment to point out, in case it's not obvious to all, that it's likely this forum is being watched by anybody involved in the debate who's on the ball (including the likes of Wessely). Not that I think there's anything particular to worry about from that, just that it's worth bearing in mind.
  10. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    I believe you jenbooks: so to qualify my previous post, Psychology Today won't know where the comments are coming from in that case. Still worth being aware that others can though.
  11. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Koan I have and will always have a lot of respect for you. I am also thankful to be able to voice my thoughts and opinions and know that not only they wil be respected, there will be someone to share wisdom and experience to add another dimension to the talk.

    Big hugs.
  12. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I think you all are being way too oversensitive. If someone posts a blog and turns the comments section on, they expect comments, good or bad. If someone writes incorrect information, they should be corrected. Conversely, if they write something good, they should be praised.

    I agree that comments should be done in a well thought out, professional style (no name calling, swear words, etc.).
  13. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Kati,
    Back atcha!
    Koan

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