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Graham McPhee spells out some of the cold, hard facts about the dismal state of ME research and politics, and has some suggestions as to what we can do about it ...
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"Childhood Physical Abuse Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by LJS, May 17, 2011.

  1. LJS

    LJS Insert Witty Comment Here

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    It is crap like this holding back real research on CFS. This is so bad it would be comical if we were not the ones who are on the losing end. I am really surprised this type of garbage is still being published on CFS and fibromyalgia, this is not the 1980's. The first few sentences of this article alone does untold damage to CFS for someone who is not familiar with the illness.
    To add insult to injury they call CFS a "functional somatic syndrome".

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516121732.htm
     
  2. floydguy

    floydguy Senior Member

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    Nothing like getting public money for business development efforts...
     
  3. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Can't recall childhood abuse - am I the one who got away !. Can't credit this to a science paper of any standing whatsoever and nothing to do with ME/CCFS.
     
  4. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    I wonder if they define childhood physical abuse. Would a person who's sick and hurting be more likely to report it?
     
  5. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Here they go again. I believe almost every illness that women suffer from has been "linked" to childhood abuse.
    If you look at the article, to the right of it they mention three other illnesses "linked" to child abuse - migraines, depression and cancer.

    This "study" was performed by a social worker and found that from the 7,342 people looked at, 10% complained about childhood abuse and 1.3% were diagnosed with CFS????????????????who were the other 98.7% in the study?
     
  6. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    This is a valid point. There is a known psychological phenomenon (recall bias) where, if you interview say people who are sick (with anything but particularly serious illnesses), they are more likely to try to examine their life backwards, sideways, and upside-down to see what they can connect it to so that it makes rational sense in their minds. There were some studies in the past looking at childhood cancers where they asked parents about what exposures their children had had. They found that the parents of sick kids were much more likely to recall things like "we lived close to a chemical factory" than parents of non-sick kids even if the latter group did in fact live close (or even closer) to a chemical factory.
     
  7. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    I was wondering something. I can't remember what it is called when a hypothesis is missing something before the conclusion. I read somewhere that as a result of sexual abuse, women who are abused often become more promiscuous as teenagers and young adults. If what causes cfs and/or fms can be passed sexually (XMRV or HTLV) then could this be the reason they are seeing a connection between childhood abuse and CFS or FMS? Or are they just completely full of s#@t.
     
  8. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    I think when people try to link different factors to a conclusion, they need to examine each connection skeptically and question all assumptions. For example, if that was your (not you personally) hypothesis, then rather than just looking at childhood sexual abuse, you need to ask the abused victims if, in fact, they are more promiscuous and then see if their offspring or contacts had CFS/ FM/ XMRV, etc. This point in was sorta looked at by researchers who looked at XMRV in HIV positive patients (3 studies I believe) but did not find XMRV presence. [Not gonna argue how good or not their test is on this thread.] One of the thoughts behind their look was that HIV positive persons might be more sexually promiscuous and thus, if XMRV is sexually transmitted, they might find it in this group.

    In any case, there's a saying, "when we assume, it makes an "ass" out of you and me."
     
  9. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi, we also have to be careful about definitions of "abuse". In my own childhood I was always tired for no good reason, starting about half way through primary school. This was always attributed to me pretending, so I was under severe pressure to conform. This is social abuse in a CFS context, but the abuse was after I became sick, not before. ME/CFS "fatigue" is under severe social inhibition, so we tend to become quiet about it and take it, which reinforces the abuse even more. Bye, Alex
     
  10. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    Population surveys are not unbiased - they overselect for people who like answering questions over the phone for example.

    By the way, 1.3% of 7,342 = ~95. 2.11 x 1.3% x 749 = ~20 and 1.3% x 749 = ~10. So the difference due to the 'risk' from the abuse is just 10 women. The lower bound of the 95% CI is 1.22, which would be a difference of just 1.6 women (or 24.7 women for the upper bound of 3.65). Is this result merely due to the lack of specificity of the CFS diagnosis or other confounding variables? Quite possibly (but I don't have access to the full article, so my analysis ends here).
     
  11. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    the quote is from the article.

    It could well be true.. maybe that statement is even likely to be true as stress is a well known trigger for ME/CFS crashes. (I myself did have a lot of abuse in my childhood.. school bullying in which I was bashed, had my head held under water etc etc, tormented, a class mate tried to rape me etc etc I was at risk of a bashing daily and actually in fear for my life, so had a extremely stressful one, along with some major home stressors).

    Thing is they do need to stop this bullshit they are doing by making this illness sound like its a psychological one. It is a well known fact that stress can do bad things to us immune wise and lead to stuff like cancer and other illnesses. Those who are doing these studies are being so closed minded and stupid by not adding the various reasons why they may be getting this finding.

    or Maybe the affects of cortisol or something and what it does to the adrenals.. end up helping lead to our illness. Stress also causes us to use more of some vitamins etc eg B

    They so need to start getting their acts together and look at the reasons WHY!! stress can make us sicker or possibly be the trigger of some with ME/CFS in the first place and whether its cause we've become more susceptable to a virus due to it or whatever.

    This study is a nothing study except for the myths it will help to purportrate ("purportrate" I hope I have the right word and that exists)
     
  12. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

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    OMG, Tania. You have experienced a horrible tragedy. I'm so sorry. =-(

    I would like to have a poll on this, but what would it prove. Nothing.
    I agree with Tania. STRESS = more CFS
    but we know that CFS is not caused by stress only.
    We must have a genetic predisposition.
     
  13. lucy

    lucy Senior Member

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    Tania, sorry to hear you have suffered so much.

    I have experienced a several month lasting stress caused by my family member before getting ill, so I am in favor of the theory that stress can be one of the players to cause a an illness which unfortunately does not resolve even the person is not stressed anymore for months and years. And yes, there has to be a genetic predisposition, in my family case it is some weak expression for autoimmune diseases. Human body is created to survive stress, but most probably not a prolonged one, and the same results could be achieved by injecting test animals with all the hormones that our body produces in fight or flight response for a long time or tiring out the organs which produce the hormones by injecting some hormone annihilating chemicals.

    Turning back to the article, for this study to be of any scientific significance, they should show that it correlates more with CFS, Fm and MCS than other FSS and non-FSS diseases, for example, cancer. By the way, do Canada health care institutions really classify CFS, Fm and MCS as FSS?

    Even if a part of CFS, FB and MCS patients were abused in their young age (statistically it is impossible that there would not be any), the study does not provide any data (well, the abstract says this study implies an assessment of abuse) what should be done about it? Will the fact somehow lead to the cure? Did they cure anyone in this way, by pointing out they were abused? It is not helpful in any way unless they propose what to do with the people who were abused and prove this is beneficial to them.

    Or do they mean now we should use this data for our awareness campaigns: "Do not abuse your small children, they will have CFS or FM or MCS and be in a lot of pain when they grow up!!!". How effective that would be?

    I would recommend the authors (as they seem to lack the research ideas) to do a study about medical society abuse of CFS patients. Wouldn't it be interesting to compare patients who are taken seriously and get treated at least for symptoms and those who go through the marathon of changing from one ignorant general practitioner to another and try out GET? What is the impact of medical society attitudes for the wellbeing of patients? Specifically, what is the impact to the patient of calling a serious disabling illness a functional somatic syndrome? Are they more angry compared to other illnesses, if told the same?

    In general, I think in about 50 years the medicine will have to say goodbye many psychiatric concepts. Be sure your children will not study for any similar professions, because they will lose their jobs when being middle aged (assuming they are small now).

    I repost a full journal reference, so that when googled for this article/authors people also see this discussion.

    Esme Fuller-Thomson, Joanne Sulman, Sarah Brennenstuhl, Moeza Merchant. Functional Somatic Syndromes and Childhood Physical Abuse in Women: Data From a Representative Community-Based Sample. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 2011; 20 (4): 445 DOI: 10.1080/10926771.2011.566035
     
  14. Nielk

    Nielk

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    Lucy,

    Now that would be a study that I would like to see. How is the abuse by the medical community affecting the severity of our illness? That's great!
     
  15. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

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    You have many good points. =-)
    I think this is exactly what they want to show. ME is a psychiatric illness which needs psychotherapy.
    I don't think the psychiatry field is about to disappear anytime soon. ;-)
    Too many crazy people out there...
     
  16. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    I am no good with statistics, but i think there are a number of points i would consider. Firstly due to factors such as problems with memory recall and what others have pointed out about respondants"looking for reasons" for their illness i think thier study is round the wrong way. If they really believed there was a higher correlation between M.E/CFS FM and MCS and childhood abuse then why dont they start with women who have been abused in childhood and screen them for illness, this would probably give a better idea of a link.
    Personally i think its BS, but as someone else pointed out, its statistically impossible that no women with these conditions have suffered abuse. Especially when in the U.K we are looking at sexual abuse rates of approx 1 in 3 women. If you then add in physical abuse, violence, bullying, emotional tauma then you wouldnt have many people left who hadnt suffered.

    I have suffered from sexual and physically violent abuse, i was also adopted and have had emotional issues. Ive suffered postnatal depression 3 times. Does this make me more likely to have M.E? i dont think so i think it means i am a person living on this planet. There are many more people suffering mny times what i have who do not develop conditions such as M.E. We are designed to handle stress, many people survive wars and genocide and still lead full and productive lives, they dont become physically disabled because of it.

    I have a friend who believes M.E is a form of anxiety disorder, why then have i not got better physically now i have dealt with the anxiety? whilst others i know with mental health problems bounce back physically once the mental health problem is under control.
     
  17. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    thanks for this Justy. These are excellent objections. Ubiquity of both 'stress' and sexual and other forms of 'abuse' - espeically to women (a word which still would need defining); the tendency to attribute wrongly things on 'stress' (like the Down's Syndrome Babies mums who believed their babies were due to a 'shock' in pregnancy, before the chromosome was discovered); These are major confounders. that's even before we look at this being a data dredge with what look like small correlations at best. It's shocking- when we think of the hassle the WPI are getting for their tentative conclusions in their Science article- that these authors are getting away with such nonsense without challenge.
     
  18. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    "It's shocking- when we think of the hassle the WPI are getting for their tentative conclusions in their Science article- that these authors are getting away with such nonsense without challenge."

    Exactly Angela, i couldnt agree more.
     
  19. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    It really is!!

    The authors are sociologists. If you look up there other papers it's stuff like papers on African-American grandmothers raising children. How dare they come in with a half-baked study and start saying things like "functional somatic syndrome."
     
  20. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    This is an excellent point!

    I agree with those who say stress is probably a minor factor, but only a minor factor as is clear from the fact, as others say, that we don't see ME outbreaks in war-torn regions any more than anywhere else.

    Thanks to these study authors for subtracting from human knowledge!
     

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