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"Chronic Fatigue and Personality: A Twin Study of Causal Pathways and Shared Liabilities" (incl CFS)

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Dolphin, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Yup - their egos seem to be an enormous problem. At least I met one - a Neurologist who had the humility to recognise he did not understand all his findings and would I find an ME specialist to whom he would release all his test findings.
    Snow Leopard likes this.
  2. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    Aside from discussions of illness, personality is generally thought to be a trait which is (after one grows up) relatively fixed.

    Then there is this odd though that illness is associated with personality or a change in personality (in some studies this change can be demonstrated [refs]).

    However the personality trait assessments were formulated for and normed in healthy persons. If you go around asking an ill person questions about whether is is concerned about not fitting in, and questions about whether others do more for them than they do for others, or whether they need to have specific routines or diets (or have a hard time with changes; I can't recall how the questions for OCD are worded)... it's entirely possible that what you are in fact measuring is the presence of illness and disability, not personality traits. (this is why the control group should be an illness group which is also debilitating, etc. Having a poorly understood illness could also contribute to such artifacts)

    Stein E. Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists: Assessment and Treatment of Patients with ME/CFS. (2005) http://www.mecfs.org.au/media/resources/Article-ESteinPsychiatricCFSGuideline05.pdf

    Courjaret J, Schotte CK, Wijnants H, Moorkens G, Cosyns P. (U Hosp Antwerp) “Chronic fatigue syndrome and DSM-IV personality disorders.” J Psychosom Res. 2009 Jan;66(1):13-20. Epub 2008 Nov 22. PMID: 19073288.
    see also the discussion on a related paper:
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...findings-from-a-population-based-study.14495/
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  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I agree completely. There are two basic types of questionnaires in the mood/psychiatric category: 1) questionnaires which directly ask patients how they feel, and 2) questionnaires which ask patients what they do and then make assumptions about how patients feel based on what they do. The first sort would probably work fine with physically limited patients, but the second sort assumes that any abnormality in behavior is purely voluntary.

    To the psychs the second sort probably feels more "clever", since it tricks those psychiatry hating/fearing patients into revealing their true colors :rolleyes: And it leaves a market open for psychiatrists to develop new and more convoluted questionnaires, thus giving their lives a sense of meaning. And I do think that certain groups deliberately take advantage of the unacknowledged ambiguity of those questionnaires to carve out a niche in "treating" the physically ill for their "co-morbid psychiatric conditions".
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  4. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Getting back to discussing what this specific paper found.


    MZ twins =Monozygotic twins = "identical twins"
    DZ twins = Dizygotic twins = "nonidentical twins".

    Monozygotic and Dizygotic twins are assumed to have similar environmental effects, but DZ twins only share half the genes.

    So differences like above (dramatically shown in a figure) are due to "genes".
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  5. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    This is what they concluded on introversion/extraversion:

    WillowJ, Little Bluestem and Esther12 like this.
  6. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    What I found annoying is the promotion of CBT and GET in this study.

    Why make "subjective well-being" the aim? If one is treating Cancer, say, the size of the tumour is the most important thing, rather than "subjective well-being".

    Regarding CBT, studies like the three looked at in Wiborg et al. (2010) suggest people aren't necessarily more active in total. So very speculative.

    There was no evidence in this study that I could see that showed the relationship was reinforcing. This part is taken from the results section - if they want to speculate, I think it would have been better in the discussion section to make it clear what was and wasn't found.

    Again, is one interested in "subjective well-being" or actually treating the illness? Making people more extraverted might mean they don't self-report as ill, but that's not dealing with the core illness.

    Also, CBT and graded activity programs doesn't necessarily mean people do more in total.

    An alternative interpretation of this is that graded activity-oriented CBT and graded activity programs do make people more extraverted and that could wholly or partly explain some subjective improvements reported (without objective improvements).

    Concluding paragraph:
    I'm pretty sure extraversion hasn't been measured before and after CBT or GET in CFS, so what they are saying is all very speculative, particularly for a concluding paragraph. Similarly, going the other way, there are no specific studies mentioned showing that any intervention that caused people with CFS to be more extraverted, improved scores.

    I've just noticed in the abstract, they also have this in the conclusions section:
    They've produced no evidence that it was bidirectional. All they found was a correlation/association between the two.
    Little Bluestem, Simon, MeSci and 2 others like this.
  7. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Too many idiot researchers that are either unable or unwilling to critically read the existing research. They just look at the abstracts which say "CBT/GET IS FUCKING AWESOME!!!11!!!ONE!11!!" and treat it as being indisputable truth.
  8. vamah

    vamah Senior Member

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    I am somewhat at a loss vis-a-vis the concept that telling introverts to "act" like extroverts is a helpful suggestion. I would think that encouraging people to act in a manner that is at odds with their natural tendancies would be stressful and therefore detrimental to good health.

    Of course, this is assuming that you are using a Myers-Briggs type definition of introversion and extroversion, which views those qualities as innate and equally valid. This study, I am thinking, leans more towards the (ignorant and infurriating) view that introverts are just self-centered, while extroverts are more focused on other people.

    This notion always makes me want to scream, "How are we the ones who are self centered when its the extroverts saying the world would be a better place if only everyone were just like them?!!!"

    I am perfectly capable of "acting" extroverted in social situations that require it, but I will always hate it, it will always feel uncomfortable and stressfull for me, and I will always be relieved to get out of those situations. Oh, and it will never make me feel healthier, subjectively or otherwise.
    WillowJ, Sean, Snow Leopard and 4 others like this.
  9. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Double LIKE! :mad:
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