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Clues to psychoquacks' persistent delusions

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by MeSci, May 1, 2013.

  1. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    The BBC Radio 4 psychology programme All in the Mind last night featured an item on delusional beliefs and how/why they can persist despite overwhelming evidence against them. Whilst the example used was Doomsday prophets, it occurred to me that some of the same processes might explain why some psychologists (and indeed scientists) continue to stick to erroneous theories (notably about ME). In their case there is almost certainly a strong element of wanting to maintain their status and income stream.

    I'm afraid I can't remember exactly where the item occurred in the programme, but it was quite a long one so should be easy to find at this 'listen online' link:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qxx9
     
    Valentijn, parvofighter, Enid and 4 others like this.
  2. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Sounds like the "pot" - psyches calling the kettle "black".!
     
    Merry and MeSci like this.
  3. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    I think some psychologists actively seek out and and assign greater weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis and basically ignore or don't add any weight to evidence that could refute their hypothesis. I suppose that they likely believe that their final hypothesis is based on objective analysis, rather than confirmation bias. That certainly is a form of self-delusion.

    The best treatment -- CBT. :D
     
  4. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Wouldn't it be fun if some people shoehorned into a 'functional somatic' diagnosis subtly and skilfully turned an appointment with a psych around and started psyching them!

    "I understand why you feel that way, Doctor, and I can explain it for you...I hope you feel that I have helped you to come to terms with your problem; please feel free to ask me about anything else you don't understand."
     
    Valentijn, GracieJ and Merry like this.
  5. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    I did think that once MeSci but too little energy collapsed in A&E - "all in your mind". In hindsight I rose above - the crass, blind ignorance of 4 Docs - and unfortunately (no fortunately) since escaped. What a game they play

    They are indeed Quacks, but we (and science) will end them.
     
    Shell likes this.
  6. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    I did that once, with a quack psych doc who called me crazy and wanted me to take anti-psychotic meds for my so-called "fixed false beliefs" that I had an illness. I wrote a letter to the head of the facility saying that the lab tests I had proved him wrong, and that they might want to reconsider having a psychotic doctor on their staff who demonstrated fixed false beliefs about his patients and prescribed them potentially dangerous drugs on the basis of his delusions. I have the letter here somewhere on my computer, maybe I'll try to find it and post some of it for laughs.
     
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  7. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    The PACE (non) results must have caused a little 'cognitive dissonance' in some quarters :

    "When Prophesy Fails"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Prophecy_Fails

    Festinger's fifth condition necessary for the occurrence of cognitive dissonance sounds familiar :

    ;)
     
    Valentijn, SOC, parvofighter and 3 others like this.
  8. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Cognative dissonance - but that was in my first year Uni - I mean are the psychologists (I gave up as not grounded in science nor anything else) floating or part of any tangible world. Obviously not and may they feel it.
     
  9. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    I know what you mean Enid.

    When I graduated with a degree in Psychology I was surprised the certificate didn't state that it was a 'Walt Disney Production'.:)
     
    Creekee, MeSci and Enid like this.
  10. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Can't blame psychology Marco - much is done to aid - only psychiatry with medical pretentions who pervert real medical science.
     
  11. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    Wouldn't tar them all with the same brush Enid.

    Many more psychiatrists are working on the biological underpinnings of 'mental' illnesses than peddling unproven and unfalsifiable notions of 'illness beliefs' etc.

    Some of the psychiatric types attracted to the ME/CFS field seem to me to be just poor examples of the breed - maybe they find it easier to work in a field largely scorned by mainstream medicine and can thus feel they can get away with sloppy theorising without being subject to much in the way of critical scrutiny. I actually feel the sharper types in the field could be enormously helpful.

    I do appreciate though, from previous posts, that you probably haven't encountered the best of the breed.
     
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  12. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I agree. I studied psychology part-time for a year as part of my Bachelors degree (which was otherwise science) as I am interested in it, especially where it meshes with neuroscience. That bit was called Biological Psychology in my course, and it was fascinating. Some of the other stuff was very dubious but I tried to keep an open mind and consider all the arguments.
     
  13. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Just for a laugh, here is a transcript of one of my favourite sequences from the inimitable original UK comedy series The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (NOT the inferior remake). Background - Perrin is the patient, and Doc Morrissey ALWAYS prescribes two aspirins. He also believes that many parts of the body have been invented since he was at medical school.

    Doc Morrissey: Do you find you can't finish the crossword like you used to, nasty taste in the mouth in the mornings, can't stop thinking about sex, can't start doing anything about sex, wake up with a sweat in the mornings, keep falling asleep during '"Play For Today"?
    Reginald Perrin: That's extraordinary, Doc! That's exactly how I've been feeling.
    Doc Morrissey: So have I. I wonder what it is? Take two aspirins.
     
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  14. Marco

    Marco Old blackguard

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    I wish I could like this twice.

    Sunshine Desserts; 'I didn't get where I am today' etc.

    Classic!
     
  15. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Well, I think THIS explains a lot, don't you? :p

     
  16. Patrick*

    Patrick* Formerly PWCalvin

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    There's a certain irony in psychiatrists' treatment of ME/CFS patients given that both groups are, in their own way, fighting for recognition and legitimacy.

    Psychiatrists have been in a constant battle, since the 1950's, against eroding public perception of their profession. They fight the stimga of being "shrinks," "quacks," and "not real doctors." They of course, desperately want to be thought of as "real doctors." In an effort to gain legitimacy, they advocate integrative medicine, where the mind and body are thought of as a continuum and all medical issues are considered to have a psychological component worthy of treatment. Of course we all know that's a bunch of crap. But from the psychologists' standpoint, ME/CFS is the perfect place for their integrative medicine theories to gain a foothold because ME/CFS's causes and etiology are so poorly understood. They couldn't care less if they have to step all over us in the process.

    Psychiatrists, as a group, are not unlike a 4th grade school boy who's been bullied by a 6th grader, so he turns around and finds a 2nd grader that he can, in turn, bully. The abuse victim becomes an abuser -- a classic psychological phenomenon. As any psychiatrist will tell you, abusers often describe themselves as victims (see Wessley's constant references to death threats and supposedly being forced to leave the country).

    It's just amazing how the people who seem least capable of basic empathy end up being psychiatrists & psychologists. Honestly, how many times have you heard of a family therapist whose own marriage is in shambles, or a child psychiatrist who's own child is a delinquent. I don't mean to denigrate the whole profession--there are some very good therapists--but it's pretty remarkable how often this ^ happens.

    Their profession loses legitimacy each and every year, as more discoveries are made about the human body, neurology, the immune system, etc. They are holding on by a very thin thread, and unfortunately, that thread is all too often ME/CFS.

    Not for long...
     
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