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Cognitive testing causes mental exhaustion lasting days

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Phoenix Rising Team, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    It's not possible. Claims of psychosomatic illness are not tied to any objective criteria, so they cannot be proven or disproven. They are purely a matter of faith.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
    peggy-sue and Valentijn like this.
  2. Simon

    Simon

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    Thanks, Marco, and an interesting blog of yours too.

    I think both mental and physical fatigue are valid to measure but I wish mental fatigue wasn't so neglected. I've had relapses from both physical and mental overexertion and, as you say, mental fatigue is hard to explain by deconditioning. I once met someone who was permanently bedbound due to his condition, yet could watch a whole film - something I could only dream of at the time as a 5-min conversation exhausted me.

    I've been very impressed by Susan Cockshell and hope that she, and people like her, will start to throw more light on the cognitive problems in this illness. I think that so far researchers have only scratched the surface.
     
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  3. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    This is my most disabling symptom as well..it was interesting to read what I have known all along. I was able to do.my job fine but after a 6 hour shift I could barely make it home as the mental exhaustion was horrible . I also have huge problems just riding in a car for long periods of time as just looking around and taking in the traffic and scenery will exhaust me for days. That is why I can't drive far..I am okay getting there but after doing errands etc..I am fried. I really have no problems physically but the mental fatigue is very disabling and feels so bad....
     
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  4. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    What if a large, double-blinded study showed that patients responded well to a physiology-based treatment, so that they no longer had any symptoms that might be attributed to psychological causes? Hasn't this happened in the past with illnesses once thought to be psychological?
     
  5. Simon

    Simon

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    Showing that peptic ulcers were caused by the bacterium H. pylori and can be treated with antibiotics is the classic case.

    I've always thought that the only way the psychosomatic argument will finally be laid to rest is by positively proving what does cause ME/CFS, whether that involves physiology-based treatment or not (though clearly treatment would help). It's possible that some cases of CFS do have an important causal psychological component and maybe that's a relevant subgroup, but only a subgroup.
     
  6. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    In practice psychosomatic explanations are abandoned once concrete physiological explanations are found. However, whereas previously the idea was that there are no physiological abnormalities, when faced with evidence for the contrary, the psychosomatic camp seems to be shifting their stance towards claiming that the mind is creating the physiological abnormalities fully in some cases, and at least in part in others. Essentially the psychosomatic camp is trying to position themselves as relevant in illness, and it's still not possible to prove or disprove their claims.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
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  7. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Yes, I agree that some of us probably have a psychological component in the initial causation (ditto for a range of other physical illnesses), but not in the perpetuation of the illness, so psychological treatments are pointless once any psychological (as opposed to neurological and cognitive) problems have gone, leaving just the physical consequences. I often use the analogy of the folly of trying to treat a bullet wound by putting the bullet back in the gun.
     
  8. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    And what if the bullet cannot be taken from the wound, or the wound will not heal: how do you help people to learn to live with the horrors of a gunshot wound? Or the medicine proves too expensive for everyone to receive? If a cause is established and a treatment that heals can be made available to one-and-all: great. Chances are it wont happen like that. 'Psychology' ain't all bad and much counseling may still be required. But it would remove theories pertaining to a 'psychological' cause - provided of course your particular ME was the one that had the biomarker.
     
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  9. Rachael

    Rachael

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    Easily, overwhelmed?

    I would bet that most people who go on to develop ME/CFS were born "highly sensitive".. This is a normal trait found in 15 to 20 percent of the population. The brains of highly sensitive persons (HSPs) actually work a little differently than others. Highly sensitive people are born more susceptible to physical, emotional and mental exhaustion.

    Are You Highly Sensitive?

    A Self-Test http://www.hsperson.com/pages/test.htm
     
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  10. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    What a bunch of pointless garbage.
     
  11. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    Surely you meant to say "What a bunch of psychobabble"?
     
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  12. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    Well, there are some cognitive enhancers available.
     
  13. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    Having looked at the set of questions it seems to me they are lumping together different concepts. I haven't looked at any papers so I have no idea as to whether such clustering is justified. Then there is the reading of generalizable consequences into their very broad classification.

    Put simply they seem to lump together physical sensitivity (i.e. people with good senses) with emotional sensitivity (people who have good empathy with others) along with other concepts as well. Can this be justified in terms of then giving a broad label to a person when the actual characteristics of two people with the same label need not overlap much.

    It seems to me that researchers get away with this type of approach due to the lack of an underlying mathematical formalism which allows them to never state a hypothesis which if they did wouldn't be meaningful.
     
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  14. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    This study found a CFS cohort no more sensitive than controls:

    An investigation of sympathetic hypersensitivity in chronic fatigue syndrome.

    OTOH, the authors of this paper suggest "sustained arousal" in CFS:
    I guess sustained arousal would cause someone to be hypersensitive, and perhaps vice versa.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
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  15. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I find it perfectly scientifically plausible that people can be born with unusually-high psychological sensitivity, and can also acquire such sensitivity due to prolonged psychological stress in childhood, via effects on the stress hormone system, as we have discussed elsewhere.

    This paper provides some evidence on the effects of maternal stress on a foetus.

    I am not looking to blame mothers, by the way!
     
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  16. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    This is known as the kindling model:
     
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  17. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Now you have taken my simple analogy and gone on a convoluted journey with it, and I am lost!

    Of course if someone is suffering from the effects of emotional trauma it is sensible to treat it. Please note the pertinent phrase in my message to which you appear to be replying:

     
  18. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    I do think multi-tasking is a critical area to test. I can sustain more normal levels of certain types of thinking for far longer, but trying to hold multiple concepts in my working memory at once is far and away one of the most difficult things for me to do (like remembering a phone number while also doing some kind of other simple processing, for example, is brutal. Remembering two sets of rules and comparing them would be really hard too. Anything where I have to retain information about two things at once). I can write a little if I do it train of thought, but editing, modifying, moving phrases around is exhausting and brings on my particular kind of head/spine pain.

    I've tried to pay close attention to what is harder for me, and I'm quite certain it has something to do with my working memory. It would be interesting to know if that was true for many patients, though, or if it's unique to me or a subset.

    I've always found it so weird that certain kinds of mental effort are so much easier than others. I can still answer trivia questions on a really bad day. But I can't follow simple instructions, or do basic math that involves more than one step at once.
     
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  19. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    No, I'm not easily overwhelmed. Neither is my daughter or my uncle, both PWME as well. We aren't "highly sensitive", either. I'm willing to bet we are not alone among PWME.

    This "highly sensitive person" stuff reads like a bunch of psychobabble conflating empathy with acute senses for no other reason than that the word "sensitive" is often used in the context of both situations.
     
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  20. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I often find myself in a situation where Michael will ask me where something is.:rolleyes:
    Despite my being is a bad physical way at the time, I still find it easier to get up and get whatever he is asking for,
    rather than to try describe where it is.

    Then he moans about me wasting energy. :(

    Simple recall of facts does not require too much input from working memory, (the trivia Sparrow mentions) but working something out (arithmetic) where you have to do things with facts in the working memory does take a lot of effort.
     
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