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Did Wilkie Collins have ME?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Jenny, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    Just been listening to Peter Ackroyd's biography of Wilkie Collins on BBC Radio 4. Apparently he had a mysterious relapsing and remitting illness with symptoms of extreme fatigue, nausea, rheumatic pain, sensitivity to sound, and anxiety. He described it as 'gout of the brain'.

    Doctors treated him with potassium and were trying to detox him from mercury. We don't seem to have progressed very far in treatment ideas!

    The other thing he was treated with was laudenum - I hadn't thought of that - might be worth a go.

    Jenny
     
  2. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    Laudanum no longer exists as such, as far as I am aware. The modern equivalents would be various opioids. Most of us have already tried them for pain relief.

    Interesting theory about Collins. He was obsessed with disability, you get one or more disabled character in every novel of his which I've read (and I've read all the major ones and a fair number of the minor ones). Oddly, the characters who are closest to having something like ME tend not to be as sympathetically portrayed, they're more likely to be hypochondriacs or using a pretended illness to manipulate other people. Perhaps he had internalised social prejudice against his own illness?
     
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  3. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    Yes, just kidding about the laudanum!

    Interesting point about internalising prejudice.
     
  4. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Heard that this am and did indeed wonder about ME. (Like Darwin).
     
  5. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    I thought he was supposed to have "rheumatic gout," which is an old-fashioned term for rheumatoid arthritis. That's bad enough (and of course once you've got one autoimmune disease, you're apt to have others). I would imagine if you added the effects of laudanum addiction to that, you'd be one very sick puppy.

    "And now, my beauties, something with poison in it. Poppies...poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep..."
     

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