The power and pitfalls of omics part 2: epigenomics, transcriptomics and ME/CFS
Simon McGrath concludes his blog about the remarkable Prof George Davey Smith's smart ideas for understanding diseases, which may soon be applied to ME/CFS.
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Examples of how psychological causes have been postulated for many medical conditions

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Dolphin, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    Perhaps others could add to this list.

    Also if you think anything is incorrect perhaps you could mention it (i.e. note I'm not saying that the theory is correct, I'm just looking in case the theory was never suggested). One of my Facebook friends posted it as part of a private message (i.e. just to their friends) and said they had done some research to create the list.


    Asthma - overbearing mothers

    Autism - lack of maternal nuturing

    Cancer - repressed anger

    Diabetes - psychological and emotional stress

    Epilepsy - mental illness

    Fibromyalgia - childhood stress, unprocessed negative emotions

    Food allergy - psychological issues

    Gulf War Syndrome - psychological distress

    Heart disease - type-A behavior

    Hypertension - psychological stress

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - neuroticism, introversion

    Lupus - self-loathing

    Lyme disease - hypochondria

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) - hysterical paralysis

    Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) - hysteria

    Rheumatoid arthritis - repressed anger, resentment, aggression

    Stomach ulcers - psychological stress

    Tuberculosis (TB) - tubercular personality

    Ulcerative colitis - interdependent relationships


    "We believe that emotional and mental states play a significant role both in “susceptibility” to disease, including cancer, and in “recovery” from all disease. We believe that cancer is often an indication of problems elsewhere in an individual's life, probably aggravated or compounded by a series of stresses six to eighteen months prior to the onset of cancer."

    -O. Carl Simonton M.D., 1992
     
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    There is an old thread on this from Bob I think. I have seen some very long lists in reading, but do not recall where I read them. There may be hundreds of diseases treated like this, even ignoring the issue that heart disease and cancer are generic labels for a large number of diseases. I am glad to see TB on that list, its one that is often ignored when discussing this.

    Its been estimated, and I have no idea of the validity of such estimates, that 10% of the population have one or more rare genetic disorders. We do not know how many such disorders really exist. We lack tests. Some of these patients are at risk of a false diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder.
     
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  3. Murph

    Murph :)

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    This would be incredibly useful, especially if each example has a link to a primary source so we can reach for them easily in advocacy.
     
  4. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

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    I'm sure that Parkinsons's Disease should be on that list.
     
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  5. GreyOwl

    GreyOwl Dx: strong belief system, avoidance, hypervigilant

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    Some doctors are still quite happy to blame mothers, and even to create new diagnoses for those mothers to be able to do so, when it's convenient for those doctors. Saves a lot of testing! Just one anecdatum.
     
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  6. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    Schizophrenia - lack of maternal warmth
     
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  7. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    Hypothyroidism ?

    You could save a lot of effort and list space by simply saying most neurological, hormonal, and female dominated disorders.
     
  8. Murph

    Murph :)

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    When I wrote my story about Alem Matthees I went looking for a primary source where MS was described as psychological. I couldn't find one.

    Part of the problem is terminology. If you google 'multiple sclerosis' that was not a term people used when the condition was not understood.

    Even good secondary sources were hard to find. I'm sure the facts are out there but finding them might involve looking through old books and maybe even private communications between doctors.
     
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  9. GreyOwl

    GreyOwl Dx: strong belief system, avoidance, hypervigilant

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    Period pain - dramatisation
     
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  10. hinterland

    hinterland

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    MS was malingering.

    Parkinson's was thought to affect morally rigid people like the clergy or old head masters - specifically, the shaking hand movements were said to represent repressed masturbation.

    Diabetics were just highly 'irritable' individuals with anger management issues.

    TB was an affliction of those with an artistic temperament.

    Autism: 'refrigerator mothers'

    There're more.....
     
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  11. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois Prairie ❀❤✿Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ✿❤❀

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    This is particularly ludicrous. You could say that about any disease. :rolleyes:
    He actually said that in 1992? :jaw-drop:
     
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  12. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois Prairie ❀❤✿Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ✿❤❀

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    This is even more ludicrous that 'tubercular personality'! I am leaving this thread before someone come up with something even worse. :nervous:
     
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  13. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    This has been referenced on PR a few times. There are lots of such sources. One of the issues you face though is they are often pre world wide web. They are also not often in journals listed on Pubmed. You also need to search on the buzzwords, like hysteria, psychogenic, psychosomatic, biopsychosocial, conversion disorder, etc. etc. etc. I have done this in the past though not recently. "Functional" is one of the popular buzzwords for this generation of psychobabbler.
     
  14. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    You can go to Google scholar, and search for "illness name psychosomatic" in articles from before 1960 and you'll find a lot. For exaple with rheumatoid arthritis I found these

    Psychological Aspects of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    The idea that bottled up emotions cause disease is of course freudian.


    Preliminary Report on a Psychosomatic Study of Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Psychologic Conflict and Neuromuscular Tension: I. Preliminary Report on a Method, as Applied to Rheumatoid Arthritis.
    Special Features of Personality Which Are Common to Certain Psychosomatic Disorders.

    Not much has changed. Psychosomatic researchers today are still operating in much the same manner. They're just better organized and it looks more sciencey.

    Wasn't Chalder talking about bottled up emotions very recently?
     
  15. wastwater

    wastwater Senior Member

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    Mix this with religious views that all sickness is sin and it's easy to see where today's thinking on me/cfs comes from
     
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  16. Valentijn

    Valentijn The Diabolic Logic

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  17. Joh

    Joh Inactivist

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    Yes, someone postet a "scientific" publication on PR (maybe @alex3619). Even after changes in the immune system were detected, "researchers" claimed the physical abnormalities were caused by depression due to the shame of being gay/being a outcast in society.

    Saw Unrest yesterday and it talks about hysteria/psychogenic explanations for physical diseases, shows examples throughout history and the institutionalization of women with e.g. MS. Jen Brea says something like, normally with stuff like that, you look back in history and are grateful for how things have changed. But with ME it's different, there was no progress, we're still stuck with the psychogenic explanations from centuries ago. (She of course says it better, can't remember the right English words).
     
  18. cyclamen

    cyclamen

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    Shell Shock
     
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  19. Cheshire

    Cheshire Senior Member

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    I often see that MS was thought to be hysteria before the use of MRIs was generalised in the 1980s/90s.


    I think things are a bit more complicated. Charcot (yes, the same Charcot that trained Freud) proved it was a biological illness back to the 19th century. He was a great neurologist and made several breakthroughs for numerous diseases. He did tons of autopsies and demonstrated there was a correlation between some alterations in the brain and MS symptoms.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3064755/


    So before the introduction of MRIs, lots of people got a clinical diagnosis of MS on the basis of a cluster of symptoms that were thought to be characteristic of MS. The problem was, like every clinical diagnosis, it relied completely on the hands of the clinician and the presentation of symptoms. Hence lots of people, because of their atypical presentation, because of some errors made by the doctors, because they had MH issues, and of course because they were women, were thrown out of the MS category. And what was left was... hysteria.


    I read somewhere (sorry I can't find the link anymore) the testimony of a neurologist who practised during the spreading of MRIs. He said that it was a real mess when they began to use MRIs on their patients, some showed clear signs of demyelination while some didn't. And many of these patients they had put into the hysterical bin were in fact presenting clear signs of MS on imaging.


    Charcot's ideas about hysteria evolved. He first thought that hysterical symptoms were the signs of biological diseases that 19th century tools couldn't discover. After (was it before or after he met Freud, can't remember) he said that hysterical patients were ill due to sexual problems, they were highly suggestible and so on... That's when he started to organise his disgusting shows with women in hysterical crisis.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  20. BurnA

    BurnA Senior Member

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    It would be nice to have references for all the listed and suggested items.
     

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