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"Explaining the Unexplainable: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Denise, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Denise

    Denise Senior Member

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    I certainly do not recommend this article but am putting it here as yet another example of rampant misinformation...

    Some snippets:

    “Finally, there is a third category of fatigue: chronic fatigue without a clear medical explanation. There are millions who now fall into this category, which has bedeviled both the people who have it and those who care for them. The amount of suffering for people with chronic, unexplained fatigue is vast. Inability to get out of bed or make it through a day is devastating, frustrating, and terrifying. People who fall into this abyss have often been extremely productive in work and life and have often been very active athletically. But those days are in the past.”

    ...

    “It is my opinion, and the opinion of a group of physicians and mental health professionals, [Psychophysiologic Disorders Psychophysiologic disorders consist of pain or other symptoms caused by psychological processes without any corresponding damage to the body. These symptoms can be eliminated or significantly reduced using simple and effective treatments.] that there is a reason for this suffering; and that there is an effective treatment option. When there is no clear medical reason for chronic fatigue, whether you call it chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID), it is likely that the symptoms are actually caused by the brain and that this is a reversible process rather than a structural disease of the body or of the brain. Most people (and most doctors) don’t really understand how this can happen, but our brains have tremendous power and can produce exactly this combination of symptoms. There is a tremendous inability to see or understand this point of view but before you get upset with me and stop reading, let me explain.”

    ...

    “It took several years for Michael to figure out that his fatigue and pain were not caused by a prolonged infection or by a physical disease process. When he fully embraced the idea that it was his brain and yet not his fault, he was able to face the symptoms and work through them. This is obviously not easy work. It takes courage, commitment, and strength. Michael also began to face some of the stressful situations that had occurred in his life and addressed them as best as he could. And this approach worked for Michael.

    Would it work for others?

    I have treated hundreds of people suffering with chronic fatigue and pain. The vast majority of them have had years of testing and diagnostic studies that have not demonstrated a clear cause for their symptoms.”

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blo...ng-the-unexplainable-chronic-fatigue-syndrome
     
    MeSci, Bob, Woolie and 5 others like this.
  2. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member

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    I didn't believe in ME. When I was diagnosed I was shocked then relieved. All I knew was what I read in the papers: "yuppie flu", type A personality, etc., etc. I didn't know anyone else with it.

    So I started out firmly believing there was nothing much wrong with me. I wasn't bothered about blame or all that. I just wanted to be well enough to carry on with the career, hobbies & sports I loved. I am a motivated person and was prepared to work through it despite the pain and all the other horrendous symptoms (fatigue being quite far down the list).

    I now know much, much better. Sadly, the damage done while I was learning the hard way has lasted almost 20 years so far.

    I hope that one day people like this will be held accountable for the serious damage they do.
     
  3. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Exactly the same.
     
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  4. Chrisb

    Chrisb Senior Member

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    I understand that there is a psychology experiment. A prosthetic hand is placed on a table in front of a subject who places his/her hand next to it. The real hand and forearm are then covered with a cloth, as is the stump of the prosthetic hand. The prosthetic hand is positioned as closely as possible to appear to be the continuation of the arm. The experimenter then strokes the prosthetic hand with a feather. After some time the subject is supposed to experience the sensation of his/her hand being stroked by a feather.

    This fact that the brain may be deceived in this way must be taken to prove conclusively that any tactile sensation in the hand must be an illusion created by false beliefs.
     
  5. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    @Invisible Woman 25 years ago when I first became ill I saw an internist who told me he studied CFS for 10 years and that he recently concluded that he no longer believed in it. He told me he didn't believe that it can go on for years. I agreed with him and went on exercising.
     
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  6. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    During the first few years of my ME experience, I was seeing a chiropractor who expressed extreme confidence in his advice that strenuous exercise would cure me. At one appointment, he mentioned having seen me and my husband downtown at lunch time during the period I was struggling to keep working. He stated that any woman who could look so lovingly at her husband couldn't possibly be ill. Well, more than 25 years later, I still love my husband. But, I am also still just as ill.
     
    MeSci, Effi, meadowlark and 7 others like this.
  7. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member

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    I wish I still had the luxury of not believing it. As they say: "!gnorance is bliss".
     
    Joh, MeSci and Comet like this.
  8. Scarecrow

    Scarecrow Annie Gsampel

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    Such a lot of waffle; so little information; absolutely no evidence.
    I don't have courage, commitment and strength, nor indeed moral fibre of any kind. Could I have a pill, please? :D
     
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  9. Jennifer J

    Jennifer J Senior Member

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    My now x-friend :( , who is a science teacher, use to believe my CFS was a real medical condition, after reading this experiment became convinced (as well as her other close friends), that my condition is psychosomatic. :(

    Edit: Thank you @Chrisb for sharing that experiment. I was with my friend and her friends when they were talking about it and I was so fatigued and ready to fall over that I wasn't fully paying attention to what they were saying. Later that day, she nicely told me I was psychosomatic pointing to the prosthetic arm feather experiment they were talking about earlier (and it was just as real and there's nothing wrong with being psychosomatic). I was too tired to tell her I didn't hear most of what they said about it, nor did I have the energy or inclination to find out more about it then. Now I know.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
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  10. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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    HS subscribes to the old but never dead idea that one must exert ones will/rise above/no pain no gain in order to be worthy of healing. It's a moral paradigm.
    How easily science is corrupted into belief--especially when no proof is needed, no evidence or rigourous scientific data to point to.
     
    MeSci, harveythecat, Comet and 4 others like this.
  11. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

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    So then they must also think the likes of Laura Hillenbrand, Howard Bloom the late Alberta Watson and others are also just whinging complainers that need to buck up. Here's a list of others: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_with_chronic_fatigue_syndrome

    I'm sorry for your loss of these former friends and that they have been taken in by a crackpot theorist.
     
    MeSci, Hilary, Comet and 2 others like this.
  12. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    The "article" is an advert for his book, Unlearn Your Pain, supported by an anecdote (what else?).
     
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  13. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Can I be a real bore and again draw everyone's attention to the slide in vocabulary here - the use of the term "brain" is starting to replace "mind" or "belief" in these psychosomatic accounts.

    Gotta go with the fashion for neurosciency explanations. And besides, it sounds so much nicer to the patients!
     
    Joh, MeSci, Bob and 9 others like this.
  14. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Haha, exclusive medicine for the strong and courageous! ;) Hell, if you're a weak-willed person, then you don't deserve to be well anyway.
     
  15. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    H.L. Mencken said it best:

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."
     
    MeSci, soti, AndyPandy and 13 others like this.
  16. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I have liked this quote for some time. We love simple answers. They are easy to explain. Too often they are wrong.
     
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  17. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    Closely related to this, there is also the confused thinking that equates any brain abnormality with psychological problem fixable by psychotherapy. In the name of overcoming mind body dualism, logic and clarity is thrown out, vague wishful thinking takes their place.

    I find these attitudes very frustrating. The opiate for the masses that long for comforting illusions.
     
    MeSci, Woolie, mango and 2 others like this.
  18. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    What??!!! Are they really turning into monists, or are they just paying lipservice to the idea so they can continue to be closet dualists? It all depends on how they think and reason about brain. If they consider brain as an instantiation of mind, but mind is still a separate thing with powers all its own, then they are still dualists.
     
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  19. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    [Satire, not a serious proposal] We can suggest they (the psychogenic proponents) volunteer for the following experiment. We can give all of them a lobotomy. Then we can give half CBT, and the other half usual medical care. It will be interesting to see if this will prove the null hypothesis. Of course if they prefer some other psychotherapy we can have other arms in the study. We could even throw in graded exercise therapy.
     
  20. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

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    Think and reason? I'm not sure it's safe to assume that psychobabblers have consistent beliefs based on thought and reason. Monist, dualist, these are just words, you can't expect a quacktard to follow a line of reasoning and stick to it, they are free to change categories, or redefine the words, or create new concepts, whenever it suits them. They simply borrow the language of rational thought and science when they feel like it, but actually they have beliefs based on revelation, intuition, and a desire to prevail.
     

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