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"Fatigue is not a disease" - Unger Responds, Advocates Launch Petition

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Mark, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. Phoenix Rising Team

    Phoenix Rising Team

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  2. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    Why not establish a partnership with ME experts now and ask for the adoption of the ICC? Asking DHHS to adopt a decade-old case definition is also unproductive and harmful to patients.

    This campaign is so misleading! The “web of confusion” line comes from the ME Primer, as does the quotation in Mary's message to patients, caregivers and advocates: “Research on other fatiguing illnesses, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, is done on patients who have those diseases. There is current, urgent need for ME research using patients who actually have ME.” Incorrectly attributed to Dr. Carruthers and used without his permission, that statement by the International Consensus Panel was written in support of the ICC.
  3. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    Well at least they're setting the bar nice and low with their goals. Nothing about understanding the biology or curing it - maybe she wants to give us some anti-psychotics and CBT to make it all go away?

    I also love the grouping of those illnesses. How clueless can she continue to be? Describing ME/CFS as a "fatiguing illness" is highly inaccurate, and "medically unexplained" is frequently psych-talk for "psychosomatic". Neurasthenia is also a neurotic disorder according to the ICD-10.

    Either she has repeated and extremely unfortunate choice in her wording, or she's one of those "medically unexplained" = "psychosomatic" people. And that sort of grouping of unexplained "fatiguing" illnesses is also (only?) something I've seen psychosomatic theorists engage in.

    Unger doesn't belong anywhere near ME/CFS patients.
    justinreilly, jimells and SOC like this.
  4. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Yeah, she's trying to make us go away quietly and she mentions a 19th century hysterical disease (neurasthenia) in the same breath as CFS? This is why I had to stop reading and posting on political threads - :aghhh::aghhh::aghhh:
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  5. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Sorry where did the quote 'fatigue is not a disease' come from? Thanks.
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  6. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    Is PR behind this ?- terrible foggy brain today.... A cliff notes version would be appreciated ....

    Could the phrase 'fatigue is not an illness ' be damaging mantra ...?

    Fatigue is not THE illness ?

    * chronic fatigability not chronic fatigue ...?
    beaker and Firestormm like this.
  7. Bob

    Bob

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    It is very much a non-answer, isn't it. Sometimes it seems that CDC is still 30 years behind the rest of the CFS/ME community. I'm also not encouraged by the systematic review, as there is so much worthless CFS research out there. Reviewing some selective dodgy behavioural literature, one might conclude that CFS is a simple behavioural fatiguing disorder, treatable with CBT. And yet the biomedical literature shows a complex biological disorder with clear immune dysfunction, and biological markers/abnormalities. So I'm not sure how a systematic review will be able to make any sense of such opposing research paradigms.
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  8. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    If Dr. Unger is aware of the issues, then she is aware of the harm that the CDC is causing. Does that make her responsible? Shouldn't it mean she (or delegated people) need to form a group with concerned patients and expert researchers to rapidly change things? A new case definition could be argued for, but its too far off. Harm is being done now.
  9. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    There is a bit of her post which really interested me.

    Did anyone else note with that section of her post, that she actually listed ME separate to CFS in that part of her post in her "other chornically fatiguing illnesses". I wish someone would ask her why she's done this? Does she believe ME and CFS ARE separate illnesses or was this an error in her post? I want to know her views on it?

    Interesting too how the word "neurasthenia" comes up when she refers to CFS.
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  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Officially I think the CDC has considered ME to be a separate disease for a long time, but this is not reflected in treatment advice I think.
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  11. Bob

    Bob

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    Perhaps she (rightly?) views 'CFS' as a non-specific umbrella diagnosis, that includes many 'fatiguing' illnesses, conditions and subsets?
    Perhaps she thinks that 'ME' might be a discrete disease, but that there's no evidence for it, or maybe she's paying lip-service to the ME community?
    She has repeatedly said that being able to define subsets is essential.
    Her current research is attempting to define CFS subsets, using the data acquired from the expert physician clinics.
    taniaaust1 likes this.
  12. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    I think even some private doctors are poor in helping people with M.E. because they are hiding behind the CFS smokescreen. They refuse to use M.E. I think, to cover themselves. (sigh ).

    I noticed M.E. being used as seperate to CFS in the letter .

    As for neurasthenia - it seems this was called soldiers heart and is now called POTS -

    I suspect its another physical illness that psychiatry has hijacked.

    http://rarediseasesnetwork.epi.usf.edu/ARDCRC/professional/disorders/POTS/index.htm
  13. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Compared to the massive bungling in the past, with the funding-misappropriated CFS department spending the first decade floundering in a manner which would make Ron Swanson proud, followed by the second decade of Reeves leading us into a dead-end, I am slightly surprised the CDC under Unger are even doing this much. Whether or not the renewed efforts in recent years will amount to anything useful remains to be seen. Part of me wants to be optimistic but I will certainly not be holding my breath for anything other than the lowest common denominator of the neo status quo.

    The way I see it, ME was only mentioned once because it is in the name of the workshop referred to, not necessarily because Unger believes it exists as a disease entity. The CDC have never really been clear on the issue of ME.
  14. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    I too am kerfuddled this morrow :)

    My brain went into a spin trying to decipher the meaning, then the intent...! All too much for me. Then I couldn't see the 'quote' repeated in the letter and I was like - oh crap. Back to bed :)
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  15. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    Ha ha - i have hurt myself laughing :)

    Its a label nightmare !!!!

    :)
  16. Emma

    Emma

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    Can we sign the petition from anywhere in the world or do you have to be a US citizen for the signature to count?
  17. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I'm very foggy at the moment too - there's a lot of it about!

    I was starting to fill in my details but thought I had better make sure of what I was asking for, and was concerned that the Canadian criteria might exclude me due to the apparent necessity for significant pain, which I don't have. So I haven't signed it - yet.

    I may reconsider when my head is clearer and I have been able to think about it properly.
    golden likes this.
  18. Nielk

    Nielk

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    The way I understand Unger's answer is: "I read the letter. I understand the urgency. I am going to continue doing what I have done in the past - at my pace."
  19. akrasia

    akrasia Senior Member

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    This morning brings news that the Obama administration has finally allowed the "FDA approved" morning after pill to be sold over the counter, after foot dragging for several years. Essentially, they allowed themselves to be forced to implement a policy they've always supported. This, of course, is crazy. But even in the best cases, truth, facts are not the only things driving government policy.

    The CDC has an even greater, more baroque problem on their hands, something that's been staring them in the face for decades, a widespread epidemic that doesn't have a usable, coherent definition that originated with them. How do they go about changing without embracing any responsibility for not confronting the reality of m.e. starting say in 1984 when they sent two irresponsible clowns to Incline Village.

    Does Unger ever speak with a sense of history? Of course not. Government seldom does. So much of government is merely reactive, hands are forced by circumstances, and policy changes. There is a kind of interregnum going on at the CDC. The old way is, I believe, over, the new not yet born. That's the space Unger is operating in.

    Even if our clinicians and researchers pay lip service to Fukuda, the CDC is, of course, aware that no one experienced has respected it as a definition for a long time. How often do governments explicitly acknowledge error, bad judgement, deliberate, even malicious, neglect?

    What I've noticed in the last few months is the willingness of some of the researchers and clinicians to speak out against the historical neglect of m.e, Shungu and Hornig, to mock and eviscerate the PACE trial, Baraniuk, Rowe, and Snell, to assert in an audience that contains Clare Gerada that "anyone who suggests that this might be fixed by exercise therapy should probably be de-registered," Don Staines,​
    and to explicitly call the CDC on its procrastination, Kogelnik. And of course, not to be overlooked, the protesting of endless deferral by Fletcher, bad faith by Holdeman, and the strong criticism of the CDC's refusal to adopt the Snell protocol by Krafchick, who, rightly, called this a recipe for failure when looking at the effects of exercise on patients.​
    The other day, I saw Pat Fero, a longtime, courageous, m.e. activist had signed a petition sponsored by the WPI. In her accompanying remarks she speaks of her illness, the loss of her son Casey to m.e., and the horror of seeing her grandchild showing symptoms.​
    Our researchers and clinicians, are beginning to push back in ways that I haven't observed before. What they can't do is infuse government with the sense of urgency Pat Fero and all of us have. These institutions will change, are changing, but the pace is glacial, and the gap between government complacency and private sector creativity widens every day.​
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  20. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

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    This would be funny if it weren't tragic. The advocates can't answer basic questions about their own initiative, and they haven't consulted with the experts. They seem to think that switching from the CCC to the ICC is like upgrading your operating system...no big deal.

    If it's the Snell retest protocol you want, akrasia, it isn't in the CCC.

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