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Guardian: Dr. Dillner (BMJ) - Should I stop being a perfectionist?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Firestormm, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    All the 'research' in this article is old. Pathetic article using 'science' to support it.
    Not that I personally have a problem with the concept, I think - speaking as someone who always strove to do his best (which may not mean I was a perfectionist of course), can be hard to maintain: which is why you avoid it becoming obsessive and keep it real (man :woot:)

    Can OCD or something that might lead to this implied 'perfectionism' as an obsessive pursuit, lead to illness? Well, I would imagine if you are dogged enough at trying to achieve and overachieve even at times when your body is telling you to stop, or when you are simply not cut out (intellectually or physically) for the job or sport or hobby etc. then yeah: I can imagine it would run you down and leave you open for something - or run you down and make you feel unwell.

    But to suggest in this article that the research quoted supports the notion appears nuts to me, and to further suggest perfectionism is a way to gain a diagnosis of CFS, is not only outdated as a concept: but has never to my knowledge been more than a psychologists wet-dream ;)

    This Doctor (the author) if you click the link, is apparently part of BMJ research group or something. How very sad :( It's not really the way to use 'science' is it?
  2. Cheesus

    Cheesus Senior Member

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    While I don't think perfectionism is part of the pathogenesis of CFS/ME generally, I do know that I drove myself into the ground getting the degree classification I wanted and I fell ill soon after that. I was also, funnily enough (funny in a I'm going to cry myself to sleep kind of way), suffering from severe obsessional anxieties at the same time. The link between psychological trauma and physical decline is hard to deny for me, even though it is unlikely to tell the entire story.

    Call me Rover, because I was dogged as hell!
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    ME? A perfectionist? Learn how to perfectly pace yourself. Issue over. :cool:
    Wildcat, NK17, rosie26 and 4 others like this.
  4. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    Of course, it's always the fault of the patient. Notice how a correlation is taken as evidence that A causes B (that B might cause A is never considered). They don't outright say it, but it is suggested.

    It could also be the other way around: that declining health causes changes in behavior. I think it is very plausible that during the earlier stages of illness, people will try to compensate for their declining ability to function productively, and the illness itself could affect behavior. For example, low blood sugar can easily cause irritability and aggression because the body's response to low blood sugar is among other things adrenaline. Who knows what the body does to counteract problems in energy production in the earlier stages of ME/CFS.

    Something that is sometimes forgotten is that many illnesses are associated with "psychiatric" symptoms. One example would be Addison's disease:

    http://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/data/Journals/NP/3948/06JNP450.PDF

    Viewing behavioral changes solely as sign of a psychological problems will set patients on the wrong path if the cause is actually an underlying pathology.

    I also notice a certain self-centered metaphysical aspect to the psychological view. The mind is seen as separate entity ruling over the body, rather than being the result of biological processes in the body.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
    maryb, Wildcat, natasa778 and 5 others like this.
  5. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    There are certainly anecdotes of perfectionistic people getting ME "CFS." Because I think anecdotes have some value, I would guess that perfectionism is correlated with ME. However, it seems to me almost all doctors and scientists do not value anecdotes at all (except sometimes their own).I've read in plenty of places about this supposed link. Does anyone know if there were any valid studies done on this topic and what they said.

    This "study" was a survey of 27 women with Oxford (i.e. merely idiopathic CF, not ME) or Fukuda "CFS" and 30 female controls. This teeny survey of Oxford and Fukuda "CFS" gets published and quoted while the multiple surveys of several thousand patients each all showing GET to be the most harmful and least helpful 'treatment' for ME are dismissed as having no value because they were surveys.

    Note that none of the "CFS" patients were depressed, yet I saw no mention in the conclusions of this fact (only in the method) and none at all that this was "proof" that "CFS" was negatively correlated with depression.

  6. Legendrew

    Legendrew Content team

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    I read something a while back that commented on this and concluded that it may be those who strive ever forwards are more likely to get diagnosed as they are the most likely to frequently visit the doctor insisting that something is not right when they feel so lousy, while others may perhaps go through the basic testing and then believe doctors when they say that perhaps they're just depressed or anxious...

    Either-way this isn't a helpful anecdote as you cannot change someones fundamental personality traits and I don't think I'd be alone in doubting that personality has much effect upon triggering such a complex condition but it could provide a problem in coping with it.
    maryb and Iquitos like this.
  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Alternative hypothesis: people with mild ME have big issues coping. They have to focus more, pay more attention, or things don't get done. So they create skills to pay more attention and get things right. Suddenly they have perfectionist traits. Because of ME.

    See what I did? I turned the association around and provided a justifiable explanation for why ME patients might have perfectionist traits. Can anyone prove my hypothesis wrong? (Aside from proving that we are not perfectionists, that might be doable.)
  8. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    The Internets expert in all things: Wikipedia:

  9. justinreilly

    justinreilly Stop the IoM & P2P! Adopt CCC!

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    I commented on the article and also emailed the author at ldillner@bmj.com. I encourage you to send a short email to her endorsing my call for a look into this problem at BMJ.

    I know it probably won't go anywhere, but I think it would be good to raise awareness there about the problem or at least that we are on to them. Thanks!

    Roy S, maryb, NK17 and 7 others like this.
  10. chipmunk1

    chipmunk1 Senior Member

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    Psychology behaves like a sect:

    1. Make up rules that classify actions and behaviour as good or bad.

    2. Tell people they're flawed and induce guilt.

    3. Tell them their sins will have serious consequences and if they want to avoid them they need to get rid of their sinful behaviour.

    4. If disease or misfortunes happen blame the people and point out their sinful behaviour.

    5. Target the desperate or gullible and promise relief if they join their cult and adopt their belief system.

    6. Loot the converted.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    7. Set up a codified set of rules.

    8. Use and guard those rules dogmatically.

    9. Go after heretics that question those rules.

    10. Revere specific individuals who practice these beliefs as special ... once up a time it was Freud, today it is .... ?

    The sect observation is not new. Richard Webster wrote a book on it: Why Freud Was Wrong.
  12. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member

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    Sometimes I can see more than one way of looking at things when it comes to stuff like this discussed on PR. But this really is just drivel. Moreover, it seems to me to be irresponsible drivel. Sadly the Guardian health page mostly is. Let's see if there is a reply!
    annunziata, NK17, Wildcat and 8 others like this.
  13. NK17

    NK17 Senior Member

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    Oh no another piece of C.R.A.P., which for me stands for:
    Continuos
    Relentless
    Awful
    Propaganda
    In any case it's not about ME.
    maryb likes this.
  14. NK17

    NK17 Senior Member

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    Thank you @Jonathan Edwards for always speaking clearly.
    Your honesty is a very precious quality for any human being, even more for a doctor and scientist.
    maryb likes this.
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Senior Member

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    Yet another Guardian Pop Psychology article to delight the Mind-Body Fashionistas.
    .
    maryb likes this.
  16. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    There is something that still confuses me though. Where are these "perfectionists" and why have I never met one?
  17. Firestormm

    Firestormm Guest

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    Maybe because you are one and nobody else matches up to you? :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::p
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  18. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Well, I must fess up. I have perfectionist tendencies. Yet I can cope with things not being right, only OK, as I have pragmatic tendencies too, though to a large extent it was my experience from ME that taught me not to be too much of a perfectionist. Which makes me wonder: if ME can teach us to be less of a perfectionist, how can perfectionism have anything to do with maintaining illness?

    I am however a pancritical rationalist. I wonder if a psych would consider a philosophical perspective as evidence of perfectionism?
  19. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    The very definition of psychobabble?
    Wildcat likes this.
  20. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    I have no need to be an active perfectionist. I'm already perfect in every way :p Having a hideous, debilitating illness is just my perfect body's way of stopping me dying or something. Its hard being this perfect ;)

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