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No More Psychological Studies. An editorial, by Mindy Kitei

Discussion in 'Action Alerts and Advocacy' started by Mindy Kitei, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    But you can't say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH without the requisite knowledge and rational reasons for doing so.

    This community has been completely under siege by the psychs, government etc.

    From Margaret Williams and Malcolm Hooper, to people like Gerwyn and myself (and the others), careful analysis of the FLAWS of psychogenic explanations of this illness has PROVIDED weapons, if you like, with which to fight this 'war of attrition' as Margaret Williams calls it. Do you not realise the work we've been doing IS the 'enough is enough'?

    By your reasoning, we should stop that now- it's no use, we should just go back to arguing from ignorance in an angry way.

    You comparing me to Gandhi is hilarious. I've gone up against some key adversaries of this community, and my work has really ruffled feathers, let alone the work of Margaret Williams, Malcolm Hooper etc, exactly the work YOU are arguing against.

    Take note, Enid, picture of health, Silverblade, possibly 5150 people here - by your own logic, you are arguing against the analytical work of Margaret Williams and Malcolm Hooper!

    As for 'refusal to co-operate' in flawed studies. YES. That's just happened. The community showed their teeth. This was done because of GERWYN, one of those people you think is looking over gems in the faeces (and who Mindy Kitei was implying as the 'passionate' people wasting times on analysis) ACTUALLY showed people, through ANALYSIS and KNOWLEDGE, WHY the study was dodgy.

    Knowledge as a weapon people. Knowledge as a weapon.
     
  2. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

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  3. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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  4. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    Knowledge is power. Bless the web.

    What we are trying to do, by analysing the flaws in "CFS" or "CFS-ME" as we have it here in the UK, is to be able to explain to neutral parties, who are open to argument, why they should not be persuaded by the Wesselys and McClures, not to mention Reeveses, of this world.

    We need the rebuttals, to show why those guys I just mentioned are wrong, rationally, calmly and intelligently.

    There is also a case for being so much of a pain in the butt that they do something just to shut us up.

    It looks like Mindy's cut out the para that caused Angela's objections - good on her. We all get it wrong from time to time, and it takes a big heart to put right the mistakes it makes.

    We need action on all fronts. Bull has to be countered wherever it is found. Without such analyses, the community could only say anecdotally that [insert psychological study here] sounds like bollocks, but they couldn't explain why. And that would cut no ice at all where it matters.

    Win hearts and minds, people. We can, because we are right!
     
  5. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    I doubt that biomedical research alone will magically cure the psychobabble

    I don't doubt that proven organic pathology will weaken the psychobabble. But the psychologisation of CFS is deeply entrenched and this is a long term problem, change will be slow, and the psychobabble will adapt. I am concerned that people think the psychobabble will just magically disappear when organic pathological factors are confirmed. Biological abnormalities suggesting organic disease in the absence of overt psychological disturbances have already been found. And what if further biomedical research in the short term does not pass the traditional expectations of classical organic disease? Again, "biological abnormalities are more exposed to psychobabble if they are on the frontiers of science and more subtle than previously established disease processes".

    I left the following comment on the article at Mindy's blog:

     
  6. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    The devil is real

    pictureofhealth, you suggest that we should disengage from the psychobabble, that critiquing psychological abuse has not stopped it so therefore this strategy does not work? However, it seems to me that patients and advocates have tried everything already with little or no forward result compared to the desired effect, so using this same line of thought, basically everything done in the past (including the push for more biomedical research and letter writing etc) is a waste of time and effort as well.

    However, if something does not seem to work, it is not necessarily a failure, because it is often difficult to tell how much progress has been made, or how worse things would be without the previous efforts. It could have been a hell of a lot worse without such efforts. The only thing I can think of that would be different than before is a dramatic increase in numbers for any strategy, for example, thousands of people marching on the NIH doorsteps. If we weren't ill and poor, that would have already happened on the CDC's doorsteps or elsewhere numerous times. Another factor is the obvious lack of unity in the patient advocate community as a whole, something which seems to be changing in recent times.

    As it is now, flawed psychological research has an easy time getting published in journals and the related psychobabble memes have an easy ride through the public where assfacts abound. The relative lack of resistance to it (from the scientific community and medical authorities etc) has allowed it to proliferate. As I explained briefly in an earlier post on this thread and in the comment on Mindy Kitei's blog which I just posted above, ignoring the psychobabble won't make it go away and neither necessarily will biomedical research.

    I understand the argument that precious energy should be focused on the most important areas. Pushing for biomedical research is an excellent strategy and I'm not discouraging people from pursuing that singularly. However, countering the psychobabble and flawed psychological research is still very important, perhaps even the other side of the same coin. I don't see how analyses of such are "fueling" the flames as suggested elsewhere by others.

    Suppose the NIH agrees to an extra 10 million dollars or so worth of biomedical research a year. It seems unlikely that the US government would completely ignore the CDC and use the Canadian criteria exclusively. There is no guarantee that the results of such research are going to stop the psychobabble quickly or finally, it is a gamble to rely on that alone, especially if criteria issues are not resolved and the funding could be wasted, or even worse, strengthen notions of medically unexplained illness if the results are inconclusive. There is also a large overlap between critiquing psychobabble and critiquing research criteria.

    You ask, "how many of us also actually pledged money to the WPI or ME Research UK to move a step closer to what we say we want". I have donated (chump change!) multiple times to the WPI, but if there was an organisation that specifically targeted psychobabble towards ME/CFS, I would donate to them as well.
     
  7. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Thanks! Ditto.

    Very good points.

    Of course, there is a difference between psychobabble vs solid psychological research and genuine concerns for one's mental health.
     
  8. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    Having a Psychological undergraduate degree, and an intensive, daily, 12 year meditation practice, under the supervision of some of the most competent Buddhist teachers (though I am not Buddhist) in the West, I feel in a unique position to submit that the discussion of psychology in regards to CFS is a fatal diversion.

    The mind/body connection is real, and exploring such avenues can alleviate a great deal of your suffering.

    But the emphasis on such matters in CFS has only diverted funds, attention and dialogue away from finding a cure. It is a capital DEAD END. The more attention it gets the less attention real science gets. And until real science is focused in a serious way toward uncovering the underpinnings of this physiological disease this dialogue will perpetuate itself round and round as we get sicker and sicker.

    Enough psychologizing. Whether intended or not, it is counterproductive to our goal.

    I agree that engaging with the researchers studying such matters is largely a waste of time. As others have said, we will not change their minds. They are emotionally invested in finding an emotional cause for our illness. So its one EGO against another EGO. That's a recipe for a lot of wasted time.

    Time is our most precious resource, and it's being wasted as I stroke these words and you read them.

    Urgency is needed. Urgency to get real science on board with a sincere motivation to find real answers.

    There's a diversion game going one. And we're getting our asses kicked.

    And time's a wasting.
     
  9. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    So we can just argue from ignorance then? Shout without reason or knowledge? Urgently?

    Did you read Biophile's comments, post #28, above?
     
  10. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    Argue from ignorance? Not exactly sure how that question relates to anything in my post.

    Divert attention from time-wasting, such as the one we are locked in, and re-divert to the discussion of physiological research. That's the gist.
     
  11. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    And though it sounds ostensibly good, when you look at the actual facts, it's an absurd proposition. Again, did you read biophile's post (#28)?
     
  12. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    Yes, I did. And you still haven't convinced me. Though, according to your ostensibly good but in my opinion absurd logic, there is no way to quantify the ineffectiveness of your effort to sway me, so it might be working.

    Though my words would clearly indicate that you are wasting your time, the possibility exists that you have convinced me at a level neither you nor I am aware of.

    So you are free to embrace this possibility, and persist your time and efforts trying to change my mind, when there is little to no objective evidence that you are making any headway whatsoever.

    But keep in mind, that the time spent comes at the expense of pushing for more biomedical research, whose benefits do not require so much counterintuitive faith and logic to quantify.
     
  13. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    You mean you realise Biophile's comments demonstrate good reasons as to why your own proposition is absurd, and that in addition to this, there is no objective evidence to support your proposition. But you've gone down the 'retreat to committment' and 'tu-quoque' route (thank you William W. Bartley III) in order to try and win an argument you should never have weighed in on in the first place.

    Edit: Actually, scrap that last comment - you have as much right to 'weigh in' on an argument as much as anyone on this forum, even when your argument is as obviously unsafe as yours was.

    Ignorance rules, in your reasoning, and no demonstration of why this is a mistaken view on your part will make you change your mind. I get it now.
     
  14. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    Yeah- exactly that.

    Obviously you fail to grasp the obvious parallels between this conversation and your conversation with the psych lobby- You're wasting your time on both.

    Although you did manage to force a few gratuitously arcane references (tu quoque- really?) which failed to rehabilitate a convoluted logic- but did foster the illusion of a cultured logician.

    So, all in all not a total waste I guess.
     
  15. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    Ok. SO - now we've got that out of the way, let's get back to the topic.

    You believe in 'mind-body' stuff, but are advocating that critical analysis of psych's claims should NOT be done- it's a waste of time. This means you are arguing that a state of ignorance is preferable. Your argument goes pretty much like this: "Lets get angry- but do it in ignorance! Those silly people showing the flaws in psychogenic explanations (which I, Recovery Soon, actually quite like!) must stop forthwith and are silly billies for continuing. Ignorance is best! Hurrah! I know this because those silly billies haven't achieved the complete and utter overthrow of the psychiatric paradigm, something already entrenched in society, all by themselves. Obviously their way is wrong. There's only one way, MY WAY! Ignorance is the only way forward!"

    That pretty much sums up your argument.
     
  16. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    You're arguing with a straw man...and losing.

    Did I advocate for getting angry about anything? I don't know if there's another Recovery Soon on the boards, but this one hasn't made that point in this thread- and you've said it twice now.

    The point is that the Psych Lobby is too vested in their position to entertain your, my, or anyone else's ideas.

    Therefore, the only way out of this mess as I see it, is through biomedical funding, research, and clinical trials.

    If you think psychologizing with the psychologists will yield results- jump in the chair Dr. Freud. No skin off my nose.

    But I don't personally think that is an effective strategy given the alternatives.

    Clear? Or am I still wallowing in angry ignorance?
     
  17. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    Well yes! It is clear you are wallowing in ignorance, certainly. You are also fixating on a magical panacea of 'biomedical research' ALONE, and misrepresenting CRITICS of psychogenic explanations as 'psychologising with the psychologists', and actually equating those CRITCS with Freud (this may still be part of your wallowing in ignorance, not necessarily a deliberate misrepresentation). And you think it is futile to show other people the folly of psychogenic claims- because psychiatrists won't entertain them!! As if psychiatrists are the only people in this world...


    By your logic, ALL OTHER advocacy initatives are unsuccessful, and must stop immediately, or be subject to scorn. Angry? Yes, you are right, you're not really advocating that. You're just advocating ignorance, and putting all the community's eggs in one basket (biomedical research).

    By the way, more or less accurately summarising your position isn't actually a straw man.
     
  18. Recovery Soon

    Recovery Soon Senior Member

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    By your own admission you mischaracterized my position by saying I was angry...duh, remember? And comparing you to Freud was not literal- that was sarcasm- something I thought Brits took to.

    My point, echoing Mindy's point, is that Psychological studies are JUNK- therefore spending great time and energy debunking them is not necessarily time well spent- given the alternatives. You called that "A call to ignorance."

    The point here is priorities. It's also about giving something more credit and attention than it deserves. Can you debunk Psychobabble studies? Sure. Should you? Depends...if you want to make a real impact then funding for science is probably your best bet. Can you do both at the same time? Maybe.

    However, given the lack of energy in the community it would seem that our biggest priority, and hence the target of our collective effort, should be in the area of most impact.

    Want to guess where that might be? Come on, go ahead.

    Your spirited opposition to this very salient point is...I won't say ignorant- cause you've clearly trademarked the phrase- but shall we say, misguided.

    Her point, and my point, is that Money and Action speak louder than a spotlight and piecemeal deconstruction of every Crappy Psychological study.

    And no- that doesn't mean mindless anger hurled into the ethers. It means a unified, targeted call to action from our representatives to demand FUNDING.

    If you want to pick apart each wacko psych study as a hobby- have at it.

    But what we really need are priorities and action- not divisiveness and pockets of activity.

    I know...ignorant, deulded, fill in the blank, yada yada yada.

    (BTW- At least you've suspended the self-indulgent arcane reference tack. If nothing else, I'll consider that progress.)
     
  19. 5150

    5150 Senior Member

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    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    I wish I were as eloquent as RecoverySoon is in the above post. The sentiments expressed are precisely part of what I wanted to say, but guess I came up short. "No more wasting time on anything not immediately focused on physical treatment". My hour of desperation has already arrived, and too soon it arrives for everyone. In a progressive disease, things only get worse. The end game isn't pretty. My goal is to help others avoid getting to the tough end game, by encouraging effort into "physical causation and treatment". That's where the real answer lies.
    SUPPORT WPI
     
  20. Angela Kennedy

    Angela Kennedy *****

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    Moderator: Post deleted for blatant attack on another member.
     

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