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Simon Wessely and "all in the mind"

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Esther12, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

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    And also in the ME/CFS field, it should be remembered that the total number of papers in any one year is relatively small compared to lots of areas so 10 papers is a few percent of the total output.
  2. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    He was an odd and complex man, shame he went so odd at the end, may have disagreed with him a lot but he was sure interesting! :)
    Loved the over-the-top mickey take they pulled of his stuff in "Starship Troopers" :p

    IIRC, he was the first to envision using a mass driver as a weapon on the Moon, something which the building tensions/space race MKII (very lopsided this time) has brought up.
    ie for those not familiar with such, you can hurl lumps of metal from the moon at hypersonic speed using magnetic propulsion, and gravity will turn 'em into "Hiroshimas"
    Potentially though it has good applications however, launching spacecraft, processed material, or even destroying (or more likely nudging them with very small impact) dangerous asteroids, etc

    classic skit on this, hehe
    [video=youtube;hLpgxry542M]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLpgxry542M[/video]
  3. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I've just added some Wesselt papers to my annotation of his personal story (Simon Wessely's Personal Story (Annotated)), but thought I'd post them here, at the end of the thread too.



    edit: I'm adding a random handful of Wessely papers in addition to what has been pasted so far, just to provide a taster for people. I think that it's quite difficult to understand his approach, particularly if one has only read a few papers, so do not think that reading only these papers would be sufficient to allow one to make much of a judgement upon his work and impact. I didn't try to pick particularly 'bad' papers, but did avoid papers that were just negative findings, or didn't seem to say much, and tried to post more papers about how patients should be treated (although couldn't find the full paper for this one: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0163834397803155 )

    Management of chronic (post-viral) fatigue syndrome: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1711569/

    Wessely Slater speech notes from 1994: http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/wessely_speech_120594.htm

    ATTRIBUTIONS AND SELF-ESTEEM IN DEPRESSION AND CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROMES: http://simonwessely.com/Downloads/Publications/CFS/12.pdf

    Symptoms of low blood pressure: a population study: http://simonwessely.com/Downloads/Publications/CFS/13.pdf

    History of postviral fatigue syndrome: http://simonwessely.com/Downloads/Publications/CFS/20.pdf

    VIRUSES, NEUROSIS AND FATIGUE: http://simonwessely.com/Downloads/Publications/CFS/45.pdf

    Chapter from a book (the amount available on google seems to vary): http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...he provision of negative information"&f=false

    There is only one functional somatic syndrome: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/185/2/95

    Health for me: a sociocultural analysis of healthism in the middle classes: http://bmb.oxfordjournals.org/content/69/1/197.full
  4. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    Given the comment below I wouldn't be surprised if some paediatricians receive threats. Its one thing to push a particular treatment with poor science its another thing to start care proceedings or given the lack of information that social services will provide be thought of as having started them. I believe schools have a huge reputation for starting child protection proceedings where children have ME.

    http://tymestrust.org/pdfs/vision2010-3.pdf
  5. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    'Threats' as expressions of anger and hatred wouldn't surprise me at all - threats to CFS patients from doctors wouldn't surprise me either; Wessely et al. have helped create a rather heated psychosocial setting arround CFS. I don't know if there's likely to be anything more than that. I've certainly never been invited to join any secret paramilitary CFS organisation!!

    If these articles were simply about patients feeling mistreated and angry, it would have been nice if just one of the reporters had tried to see if they had any legitimate reason for doing so, and for holding Wessely responsible for some of the problems that they face.
    Sean and Dolphin like this.
  6. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    From the thread title...
    Wow, finally I've found out what's in Simon Wessely's mind, and the true source of all our woes!!

    Makes sense, as Simon's new book is:
    SEE? IT ALL MAKES SENSE, NOW!!
    We are being ass pounded by Lucifer's Hamster!!
    :D :D

    [​IMG]

    (link in case site prevents direct linking http://piccsy.com/2010/11/mutant-gerbil)


    (there's also a bunch of gags in my post too, hehe)
    Enid likes this.
  7. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    2009 Simon Wessely interview with New Scientist:

    It's behind a paywall there, but available here:

    http://www.healthcare-today.co.uk/content.php?contentId=10612


    Can people think themselves sick?
    16th March 2009

    In the New Scientist psychiatrist Simon Wessely, adviser to the Home Office and Ministry of Defence, looks into the idea that people can "think themselves sick".

    manindespairQ

    Dr Wessely has researched how illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome and Gulf war syndrome are caused. This has led to controversy and he has received angry letters from people who believe he has dismissed their conditions.

    However Dr Wessely has devoted himself to the finding ways of treating these conditions. Speaking to Claire Wilson, Dr Wessley explains how a person's brain can affect their health.

    How does a person's mindset affect their physical health?

    On a weekly basis one would experience many manifestations of "how what's going on around you affects your subjective health". When unpleasant experiences occur, they affect a person physically. One might suffer a number of reactions including insomnia, anxiety and other symptoms.

    At what point does that make someone ill?

    The physical reactions "only become a problem when people get trapped in excessively narrow explanations for illness". Going online to diagnose ourselves can potentially be harmful.

    How does chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) relate to this?

    In many cases, it is caused by an illness such as glandular fever. After a few weeks or months most people will have recovered from it. Unfortunately some people decide to monitor their symptoms and can "get trapped in vicious circles...so that what started it all off is no longer what is keeping it going".

    We still do not understand why some infections and not others trigger CFS, or why depressed people have double the risk of developing it. It is important to consider both the "infective trigger" and the mental factors in order to understand the condition.

    How is CFS treated?

    The first step is to make people engage with their treatment. I speak with them for 2 hours and let them know I want to understand their problems.

    Although I may not know why many of the patients I see are unwell, the most important thing "is what happens next". I encourage cognitive behavioural therapy and for the patient to become more active.

    Is your method of treating CFS a success?

    About one third of people improve, one third "completely recover" and the remaining third do not.

    You have claimed that CFS, irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia "are all the same illness".

    Many of these conditions share overlapping symptoms - people with IBS say they are tired and people with CFS report intestinal problems.

    So the "syndrome labels" are too random?

    You find that countries around the world have "different syndromes". For example, in France CFS does not exist and in Germany low blood pressure is not good.

    What about Gulf war syndrome?

    I asked the question: "What are the rates of illness in those we sent to the Gulf compared with those we haven't?" Our research found that being sent to the Gulf had caused a definite effect to the health of some of those serving there.

    How has your work affected military policy?

    Our research has gathered data about psychiatric disorders in soldiers. We discoverd that alcohol is more of an issue than post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    You have recently been exploring the claims of people who say their mobile phones have made them unwell. What's this about?

    My co-worker James Rubin and I found that people who say they are affected by mobile phones could not "tell the difference between sham and real phone signals". These people are not inventing the problem - they have put themselves in a trap where a mobile phone is the trigger for their problems.

    What does it feel like to be sent hate mail?

    It has been "pretty unpleasant" in some cases, but my work covers a controversial area.

    My patients do not send me hate mail and I would be concerned if my colleagues or patients thought I was not a good person. What is important is producing "good quality" research.
  8. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I was just reading this little Wessely book review, and was unsure whether it was worth saving, but then remembered this thread, and decided to add it here. I found it interesting in light of the casual manner in which the cognitions of those with CFS are treated as abnormal or dysfunctional.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(08)60470-5/fulltext
  9. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Esther
    considering IBS has been proven to have a biological cause, Wessely is thus as usual, "full of sh*t, literally in this case!" :p
  10. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Isn't it about time he and his ilk (it's me Scots forebears) took a very long sabbitical to continue studying the very simple - not the brains for more.

    Silverblade - much enjoyed the delightful hampster - any chance the wierdoes (like psyches will leave alone).
  11. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Enid
    well, yes, a logn sabbatical "At Her Majesty's Pleasure", prefferably, muhaha! ;)

    Note on hamsters and the internet:
    ever since a game called "Baldurs gate" came out, there's been a internet meme/fondness for hamsters, because of "Boo", the "miniature giant space hamster", the pet of one character in the game, lol. (And is sitll carried on in the "Mass Effect" games)
    :p
  12. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    When I stumble upon some Wessely-ish thing, I now just post it in here, in case others are interested.

    A debate on PTSD Wessely was speaking in, against the motion: http://www.iop.kcl.ac.uk/podcast/rs...Psychiatry-Post_Traumatic_Stress_Disorder.mp3

    "PTSD - THIS HOUSE BELIEVES THAT THE TRAUMA INDUSTRY INAPPROPRIATELY MEDICALISES NORMAL SUFFERING

    It touches on some abstract issues which are vaguely related to CFS... but no-one seeming terribly interested in the views of patients.

    It's funny how so many of these sorts of London events have the same sort of atmosphere. It makes me sympathise with the desire of Scots for independence.
    peggy-sue likes this.
  13. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Esther
    hey, I'm perfectly willing to have them rebuild Hardrian's Wall a bit south of Liverpool, and extend it around the Welsh border and down by Cornwall and Devon too! :p
    peggy-sue and Enid like this.
  14. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Don't leave us. We'll be even worse off without you!
  15. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    In my experience, these kind of nonsense statements come from people who have never really suffered and are therefore empathy-deficient. Very few people who have really suffered -- for any reason -- can make such flat and absolute statements about suffering.
    taniaaust1 and ukxmrv like this.
  16. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    *The Celts pull out saws and JCBs, cut themselves away from poor soggy England, and hiring a million pedaloes, sail off to the sunny Bahamas!*


    HEATWAVE!!
    :p

    [video=youtube;IwahCM3mC9A]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwahCM3mC9A&feature=related[/video]
  17. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    I don't think that they would have thought of it in that way.

    These sorts of silly debate titles, and the manner in which discussion occurs does irritate me though, and seems part of a the culture of sections of British society which enjoys turning important issues into reassuring play-time debates.
    Enid likes this.
  18. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    I see what you mean. I've encountered some pseudo-intellectual groups who think they are being clever with discussion topics like "Eugenics -- Destruction of Society or Economic Wisdom?" To me, they sound juvenile, not clever. I guess they're everywhere. **sigh**
  19. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Jack the Ripper was a monster
    But he pales in comparison to the death toll of the likes of Robespierre of the French "Terror" (arguably the first of the "Intellectual agents of mass murder")

    In other words, generally it's the cold, callous, calculating sons of b*tches who do the most harm and are often not recognized for what they are, or the even carnage they cause.
    Like I keep saying, 100 million died by tobacco by 2000AD, by 2100AD, it will be 1 billion,and people knew that would happen, calculated it, sold it as part of their plans to developing nations, a silent cull of those who'd then be retired, economic "negatives", wastes of space....
    Gimmie an old fashioned axe murderer, anyday! :p
  20. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

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    Yeah. I've been listening to a few Norman Finkelstein debates recently, and while I don't agree with everything he says, I like how he keeps a sense of moral seriousness to the discussions. He seems really focused on attacking his opponents arguments, and this allows for a more interesting discussion to take place. I think that the easiest way to win a debate is to convince people that they always agreed with your position, but they just hadn't quite realised it - these sorts of games really restrict the range of ideas and arguments that can be put forward though.

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