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Simon Wessely in DM - is he being a hypocrite?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Min, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Min

    Min Guest

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  2. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Perhaps part of his attempt to repair his reputation, to pretend he cares about other human beings? Why does the press always go to Simon Wessely for his opinion? Or he called them?
     
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    There is another possibility. SW is often considered a controversial figure. There is a growing backlash against DSM V, and by taking this stance SW is seen as belonging to the "mainstream" psychiatric group. As to his actual motives though, we are all guessing. We are not mind readers. Bye, Alex
     
  4. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

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    "We need to be very careful before further broadening the boundaries of illness and disorder...."

    I recall Wessely making similar comments a few years ago about the dangers of undiscriminated 'counselling' for disaster/trauma victims. Might have been in the context of the September 11 attacks in 2001.

    So what he says probably has a degree of consistency, and it is literally true. But it is one of those vague, generic motherhood kind of truths, like saying 'too much is bad for you'. It is obviously true, but not particularly informative.

    Coming from him it is also reasonable to factor in a large element of arse-covering. He has left himself little get-out-of-jail-free cards like this peppered throughout his work and media statements.
     
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  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Sean, SW has a track record of denying environmental accidents such as chemical poisoning and calling it mass hysteria. This is Freudian psychiatry in action. Are we seeing something similar play out in the New York area at the moment? Bye, Alex
     
  6. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Is Simon Wessely seen as a controversial figure in the UK? Do you mean within the ME community, both the UK ME community and global ME community? I thought he was considered mainstream in the medical establishment in the UK.


    No, we aren't mind readers, Alex. But we judge people by their behavior, by their words and actions. We are constantly accessing each other in this way. And we judge people's present behavior in light of how they have behaved in the past. We have a duty to do this, to protect ourselves and others from those who are willing to do harm.
     
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  7. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    He seems to be getting all the media coverage in the UK - one might suppose there are other Docs (one or two ?) practising medicine in the UK. His note of caution (common sense really) I hope now will extend to his influential and damaging psychiatric involvement in ME.
     
  8. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Merry, I don't know that he is considered mainstream, though he does seem to be well accepted by the UK media - they don't appear to even check the veracity of what he says. However, globally is another issue, and within the ME community he is generally not respected nor liked as we all know. He is controversial because he is the chief proponent of the psychosomatic view of ME, which in scientific circles is very controversial. Psychosomatic medicine is itself controversial, even if its is dressed up in biopsychosocial terms - but the media generally seem to be unaware of this. Bye, Alex
     
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  9. Esther12

    Esther12

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    He can be opposed to broadening the boundaries of illness and disorder, but still beilieve that those within these boundaries should be placed under biopsychosocial care.

    He also seems to think that cognitions should be judged in pragmatic functional terms, rather than in terms of rationality. Simplistic eg: Those with health problems who are dependent upon help from others are more dysfunctional, so their cognitions can be manipulated by those in positions of power and authority, even if they are no less reasonable than those of someone who is healthy. To a pragmatst, concerns about rationality in mental health seem simplistic; to a rationalist, a pragmatic approach to judging the cognitions of others seems demeaning and manipulative. Both can accuse the other of being authoritarian. Pragmatists have the advantage of promoting views which will benefit the powerful (as we've seen with the recent UK disability benefit reforms).
     
  10. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Pardon me, Alex, for thinking Simon Wessely views are mainstream in UK medicine and that he has had great influence in shaping how ME/CFS patients are treated by the UK health care system.
     
  11. drjohn

    drjohn Senior Member

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    Letter, Re: Shyness in a child and depression after bereavement could be classed as mental illness in controversial new reforms (Daily Mail, 9 February 2012)

    PERMISSION TO FORWARD AND RE-POST ON OTHER FORUMS, SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES AND USE IN NEWSLETTERS. PLEASE TWEET AND RE-TWEET ON TWITTER.

    Daily Mail Letters.
    Cc: Jenny Hope, Health Editor

    The crucial importance of the name given to an illness. in understanding its cause and improving chances of recovery from it, is illustrated with sufferers of M.E. before and after Psychiatrists have re-labelled them, both since 1988 (Holmes et al.) and as they wish to revise further in their next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5. (Shyness in a child and depression after bereavement could be classed as mental illness in controversial new reforms, Daily Mail, 9 February 2012 -- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ssion-bereavement-classed-mental-illness.html).

    Before: Patient has Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, as recognised in the World Health Organisation Handbook (Issue ICD-10, 2010, Category G93.3, "Other disorders of the brain" NOT a fatigue syndrome. F48.0, in "Neurotic, stress-related and somatoform disorders"), which suggests different treatments for M.E and Chronic Fatigue Syndromes. Onset of M.E. was viral infection OR adverse reaction to vaccination; patient is not malingering, previous good attendance work/school; not hypochondriacal; no previous personal or family history of mental illness. More biomedical research needed. Meantime, treatment options: Patient experience and research evidence (Twisk & Maes, 2009) suggests that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is disappointingly ineffective and Graded Exercise Therapy (GET), makes a majority worse, some irrecoverably so. Alternative and radical, unproven, treatments given by unregulated charlatans are expensive and raise false hopes and even may be the last straw that has led to suicide attempts. Low spirits, due to social isolation, unemployment, poverty and fractured relationships should not be confused with depression; therefore antidepressants will not help and may cause addiction. Best options: treat any symptoms, such as pain, sleep problems etc; demonstrate belief in illness; support in benefits and welfare claims; visit at home when house or bed bound. Encourage patients' enquiries and discussion of latest biomedical research findings. Support blood and tissue bank initiatives. In event of death, encourage post mortem and, especially, call for investigation of inflammation in areas found in others who died after having M.E.

    After: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is now preferred term. Discourage patient using M.E, as if more serious medical condition. Even if onset is organic, illness is maintained by faulty beliefs (somatisation). Treat all with CBT and GET. Encourage patients to try other treatments, suggest can do no harm. Psychological effects are depression, therefore, treat with antidepressants even if addictive. Encourage back to work, even if there are relapses due to trying; do not support for unemployment or disability benefits. Discourage patients' own research and questions. If patient resists voluntary treatments, threaten compulsory; if persistent, send people to break down door and section under Mental Health Act. After death, discourage need for post mortem. Encourage more research into behavioural management of chronic fatigue illnesses and expansion of service to provide above treatments.

    Independent journalists may be shocked if they were to enquire into the numbers of people who have been and who are currently affected by these practices. It is why hundreds of thousands of people in the UK, millions around the world, remain ill and neglected with this dreadfully disabling neurological illness, which should be treated discretely as M.E. and not part of a fatigue bundle.

    Yours sincerely
    drjohngreensmith@mecommunitytrust.org
    Dr John H Greensmith
    M.E Community Trust.org
     
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  12. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Merry, his views do indeed dominate NICE guidelines, and most doctors follow those guidelines in the UK, but there is dissatisfaction even there. A lot of this is due to spin and influence though: even the criteria they use for CFS, the Oxford criteria, are not accepted globally but are spun as internationally accepted guidelines. A few countries in Europe do use them, so technically its accepted internationally but the rest is just spin. Unfortunately places like Holland and Belgium are lumbered with this diagnostic criteria, and I get the impression that both Switzerland and Germany might be too. Maybe someone can comment on the other countries?

    Something else just occurred to me: SW is about reducing the total number of diagnoses. Mentally sick? Not a widely recognized mental illness? Then why differentiate? Lump everything together in one category and use CBT to treat it. A proliferation of disorders is counter to what he promotes, which is lumping everythign together. FMS, IBS, GWI, CFS, ME, they are all one thing or at least equivalent according to SW.

    Bye, Alex
     
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  13. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Thanks, Alex, for the additional info. That's an interesting idea that SW wants to reduce number of diagnoses.

    Proposed changed to the diagnostic manual should be scrutinized, and some proposals surely deserve criticism. I'm just annoyed to see Simon Wessely in the press again. Has he cultivated relationships with reporters? Does he call up a reporter and say he's got a story? Does someone at the Science Media Centre call up science reporters and tell them, here's an important story and this is the person (Simon Wessely) who is an expert on this subject that you should talk to?
     
  14. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Thanks, Dr. John, for your work.
     
  15. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch Owner of Dx Revision Watch

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    Around 14 psychologists and psychiatrists provided comment on their concerns for potential changes to DSM-IV for the SMC press briefing, including Prof Nick Craddock, Prof Peter Kinderman, Allen Frances, MD, who had chaired the task force that had oversight of the drafting of DSM-IV, Prof Simon Wessely, Prof Richard Bentall, Dr Lucy Johnstone and Prof Til Wykes.

    On this post on my Dx Revision Watch site: Media coverage of UK concerns over DSM-5 (Science Media Centre press briefing):

    http://wp.me/pKrrB-1R8

    you'll find links for all major UK and international media coverage, with a link for commentary from Christopher Lane, Ph.D.

    Also, in a file are around 100 links for selected media coverage on DSM-5 in the last three weeks including news sites that picked up on the Reuters news alert (a copy of which is also on my site).

    There is also a link for the audio of the BBC Radio 4 interview on Friday's Today programme with David Kupfer, Chair, DSM-5 Task Force and Prof Peter Kinderman.

    The story was picked up by (amongst many others)

    Guardian, Comment is free

    Do we need a diagnostic manual for mental illness?
    Profs Richard Bentall and Nick Craddock discuss the controversial revisions to the US Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

    PULSE GP magazine
    ABC News

    BBC News website and BBC Radio 4 Today programme

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9694000/9694926.stm


    BMJ News
    News Bullet.in
    Courtesy: Fox News
    Daily Mail
    Telegraph
    also Independent.ie
    Independent
    Psych Central Blogs
    Wales Online
    Guardian
    Reuters

    Suzy Chapman

    http://dxrevisionwatch.wordpress.com
    http://meagenda.wordpress.com
    http://www.facebook.com/MEagenda
    http://twitter.com/MEagenda
     
  16. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch Owner of Dx Revision Watch

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    Merry, it is the case that Prof Wessely is listed as an adviser to the SMC, and that he was approached for a quote for the press on this occasion by the SMC.

    But the researchers who led Thursday's SMC press briefing were Prof Nick Craddock and Prof Peter Kinderman; a dozen or so other mental health professionals (including one or two outside the UK) were also approached and provided quotes to the SMC and some of them are quoted in the Wales Online report.

    Suzy
     
  17. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch Owner of Dx Revision Watch

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  18. Merry

    Merry Senior Member

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    Thanks, Suzy, for the information on Simon Wessely and the SMC and the press briefing on proposed changes in DSM-5 and for the links.
     
  19. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch Owner of Dx Revision Watch

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    Science Media Centre DSM-5 press briefing: Comments from research and clinical professionals

    Post #141 Shortlink: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1TL

    On February 9, psychiatrist, Prof Nick Craddock, and psychologist, Prof Peter Kinderman, discussed the implications of proposals for the next edition of the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) at a Science Media Centre press briefing for invited journalists.

    There has been significant UK and international media interest in mental health professionals concerns for a range of controversial proposals for DSM-5 as a result of this press briefing. Media coverage is being collated in this Dx Revision Watch post:

    Media coverage of UK concerns over DSM-5 (Science Media Centre press briefing): http://wp.me/pKrrB-1R8


    The Science Media Centre has very kindly given me permission to publish, in full, comments provided by research and clinical professionals for use by the press, in this follow-up post here: http://wp.me/pKrrB-1TL

    Suzy Chapman
     
  20. Roy S

    Roy S former DC ME/CFS lobbyist

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    Dr Felicity Callard, Senior Research Fellow, Service User Research Enterprise, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, said:
    The ongoing chaos surrounding the development of DSM-5 has intensified rather than lessened fears that this project is ill-conceived and founded on a weak evidence base. Peoples lives can be altered profoundly and, we should bear in mind, sometimes ruinously by being given a psychiatric diagnosis."

    http://dxrevisionwatch.wordpress.co...nts-from-research-and-clinical-professionals/


    Continuing thanks for all you are doing for us, Suzy. Apparently you do not have the proposed "Apathy Syndrome".
     

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