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Simon Wessely's latest

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Min, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Min

    Min Senior Member

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    Here in the UK, the stranglehold of Professor of Psychiatry Simon Wessely and his colleagues have on our neurological illness continues to tighten, and the only treatments we can access from our National Health Service are psychological. It is worth noting that the Medical Research Council, who allot the taxpayer funding to medical research, have only ever granted funding into ME to psychiatrists (Dr Kerr's important work on genetics was refused funding and had to be funded by tiny charities):


    Wessely S (2009). Surgery for the treatment of psychiatric illness: the need to test untested theories.

    http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/trial_records/20th_Century/1920s/kopeloff/kopeloff-commentary.html

    "But there is also a second and more disturbing explanation for the alacrity and uncritical nature with which somatic explanations are endorsed on often the flimsiest of evidence. Psychiatry, its patients and its practitioners, continue to be stigmatised like no other branch of medicine. In 2008 I spoke at a meeting on chronic fatigue syndrome organised by the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM). There was a concentrated effort by some campaigners to have my invitation and that of my two psychiatric colleagues rescinded. Others wrote to the President of the RSM asking why psychiatrists could be permitted to attend a meeting at a society with the name “medicine” in its title, and seemed perplexed to learn that psychiatrists were actually permitted not just to attend, but to be members of the organisation. If one reads the angry responses to any article that mentions chronic fatigue syndrome and psychiatry in the same breath, it is clear that the drive to find a somatic biomarker for chronic fatigue syndrome is driven not so much by a dispassionate thirst for knowledge but more by an overwhelming desire to get rid of the psychiatrists. That it is psychiatry that to date has made the most progress in treating chronic fatigue syndrome is at best an irrelevance, and at worst just a further insult."
  2. hvs

    hvs Senior Member

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    Wow, this guy positively hates MECFS patients. It's personal with him. Yikes.
  3. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    Yikes!

    Hi--this really is frightening stuff. It is of course easy to pick off the easy targets presented by some of the stuff that draws desperate people--like us--into all kinds of silly things, but the ease with which real research findings are bypassed is deeply disturbing.

    I have just finished watching the DVDs from the Invest in ME conference in London; besides being impressed by the contributions of such as Dan Peterson, Judy Mikovits (long flourish the Whittemore Institute!), Basant Puri, and others, I listened with fascination to Hillary Johnson (author of Osler's Web) recounting the shenanigans of the CDC and NIH to keep the reality of ME/CFS away from both the medical and general communities--with remarkable success, as we all know too well.

    Hillary Johnson ends her paper with the suggestion that AIDS only came into real focus with the ACTUP people, and proposes that maybe all the parents of children with ME prepare a huge banner with the names of those children and display it in Hyde Park. She proposes this after noting the lack of media coverage of the conference.

    Maybe there is an idea here.... The US has at least some doctor/ researchers active and interested; Canada has pitifully few, and the situation in England is pretty desperate despite the work that people like Buri and Myhill. What is the next step? Chris
  4. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    OMG! He feels like a victim! And, he has insufficient insight to understand what he is saying. How astonishing!

    I continue to be astonished at his total lack of insight! Is this paranoia? It's perilously close.

    Please, someone diagnose this guy! What kind of personality disorder causes this kind of distorted thinking and speaking?

    What's wrong with him?!

    Ohhmmmmmmmmm
  5. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Wessely S (2009). Surgery for the treatment of psychiatric illness: the need to test untested theories.

    "It is sad but true that knowledge about the nature of psychiatric disorders lags behind that of the conditions seen in what I consider to be the easier medical specialities, or at least those whose target organs are more accessible."

    "'Easier' medical specialities" speaks volumes. He doesn't feel respected even though his specialty is more difficult than the easier specialties.

    Psychiatry has changed radically over the past few decades and traditional psychiatrists are no longer at the centre of the treatment team for a lot of conditions which were once thought to be purely "psychiatric". There are new paradigms for depression, schizophrenia, OCD and many other "mental illnesses". Functional MRIs and other kinds of brain mapping have changed the way we view illnesses of the brain along with innovations in (and the huge coffers of) big Pharma.

    For good or for ill, far fewer patients are looking to talk therapy, CBT and other forms of psychotherapy to address many conditions which were quite recently the sole domain of the psychiatrist.

    Personally, I feel we (people in general) have a great need for empathic listening, talk therapy, CBT, Mindfulness therapies, etc. but that they are more supportive than curative for most "illnesses", even psychiatric illnesses.

    I can't believe he's taken seriously.

    Peace out,
    Koan
  6. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    It just occurred to me that

    Psychiatry may well be the only specialty which has failed to find a cure for any diseases in its purview. There has not been one cure developed for a mental illness nor any sustainable theories as to causation. The discipline has not been a successful one.

    Psychology, on the other hand, has been much more effective, insightful and helpful.

    So interesting.
  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    hi

    if psychiatry was the cure for cfs, there would be lots of people cured as many of us have been on or are on antidepressants. They may help with certain symptoms, but in general they just make you feel better about feeling like crap. I suppose psychiatrist have to hold onto there believe of cfs as a psych case or else they lose work, about the $$$$$$.
  8. busybee

    busybee Senior Member

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    He also says

    The drive to find somatic explanations for psychiatric disorders remains as strong as ever for two reasons. First, because many people, including me, believe that they will eventually bear fruit.

    Bx
  9. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Excellent post Koan!

    It's quite telling that some of the most psychologically screwed up people are in fact psychiatrists. Must be some sort of inferiority complex where they feel the need to prove their 'superiority'.

    Totally agree. These mind-body therapies are critical I would say, but only a piece of the puzzle...

    thanks Koan,

    d.
  10. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    It's not just psychiatrists, but most medical doctors who fit into this category of needing to prove their superiority. I have two in my family, plus their doctor friends, and I can confirm a definite need for power and prestige (and money of course) to be the driving force for many. Unfortunately, the careers that draw the most compassionate people do not include modern medicine on the list.
  11. Aftermath

    Aftermath Guest

    Psychiatry

    So exactly how many patients treated with psychotherapy have displayed reversed SPECT scans and/or tilt-table tests?

    Perhaps this guy has something of an inferiority complex, as psychiatry is alongside pediatrics for the title of least prestigious specialty in medicine. Those going in to these fields tend to have the lowest board scores in medicine.
  12. Roy S

    Roy S former DC ME/CFS lobbyist

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    Malcolm Hooper has a very long, yet interesting paper titled:

    The Mental Health Movement: Persecution of Patients?

    A CONSIDERATION OF THE ROLE OF PROFESSOR SIMON WESSELY AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE WESSELY SCHOOL IN THE PERCEPTION OF MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYELITIS (ME) IN THE UK

    These quotes are from that paper:

    "Based in New York, Dr John Diamond is a founding member of The Royal College of Psychiatrists. In an extract from his recent book (Facets of a Diamond 2003) in the October 2003 issue of the journal "What Doctors Don't Tell You", Diamond says "I am no longer a psychiatrist. I renounce it because I believe cruelty is at the core of the profession (and) I believe that there is something inherent in the profession that tends to bring out any cruelty lurking within. I have long wondered why this profession --- which ought to be so compassionate - has, it seems to me, turned its back on humanity".

    Dr Robert Hare, a Canadian professor of psychology, as saying "The psychiatric profession and its associates are very reluctant to admit they are wrong or that they have made a mistake".

    http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/SELECT_CTTEE_FINAL_VERSION.htm
  13. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Whoa!

    Thanks much, Roy, for posting this. I'm sure it will be a most interesting read!

    And, thanks Danny for getting me. I was a bit embarrassed, to tell the truth, that I went on and on and on the way I did. Wessely makes me crazy which, I suppose, holds some irony.

    Peace out,
    Koan

    ETA It was a most interesting and profoundly sobering read. It's very long, exceedingly depressing and I fear many will be too overwhelmed by these aspects of the piece to get through it. However, it is important that we know as much of this as we can. Sometimes we in NA assume that it has little to do with us but as we become an increasing financial burden we may well find ourselves in the same boat at the mercy of Captain Wessely. I hope as many people as can manage, read it.
  14. Finch

    Finch Down With the Sickness

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    It's just as Koan said, and I did manage to get through it. It's amazing someone would spend so much energy in trying to discredit these illnesses. Of course, they obviously believe they're in the right and that even the foremost ME/CFS researchers and practitioners are completely wrong, let alone the patients.

    Has Wessely never been ill himself?
  15. Michelle

    Michelle Decennial ME/CFS patient

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    It also helps if you are financially benefiting from screwing ME/CFS patients, like Wessely is by working for UNUM. See this.
  16. LazyLizard

    LazyLizard 11yrs with ME

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    This has occured to me too. To study medicine you would often come from a well-off background because it needs financial support. You may seek status and financial rewards by studying years longer than other disciplines. To support "complicated" CFS patients and part with mainstream psychosomatic ideas might not fit the dream of how to practise medicine. Compassion and altruism are often not found here. (Doctors who are exception to this may forgive my harsh words.)
    As far as I can see, a lot of high-profile CFS doctors and researchers have been hit by CFS themselves or in their family.
  17. Min

    Min Senior Member

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    Prof Wessely is also allegedly a member of the supervisory board of a company named PRISMA. This company is being paid many millions of UK pounds to supply ‘rehabilitation’ programs (such as CBT and GET) to the UK National Health Service for use on ‘CFS’ patients. CBT & GET are the only treatments that we UK M.E. patients are offered by the National Health Service; most of us do not have private health insurance.

    He has said of sufferers of M.E. ‘The average doctor will see they are neurotic and he will often be disgusted with them’ (and that, in my experience, is how most medical professionals in the UK view us as a result of his & his colleagues propaganda for over two decades).
  18. annunziata

    annunziata Senior Member

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    I've deliberately avoided looking at Wessely's comments and articles for awhile. Apparently his reaction to Dr. Mikovits' work is that XMRV doesn't fit with his data of childhood abuse. :eek:

    It is just staggering how intractable Reeves Disease is.
  19. Robin

    Robin Guest

    Koan, I must respectfully disagree with you.

    My brother suffers from bipolar disorder with a tendency toward psychosis. He describes visual and auditory hallucinations with a tendency toward paranoia. My grandfather had similar symptoms, and that time, the medications and treatments available weren't sufficient to keep him healthy and productive. He spent a great deal of time in psychiatric wards and eventually died of suicide. My brother, on the other hand, is able to maintain a full time job and raise his children because of advances in treatment, specifically anti-psychotic medication. A psychologist would not be able to treat my brother. In fact, any one that wants to try is welcome to be alone with him in a locked room when he's off his meds. He's 6' and weighs over 200 pounds.

    There are a lot of theories of causation in regard to psychiatric illness, Koan, and the advances in psycotropic medications have helped millions of people. I'm confused as to why you would point to a lack of "cure" as a failure of psychiatry; there is no cure for cancer yet oncology is not a failure, there is not cure for diabetes but endocrinology is not a failure, what about AIDS?

    Psychiatry is a very important medical discipline, but it is not appropriate on for treating CFS, just like psychiatry is not appropriate to treat cancer. Simon Wessely is an idiot, but not all psychiatrist are idiots (just like not all dogs are poodles.)
  20. jace

    jace Off the fence

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    Bumping this thread, there's important insights that many of us may not have seen yet.

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