Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Hip, Sep 24, 2011.
Yes, I would diagnose them as having Professional Idiot Syndrome.
Difference between AIDS and ME is, in this area, AIDS was killing folk within a few years of showing symptoms in a pretty specific set of ways, so that pretty much offered hard proof that it was utter ludicrous bullshit to suggest it was psychosomatic, and so stopped the psychobabblers early on.
Psychobabblers are just snakeoil salesmen/witchfinders of the 20/21st century, looking for any unusual illness to prove their hysterical beliefs are "real", and to make profit off the sick and dying.
IMHO, it's alternative medicine, and bad at that, while homeopathy may have no scientific validity it at least does help the patient's mental state and gives placebo benefits as the practitioners are usually sympathetic and helpful, complete bloody opposite of the psychobabblers.
Does anyone have a list of diseases that Wessely and Co. have hijacked and tarred with the psychosomatic brush?
I know chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable-bowel-syndrome, and interstitial cystitis are on this list.
It would be interesting to know which diseases have been usurped by these psychosomatic fanatics and have thus had their biomedical research programs setback by several decades.
I think that would be a very interesting and possibly productive project. Look at a list of the PACE authors or some such, and see what papers or other statements they've made in the past ... then list their "somatic" disorders followed by the actual causes for them that were eventually discovered. ME/CFS at the end with a question mark?
The hard part would be getting it up somewhere that a wide range of people (especially those following the psych school of thought) would read it.
Me too, but realistically why should he turn away from his mental blinkers, when they have carved him such a lucrative niche?
I'm unable to access the original link to the comments made by 'Wessely and Co', I can only image the linked page has been removed or that I'm being locked out by my works server.
On what's been posted I'm struggling to get as excited as everyone else, I'd like to see the context of the quoted comments. For instance if he simply saying it's a bad idea to have an investigative team which does not include a psychologist, if that's the case then I'd have to agree, until you know what it is you should consider all possibilities, that's out mantra right!
However, if as implied he's suggesting it's a bad idea to even look for a physical cause, because secure in his London offices he can already guarantee it's just hysteria, then I can understand the concern.
If others can still use the link can someone post the comments if they're not to long winded?
Is there actually any proof that something like mass hysteria exists?I mean aside form something like a bomb explodes and everone screams and runs around...
Sounds like another word for: we don't know so it must be in your head...
I really think that psychology can be helpful, but such crap really makes it hard to hold on to that.
I still don't get my mind around it. How can psychologist tell so many crap and still be taken serious. So many stuff over time they sad it's all in your mind and then science came and proofed them wrong. Noone would beliefe any individual anthing anymore that told so much crap..
Latest thing I'm aware is shizophrenia which seems to be an autoimmunity problem that destroys the brain. Saw a report a few years ago where they sad medicin noticedlong ago that immunsupressiva seem to help and autoimmunity would be the logical explanation but only recently the technology got advanced enough to make the process inside the brain visible.
I am fairly sure hysteria does not exist, and mass hysteria is equally imaginary. Mass panic is the name for people running around screaming. Anxiety is what happens in epidemics. Its not hysteria. Most early cases of hysteria (19th century) have been rediagnosed by later doctors going back over the old records. Rediagnoses include epilepsy and other forms of brain damage. Hysteria is just another label for "I don't have a clue" without having to admit ignorance. Its also a great excuse to ignore epidemics and large scale chemical poisoning. Bye, Alex
'Mass hysteria', in various guises, is Wessely's default explanation for everything, including ME and CFS.
It's called Mass Shysteria.
It occurs when a large number of people act together in a disreputable, unethical, or unscrupulous way for the purpose of promoting their own personal, professional, or financial goals.
!@#$%. The forum software lost my post, which I find disappointing, but I hope I can remember what I wrote:
We are psychosocial animals and it is natural for people to be influenced by others; social trends, fashion, fads, peer pressure, gossip, hype, role models, cue taking, etc. We have so-called mirror neurons which help us to mimic or learn from the behaviour/actions of others. Dynamics can occur in numbers, eg people being crushed in stampedes, tension in the atmosphere followed by an eruption of brawling which waves across a drunken crowd, etc). Mass panic occurs in response to a public threat, but may be enhanced by responding to cues from how others are reacting to the threat.
Of course, influence is generally mild and subtle compared to "hysteria", but any phenomenon usually has outliers or extreme examples too. So, although it is a subject I have yet to explore in much detail, I tend to believe it is possible that mass psychogenic illness can occur in extreme scenarios, and that potential mechanisms exist. However, it is sloppily overused as an explanation and should not be confused with mass panic (but seems related to anxiety and cue taking).
It still makes me chuckle when I hear about how in the Victorian era, it seemed to be relatively common practice for bored or frustrated housewives to be diagnosed with "hysteria" and then be treated with prolonged sexual stimulation by a physician. Vibrators were invented to reduce the workload. IIRC, when Charcot (famous neurologist and supposed leading expert on hysteria at the time) gave private demonstrations of "hysteria", there were the usual epileptics and other such patients, but some were demonstrations of what happens when he sexually stimulated a woman to climax. This is how out of touch these people were about certain human functions. Keep in mind that not only was Freud one of Charcot's students, but much of society's perceptions about psychosomatic illness filtered down from this ridiculous era in medicine.
ME has been defined for several decades and CFS was defined in the late 80's. Many of the leading psychobabblers spent their training and formative years during these times, and much of the psychobabbling about ME/CFS has been directly imported as pre-existing concepts from psychology and psychiatry about psychosomatic illness, somatization, conversion disorder, medically unexplained functional illness, etc. These concepts have barely evolved much past the Victorian era, but have been rehashed to adapt to updates and criticisms without a fundamental rethink of the underlying assumptions. Much of it appears to be highly questionable and has not been subjected to enough scientific skepticism.
I would amend it as such:
Professional Idiot Somatization Syndrome: PISS
That is an excellent point, Biophile, about the Victoria era origins of psychosomatic illnesses, and the fact that these concepts have not been sufficiently subjected to hard-nosed scientific skepticism.
It has been some time since I last was into psychology, so correct me if I am wrong, but I do remember reading that to begin with, there was significant skepticism and distrust among Anglo-Saxon thinkers (at least in the UK) — who tend to be more hard-nosed pragmatists compared to their Continental European counterparts — regarding all the new concepts in psychology coming out of Vienna and Continental Europe at the beginning of the 20th Century.
So it is very ironic that these Wessely School ideas on psychosomatic illness should arise from the hard-nosed, pragmatist, empirically-driven British / Anglo-Saxon culture. You could understand it more if the source of these contemporary psychosomatic ideas was on the Continent.
If only Anglo-Saxons could today throw some hard-nosed scientific skepticism on the contemporary study of psychosomatic illness and somatization: that might finally extricate conditions like ME/CFS, irritable bowel syndrome, and interstitial cystitis from the clutches of the psychosomatic classifications given to them by woolly-thinking psychologists.
It's strange how quiet the GMC are on Wessley and White. Sarah Myhill and Andrew Wakefield were keel-hauled for their work. Wakefield's study wasn't very good it has to be admitted, but it didn't cause the kind of damage Wessley and co have and are causing. So, where's the GMC? .... tumbleweed....
Biophile is quite right to talk of the 19th century origins of these views. I have also been researching Charcot and Freud. Most cases of hysteria presented at that time, that were documented, have been re-examined in modern times. These days we can identify the illness much more readily, and biophile correctly notes that epilepsy is one of them.
Hysteria is a disease entity that has never been validated. Its just been accepted - like smoking tobacco is good for you. Until the evidence arises that specific incidences are wrong, people just go on believing it. According to some every ME patient really is hysterical. This was a popular hypothesis. I assert strongly that there is MUCH more substantive evidence that ME is a real disease than hysteria is. There are many consistent or semiconstent pathophysiological findings in ME, but none in hysteria that I am aware of if you rule out the obvious misdiagnoses such as epilepsy.
Hysteria is a disease without evidence. Its a superstition. The belief in its existence would be more scientific if it were called an hypothesis. Calling it a real diagnosis, a real disease, is just a joke, and reflects badly on people who make such claims.
Has anyone research who is allowed to lodge complaints with the GMC? I presume its only registered doctors in the UK.
Hi Firestormm, I followed the link you supplied but I have to report that I think you're reading it wrong, the part you have copied and pasted is the author of the article, these are the only quotes by Wessely that are given in that article.
"At any one time there are probably hundreds of episodes happening all around the world," says Simon Wessely, a psychology professor at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London. "They just don't normally get reported.
This was what led to my earlier post, I couldn't find anything that Wessely had said regarding the specific outbreak!
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