International ME/CFS and FM Awareness Day Is On May 12, 2018
Thomas Hennessy, Jr., selected May 12th to be our international awareness day back in 1992. He knew that May 12th had also been the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She was the English army nurse who helped to found the Red Cross as well as the first school of nursing in the world.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Did Wilkie Collins have ME?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Jenny, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes:
    535
    Dorset
    Just been listening to Peter Ackroyd's biography of Wilkie Collins on BBC Radio 4. Apparently he had a mysterious relapsing and remitting illness with symptoms of extreme fatigue, nausea, rheumatic pain, sensitivity to sound, and anxiety. He described it as 'gout of the brain'.

    Doctors treated him with potassium and were trying to detox him from mercury. We don't seem to have progressed very far in treatment ideas!

    The other thing he was treated with was laudenum - I hadn't thought of that - might be worth a go.

    Jenny
     
  2. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,246
    Likes:
    790
    Laudanum no longer exists as such, as far as I am aware. The modern equivalents would be various opioids. Most of us have already tried them for pain relief.

    Interesting theory about Collins. He was obsessed with disability, you get one or more disabled character in every novel of his which I've read (and I've read all the major ones and a fair number of the minor ones). Oddly, the characters who are closest to having something like ME tend not to be as sympathetically portrayed, they're more likely to be hypochondriacs or using a pretended illness to manipulate other people. Perhaps he had internalised social prejudice against his own illness?
     
    Angela Kennedy likes this.
  3. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes:
    535
    Dorset
    Yes, just kidding about the laudanum!

    Interesting point about internalising prejudice.
     
  4. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,309
    Likes:
    862
    UK
    Heard that this am and did indeed wonder about ME. (Like Darwin).
     
  5. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,105
    Likes:
    274
    Long Beach, CA
    I thought he was supposed to have "rheumatic gout," which is an old-fashioned term for rheumatoid arthritis. That's bad enough (and of course once you've got one autoimmune disease, you're apt to have others). I would imagine if you added the effects of laudanum addiction to that, you'd be one very sick puppy.

    "And now, my beauties, something with poison in it. Poppies...poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep..."
     

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page