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.
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Lest We Forget

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Daisymay, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Daisymay

    Daisymay Senior Member

    This is being sent on behalf of Margaret Williams:

    Lest we forget

    Margaret Williams 21st July 2012

    The British Army is about to be truncated: not only are thousands of servicemen/women to be made redundant and more reliance placed on Territorial Army (TA) recruits in times of need, but those seriously injured in, for instance, Afghanistan, who have been blown up by an IED (improvised explosive device) and have lost limbs are apparently to be denied disability benefits on the grounds that once they have been fitted with prostheses, they are no longer disabled.

    The British Army appears to have an unenviable track record when it comes to looking after its sick personnel who suffer from either Gulf War Syndrome or ME/CFS, perhaps due to the prominent role played by Professor Simon Wessely in both disorders and his well-known views that neither disorder actually exists except as a dysfunctional “belief”.

    In 1994, an Editorial in The Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Army General Practice: June 1994:140:2:59-60) by Lt Col JH Johnson set out the British Army’s position in relation to ME/CFS:

    “A recent Editorial in the BMJ has cogently and succinctly stated what is currently known about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (sometimes given the unhappy acronym ‘ME’, with its double implication of serious pathology in the nervous system ‘Myalgic Encephalomyelitis’ and of the suffering ego ‘Me!’).

    “Many with this complaint have a recognisable psychiatric condition….Some may have had an infection, usually viral, but the relevance of this is uncertain and studies purporting to show an important pathogenetic role for chronic viral infection have been…unconvincing.

    “No tests other than history are needed to make the diagnosis…no special training is needed to make the diagnosis and no investigations are required other than…to exclude other diseases.

    “Some patients…especially those who have made their own diagnosis and joined a ‘self-help’ group, seem to enjoy the status of ‘ME Victims’; usually they have a devoted spouse who helps them to record their many symptoms….many do not get better but devote their life to their disease.

    “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome…is not new. ‘Neurasthenia’ was a popular disorder in the last century but went out of fashion when the physical explanation…ceased to be valid. During the First World War… ‘Effort Syndrome’ became a common diagnosis. This disease was characterised by chronic fatigue and a long list of other ‘functional’ symptoms….So many men were affected that the War Effort was put in danger. Special Rehabilitation Hospitals were therefore set up and sufferers were made to undergo staged physical training under medical supervision….Preparations were afoot for a similar epidemic during the Second World War.

    “We in the Army Medical Service still…have at our disposal the treatment modality set up by our predecessors in 1915.

    “Army General Practitioners should be able to look after their patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome…(who) indeed may be better served with historically attested treatment facilities than their counterparts in civilian practice”.

    As with other recruits, a TA applicant must fill in a comprehensive medical questionnaire (British Army Health Questionnaire) and the RG Form 8 (Revised July 2004) in the section headed “Psychiatric or mental health disorders” lists “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ‘ME’” along with “Behavioural problems”.

    The British Army Form RG 8 that was revised in June 2008 equally lists “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ‘ME’ ” at section 6.25, that section (6.20) being “Mental health problems”.
    Despite the now extensive database of biomedical abnormalities found in ME/CFS, has anything changed in the British Army’s outdated categorisation of ME/CFS in the intervening four years?

    Whilst it is clearly imperative that Army recruits must be of “a robust constitution and free from disease or pre-existing injury to undertake the physically and mentally demanding challenges of training and future service”, should soldiers be unfortunate enough to succumb to ME/CFS whilst serving their country, it is not acceptable for them to continue to be labelled as suffering from a psychiatric or mental health disorder or to be compelled to undergo “rehabilitation” in the form of graded exercise therapy, particularly as it is known that such patients exhibit profound abnormality in their response to exercise intervention and will not benefit from it (Loss of capacity to recover from acidosis on repeat exercise in chronic fatigue syndrome: a case-control study. David EJ Jones, Julia L Newton et al. European Journal of Clinical Investigation, February 2012:42:2:186-194).

    Why is the Ministry of Defence, headed by the Secretary of State for Defence, allowed to diverge from adherence to the WHO ICD-10 classification of ME as a neurological disease when other Departments of State including the Department of Health are mandated to observe the WHO classification?
    Fred1234567 and Tally like this.
  2. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

    Thanks daisymay - a clear view of the situation here and the willing detractors. Psychiatry wants to take a good look at itself, it's aims and history to pull illnesses not yet fully understood into their "hysterias" , faulty beliefs etc. One might suggest they need to see a psychiatrist for serious faulty belief themselves. Their "theories" can't be proved - how very convenient for them too.
  3. sianrecovery

    sianrecovery Senior Member

    Manchester UK
    Not surprising, but horrifying - happy for men and women to risk their lives, but completely refuse to take responsibility for the destruction of their health in the course of their service - there really is some terrible karma healing Simon Wessely's way.
  4. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch Suzy Chapman Owner of Dx Revision Watch

    dasimay, this is the PDF for

    RG 8 Part 1 (Revised Jun 08)

    The Margaret Williams commentary says:

    Looking at the layout for the questions on pages 10 and 11, from 6.6 to 6.37, I can't see that 6.25. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ‘ME’ can be said to be listed any more under section 6.20. Mental health problems than
    6.26. Cancer (including leukaemia) or 6.27.Heat or cold injuries are.

    Page 10

    6.6. Asthma, wheezing or use of inhalers
    6.7 Other chest problems
    6.8. Heart or circulation
    problems (including Raynauds disease)
    6.9. Stomach or bowel problems
    6.10. Liver problems
    6.11. Kidney and bladder problems (including bed-wetting)
    6.12. Blood disorders
    6.13. Ear or hearing problems (including grommets). If YES, please provide any hearing test results.
    6.14. Faints, blackouts, fits, seizures (including epilepsy)
    6.15. Headaches
    (including migraine)
    6.16. Serious head Injury
    6.17. Eczema
    6.18. Psoriasis
    6.19. Other skin problems
    6.20. Mental health problems (including anxiety or depression)
    6.21. Deliberate self harm or overdose
    6.22. Eating disorders

    Do you have or have you ever suffered with any of the following? Yes No Date first affected
    (D/M/Y) Date last affected
    (D/M/Y) Date last required treatment
    (D/M/Y) Further details (include diagnosis and treatment, continue on Additional Information page if required) GP verification
    (to be completed by DOCTOR)

    6.23. Behavioural problems (including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD))

    Page 11

    6.24. Alcohol, drug or substance abuse
    6.25. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ‘ME’
    6.26. Cancer (including leukaemia)
    6.27.Heat or cold injuries
    (e.g. heat exhaustion or
    frost bite)
    6.28. Allergies to food or medicines, insect stings or latex (rubber).
    6.29. Hay fever
    6.30. Shoulder, collar bone, arm, hand or finger problems (including broken bones and joint pain)
    6.31. Hip, leg, knee, ankle, foot or toe problems (including broken bones and joint pain)
    6.32. Neck problems (including whiplash)
    6.33. Back problems (including backache)
    6.34. Infectious diseases (including Hepatitis B or C and HIV (AIDS), malaria or tropical diseases)

    Males Only:
    6.35. Testicular Problems

    Females Only:
    6.36. Menstrual and Gynaecological Problems (including abnormal cervical smear tests)

    Females Only:
    6.37. Pregnancy and obstetric problems
  5. Dx Revision Watch

    Dx Revision Watch Suzy Chapman Owner of Dx Revision Watch


    24 July 2012 : Column WA129

    Written AnswersTuesday 24 July 2012


    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis


    Asked by The Countess of Mar

    To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Ministry of Defence categorises chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis as a psychiatric or mental health disorder on the British Army Health Questionnaire (RG Form 8), when the World Health Organisation ICD 10 categorises it as a neurological condition under G93.3 and the UK Department of Health has confirmed that there is no other ICD category for the condition.[HL1749]

    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The current version of the British Army Health Questionnaire, Recruiting Group Form 8 (RG 8), which has been in use by applicants to the regular Army since 2008, does not assign categories to any medical condition but instead lists conditions which are then verified by the applicant's GP.

    However, until recently, applicants to the Territorial Army (TA) completed an older, self-certified version of the RG 8 (dated 2004), which categorised chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis as a psychiatric or mental disorder. This was consistent with advice in place from the World Health Organisation International Classification of Diseases, which allowed clinicians to categorise patients who came under the broad category of chronic fatigue syndrome, under either psychiatry or neurology.

    24 July 2012 : Column WA137

    This older version of RG 8 has now been withdrawn and since April 2012 all TA applicants, like their regular counterparts, now complete the current RG 8 version dated 2008.
  6. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

    2004 WHO classifications are at:

    What would be interesting is who gave them that advice?

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