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Mark Berry reports on Dr. Gibson's introduction and Dr. Whittemore's keynote speech, at the 11th Invest in ME International ME Conference in London.
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The Relationship of Trauma and CFS (Sean Lynch, psychiatrist)

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by Dolphin, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    (Not a recommendation)

    Free full text:

    Valentijn, Sean and Woolie like this.
  2. Snowdrop

    Snowdrop Rebel without a biscuit

    'All of these case definitions are imperfect and may have limitations.'
    I know squat about how med science research works or diagnostic definitions but isn't this true in many other illnesses. That the case definitions are imperfect and have limitations? So what is he really trying to suggest here?
    SOC and MeSci like this.
  3. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    I only skimmed the full text but my impression is the abstract is odd and doesn't get across the main points he is making.
    Kati likes this.
  4. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

    Cornwall, UK
    "that attention has focussed " — in other words, *WE* in the psychiatric profession have focussed on these things in relation to FM, IBS and CFS because we've already decided that these are "psychiatric disorders" (we're not sure why, we just have)

    Basically, he seems to be saying that CBT and GET don't work for everybody. No, some people need therapy for childhood trauma, too.

    Deep sigh. Move on.

    Do these people read anything that isn't it psychiatric journals?
    Valentijn, alkt, Kyla and 1 other person like this.
  5. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

    New Zealand
    I know the answer to this... CFS causes trauma via third party opinion and interference.
    jimells, alkt, SilverbladeTE and 2 others like this.
  6. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

    Perhaps the most salient feature of this publication is that it is a letter to the editor in the International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience. The function of such a format is to provide, once you have had your piece rejected by the first five journals you have submitted to and then even by the above journal as a full paper, a slightly less prominent alternative to pasting the text in the window of Polly's Teashop alongside the adverts for never used rowing machines and cleaning ladies from Russia who provide other services if required.

    But beware! It also serves to expose yourself to the psychosocial analysis of the psychiatric profession by people worried about the mental health of said profession. It is a good thing that people are worried about this, although I am not sure we have any treatment yet.
    ukxmrv, medfeb, Kati and 15 others like this.
  7. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

    This may not be popular, but I think it's entirely possible that a shock or trauma can precipitate biological changes that could leave someone predisposed to have a fatigue or mitochondrial illness. But if it does, it does so physiologically. It's not about the psychological, except that the psychological is merely the manifestation of the physical, anyway. We know, for example, that shock or trauma can affect the balance of gut flora, which can affect both immune and mental function. Immune function seems to play a role in ME/CFS. Etc.

    I haven't read the article...just something I've been thinking about lately.
    PNR2008 and Maria1 like this.
  8. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

    In other words, if the CBT/GET didn't work, it's because a "trauma-focussed intervention" wasn't used first. That's what I got from reading the article. What a load of [​IMG]

    SOC, Dolphin, Valentijn and 3 others like this.
  9. Kyla

    Kyla ᴀɴɴɪᴇ ɢꜱᴀᴍᴩᴇʟ

    Even if you buy that shock or trauma can cause damage to mitochondria or whatnot in some subset of people, its a massive leap from there to the conclusion that talk therapy will magically reverse these physiological changes.
    The thesis of this letter is that "trauma-focussed CBT" is a treatment for "CFS".

    SOC, Dolphin, Wildcat and 5 others like this.
  10. Vic


  11. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

    Actually, we know very little about these things because the quality of the psychological research out there is so poor: so riddled with confounds and so open to misinterpretation.

    A lot of these so-called relationships between trauma and biomedical illness may turn out to be suprious when psyc research is finally held to the same standards as biomed research.
    A.B., SOC, Dolphin and 8 others like this.
  12. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

    The trauma theories are already disproven by larger, more rigorous, prospective studies. But those don't support the author's viewpoints, so he ignores them :)
    SOC, Wildcat and Kyla like this.
  13. TiredSam

    TiredSam The wise nematode hibernates

    Why is inflicting trauma, neglect and abuse on adult CFS patients seen by some in the psychiatric profession as a legitimate way to help those patients deal with the effects of any trauma, neglect and abuse they may have suffered in the past?

    What I really don't get is that even if the causes of CFS were psychosomatic, since when did bullying become an acceptable treatment? That's all the BPS brigade has to offer - force the patient to do things that make them feel worse, invalidate everything a patient says, lie to them, do what you can to get their benefits cut, lock them away. Even if psychosomatic illness was a thing, where's the compassion? They seem driven by a sociopathic hatred of ill people.
    brenda, Sean, SOC and 8 others like this.
  14. Aurator

    Aurator Senior Member

    You can read more about Sean Lynch here:
    He was the man largely responsible for developing the Leeds CFS service, which has been the subject of disapproving scrutiny on our forum in the past.

    I'm tempted to pull his writing to pieces, but knowing where to start would be a problem. Instead I'll content myself with saying that a few minutes ago I accidentally trod on a spider in my house and killed it, and I instantly reflected how, whilst it was alive, the spider was probably more helpful to me than Sean Lynch is, and possibly also had a better brain.
    SOC, halcyon and sarah darwins like this.
  15. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

    A number of this doctor's patients have phoned me.....................some frequently. Most, if not all, who have contacted me have found attending his clinic to be both a frustrating and distressing experience. Sadly, some who describe what appears to be a clear-cut diagnosis of ME have been sectioned and locked away for months. They are forcibly administered antipsychotics and when they don't respond are labeled 'treatment resistant'. There are two cases ongoing to my knowledge now. One person I know is living in fear of being sectioned again after her health worsened considerably following being locked away and given antipsychotics.

    Dr SL has recently moved down to Plymouth, but his legacy lives on.

    A number who have spoken to me, in my opinion, clearly do not have the illness, yet the clinic labels them with CFS which they inform them is the same as ME. I have formed the impression that the clinic believes that ME is just chronic fatigue with attitude and when they are faced with a genuine ME patient they don't recognise it and regard the patient as delusional and in need of antipsychotics.

    I phoned the clinic and was informed by the member of staff who answered the phone that 'CFS' and therefore ME in their opinion is a mental health problem. (I don't know the member of staff's status)

    Most I know with ME in the county avoid this clinic and wisely so.
  16. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

    The thing about childhood abuse / trauma is that we also have to take into account the fact that insane people are more likely to abuse and traumatise their children than normal people. In addition to abuse these people also pass on their genes to the child and, in the case of mothers, their microbiome during delivery so what on its surface looks like a psychological factor in disease causation may actually be genetic or infectious.
    Dolphin, whodathunkit, ukxmrv and 3 others like this.
  17. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

    I doubt it. Psychiatry/psychology is a very incestuous field. Many practitioners only interact with each other and in that way convince themselves that their sick way of thinking is perfectly healthy and normal.

    Let me be clear that I believe there are some brilliant, caring, amazing people working in psycholgy-based fields. I've known some of them. These are intelligent people who can think for themselves, think critically, and have a deep desire to help other people. Unfortunately, there are far, far too many of the other kind -- those who were attracted to the power psychologists wield over the weak and fragile and have none of the necessary intelligence and compassion that make good psychologists (and psychiatrists).
  18. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

    What is it with these people? They start with the assumption that CBT/GET must work, as if it is an established physical reality like the speed of light in a vacuum. When CBT/GET doesn't work, they don't conclude that it doesn't work, which is the obvious conclusion; they look for reasons why it didn't work as if it's efficacy is indisputable. o_O Occam's Razor would seem to apply here. CBT/GET didn't work because.... wait for it... IT DOESN'T WORK. It's an ineffective treatment. That's why it doesn't work, people.

    No, they have to go looking for even more ways in which we are mentally unstable in order to explain why their
    "perfect" treatment didn't work. So not only do we over-react to minor health issues, have false beliefs about our health, and have an irrational fear of exercise, we must also be dealing with unresolved childhood trauma. All this to explain what is more readily explained by the hypothesis that we have an as-yet-poorly-understood disease.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  19. Denise

    Denise Senior Member


    And since childhood trauma is not clearly defined, it could be said that "everyone" has had some sort of childhood trauma. (Anything from a skinned knee, rebuf by your first crush, that time when your parent had to take your sibling to the doctor and therefore you had to miss a birthday party....)

    And another grumble
    It feels as though childhood trauma is considered a much more serious factor in this disease than in others.
    Valentijn, GalaxiiGrl, Kati and 2 others like this.
  20. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

    Yes, it's more of their sociopathic manipulative game. By selecting "childhood trauma" as a cause and then defining "childhood trauma" as any number of normal childhood experiences, they can classify any of us as having had childhood trauma which they then use to explain our adult illness. :rolleyes: It's a very sick and distorted way of thinking.

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