Great post Biophile, thanks for posting. One thing I hope Alan gets out of this discussion is an understanding of the need for RESPONSIBLE members of the psychiatric profession to step forward with LOUD denunciations about how their profession has been hi-jacked regarding CFS.
The ignorance and arrogance of many arm chair psychiatrists interjecting themselves in CFS discussions is and has been astonishing. A question I would have for Alan is, "When will the psychiatric profession take this situation seriously, and address it appropriately and assertively?"
I'm going to do something a little unusual, and respond to my own post. I hope that's allowed.
I've noticed for many years that just about every profession, religion, organization, etc. has some sort of "fringe" element to it that is an embarrassment to others of that group. There are some very bad doctors; priests who sexually abuse innocent children; terrorists who kill in the name of their religion; politicians who do things that embarrasses others in their party, etc.
What I find difficult to understand is the extreme hesitancy of the more responsible members of any given group to "call out" those that are so way out of line. It seems there's an unspoken code in the medical field to not report incompetent doctors; church officials for years were more concerned about the church than abused children; Muslim moderates are generally timid about denouncing "islamic" terrorism for what it is, etc.
I have a certain understanding of this hesitancy, but I certainly can't condone it. To have members of an organization speak out against the unethical actions/words of others in the organization carries far more weight than when outsiders criticize from afar.
Which brings me to the psychiatric/psychological professions and their almost complete silence regarding the untenable situation of the vast majority of our population regarding CFS as a psychological illness. This didn’t happen by accident. It happened by way of methodical and persistent efforts made by people in some very powerful positions to influence this kind of perception.
These efforts have created an incredible amount of antagonism between ME/CFS patients and most other members of our society (national and global). The damage has been enormous, and yet no one in a prominent position seems to want to take the time to explore this phenomenon and take the initiative to speak out against it.
Where are the responsible voices in the psychiatric/psychological professions? Why won’t they speak out? This would be a GREAT time to do so; the scientific news coming out regarding the association between CFS and MLVs is compelling. At least a certain percentage of our population certainly must be beginning to rethink their perspectives on CFS.
I certainly believe that if responsible members of the psychiatric/psychological professions would chronicle and decry what has happened, it could do much to change perceptions, and perhaps lead to more funds for biomedical research. Alan, could you tell me why you think this has not yet happened?
Best Regards, Wayne