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Simon Wessely Quotes

worldbackwards

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Hey, @worldbackwards The whole 2009 interview is here, I recognised that quote: 'In that kind of disability, psychological factors are important and I don't care how unpopular that statement makes me'. And recall being p*ssed off at the time.

http://simonwessely.com/Downloads/Publications/CFS/mindoverbody.pdf
I didn't know it was up! I saw it paywalled when I was looking at this week's NS article and made assumptions. So that was a waste of a good twenty minutes last night. Like I'm doing anything else with my life...

Looking at it, it was worth it for The Charlatans gag.
 
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"What is it like to receive hate mail? There have been times when it has been pretty unpleasant. But it goes with the territory. I’m not targeted by my own patients. If I ever thought that my patients or peer group thought I was a bad person, I would be worried. What matters is that the research we do is good quality. That’s what you stand or fall by."

This isn't true, is it? None of his own patients dislike him or his methods? I know there are plenty of people who have gone to other doctors who use his methods and then hate SW. There has to be people who he has treated personally that are angry with him and his methods or that quit seeing him right away. Man, he loves himself soooooo much.
 

Roy S

former DC ME/CFS lobbyist
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Snowdrop

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This is a rant.

SW et al really are an insular little group. It seems to have the effect of reinforcing and amplifying certain attitudes that are at best unhelpful to themselves.

SW gets hate mail and responds by very politely and carefully (intelligently/eruditely as opposed to ill mannered and ungrateful patient advocates) making a public issue of this hate mail he receives telling all and sundry via multi media how while it is only a few 'advocates' his life is impacted and life has been made difficult.

There seems to be confusion not just with what treatments work for PWME but with the idea that if one is well dressed well spoken, calm and in control that The Truth and all that's right and good is obviously on your side.
Or that getting angry and frustrated at not being listened to discounts the validity of the content. What is one to do when polite discourse fails and the stakes are significant to one's quality of life?

At no point does he substantially engage with the real issues of the different perspective of many PWME represented by these few 'advocates' who seemed to allegedly have gone to far in their protestations. Nor does he seem to understand or have compassion for (other than paying lip service to compassion) the very relevant and inescapable fact that at least some of the PWME if not most have not only been ill for decades, but also as a result of years of unending exhaustion have patience that has worn down(not that they are impatient but that they cannot summon patience due to exhaustion), emotional lability, and cognitive issues that make communicating more difficult. These are actual aspects of the disease that are impacted by the symptoms.

If SW et al are the first and best line of treatment for this illness then why have they never ever mentioned (that I have found) how to treat the severely afflicted that are bedbound? Is CBT/GET the 'go to' treatment for them? The BPS school has influenced the direction research has taken insisting even after biological findings that for PWME continuing to be sick is a choice we make if one has to give way to science and a biological aetiology.

SW et al have the ability to make this harmful attitude/POV a thing in the past. And yet they are constantly repositioning themselves so as to not give up the fight in having the world view ME as something it is not.


 

PhoenixDown

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Patients with chronic fatigue have long disliked psychiatry.
Wessely S, Powell R.The nature of fatigue: A comparison of chronic "postviral" fatigue with neuromuscular and affective disorders. J Neurol Neurosrg Psychiatry 1989;52;940-948.
Simon said:
And we did psychological studies as well. We published papers showing differences between CFS and depression, but also in a long series of work spanning many years established that previous depression increases your risk of developing CFS later in life, or after you are exposed to an infection, something confirmed in several studies now. We looked at personality – linked to the “yuppie flu” stereotype was a perception that sufferers tended to be perfectionistic, hard driving people. We found that once you controlled for the effect of chronic illness, there was no such thing as a “CFS prone personality”. We also showed that our patients were not anti psychiatry, which was in contrast to some of those who were writing about this on the internet.
http://www.simonwessely.com/index.php/cfs-personal-story/

Looks like he changed his mind.

Edit:
http://www.simonwessely.com/Downloads/Publications/CFS/3.pdf
Wessely S. What your patients may be reading: ME. Br Med J 1989; 298; 1532-1533.
Simon said:
the heroes are those few enlightened doctors who have supported the cause through the wilderness years, and the villains are the rest of the medical profession, but especially psychiatrists. BMJ VOLUME 298 3 JUNE 1989 1532 The dislike and distrust of psychiatry that run through these pages are a further product of the illogical medical world that has given rise to ME, as psychiatrists are criticised for doing the very thing that all these books implore doctors to do: that is, to take seriously patients whose test results are normal and to believe their stories that they are ill. Nevertheless, many of the books state that the only good psychiatrist is the one who returns the patient saying, "This is not my field: there is nothing I can do." As all agree that depression and anxiety are an integral part of ME the ironic fact that such a doctor would be failing in his duty to the patient escapes notice. Most disturbing of all is the repeated theme that ME is a genuine illness in contrast with psychiatric disorders, which are not. It is a tragedy for patients with ME that none of these books acknowledges that psychiatrists are also concerned with those with genuine and terrible illnesses, which may sometimes include ME. The ME story makes sad reading for anyone who naively believes that psychiatric illnesses are no longer stigmatising
 
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Snowdrop

Rebel without a biscuit
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And just for historical clarity; you can see the first quote by Valentijn was SW circa 1989.
The second quote by Simon doesn't have a date attached but the Copyright is for 2013 so it had to be written sometime after that.

Yes, it would be interesting to show all his papers on CFS in chronologic sequence. People have not yet really caught up to how easy it is to verify things in the day of the internet.

Looks like he changed his mind.
Yea, thousands of patients who clearly did not fit his prefabricated cfs jelly mold changed his mind. But he resisted every step of the way.
He only concedes what he has to. :rolleyes:

If only he would really spend time with the very ill and find out who they are and see what we see as patients. And then he would know without a doubt that CBT/GET as the 'best' treatment really does not touch this illness and therefore best or not it's irrelevant. It's like offering a sandwich to someone dying of thirst in the desert. By insisting on psychiatry as the natural domain of ME/cfs treatment thousands of very sick people are left bereft of any real treatment.
 

A.B.

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If only he would really spend time with the very ill and find out who they are and see what we see as patients. And then he would know without a doubt that CBT/GET as the 'best' treatment really does not touch this illness and therefore best or not it's irrelevant. It's like offering a sandwich to someone dying of thirst in the desert. By insisting on psychiatry as the natural domain of ME/cfs treatment thousands of very sick people are left bereft of any real treatment.
I'm not sure CBT/GET has any effect on patients, with ME, CFS or anything that might look similar. In the PACE trial the improvements looked like a modest placebo response plus patients trying a little harder to exert themselves. Long term or real world improvements were absent.

It's more like offering a water bottle that has only a few drops of water left.
 

alkt

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SW wins the grandiloquent windbag award :balloons:
windbags fortunately do not get the amount of respect/unearned/attention as this particular ego has done everything about the man shouts narcissistic personality disorder very much like freud.
 

alkt

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While reviewing quotes today, I realized that this recent one:

... is directly contradicted by Wessely's earlier work here:

... and here:


Though perhaps he could claim it wasn't strictly compulsory, since the patient could always opt to starve on the street if benefits were withheld pending a course of CBT :rolleyes:
he just doesn't want to let go of this particular cash cow for psychiatrists . and how many people today do not think mental illnesses are serious i just do not believe that many psychiatrists are up to the job going by all the publicity regarding their failure to listen to their patients.
 

Chrisb

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2545306/
Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1988 Mar 5; 296(6623): 696–699.
PMCID: PMC2545306
Postviral fatigue syndrome: time for a new approach
Anthony S David, Simon Wessely, and Anthony J Pelosi


I may have missed this in the comprehensive list. If I did, apologies.

I once read a comment by Wessely that he was rather proud of this paper which I believe was his original foray into the field. If you want to understand fundamentalists you have to look at their seminal texts!

It is interesting that in 1988 he considered Postviral fatigue syndrome to be the appropriate name. Interesting also to see how McEvedy and Beard's hysteria has morphed into abnormal illness behaviour. According to McEvedy and Beard the abnormal illness belief or behaviour was that of the medical staff who in difficult circumstances lumped together heterogenous cases and called them an epidemic.

Surprising how quickly his views seem to have changed.

Interesting also that PD White's assistance is credited at this early stage.