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"The Big Misunderstanding About Havana Syndrome High-level diplomats are as prone to sociogenic illness as anyone else." NYMag.com


Moderator Resource
Southern California
This is horrible - I think the title says it all. The article even mentions old research by Wessley, and Michael Sharpe shared the article in a tweet - no one is off-limits for them! :sluggish:

Havana Syndrome: The Misconception About a Mystery Illness (nymag.com)

Ironically there's another article linked next to the above one, called something like "How the U.S. plans to deal with Havana Syndrome" but it won't give me access - wants me to subscribe, or I've reached my limit for the month. I wanted to see if this second article contradicted the first one!


Senior Member
United States, New Hampshire
I like this comment-

6 days ago

When they do discover the real underlying cause of Havana Syndrome you will look like a critical care doctor who was completely out his element writing this piece. Then again, we might not have to wait to draw the same conclusion.

You think that by speaking directly to the outdated connotations of mass hysteria you can rectify the concept. Every disease with a known pathophysiology was at one point blamed on psychological factors or character deficits.

Take ulcerative colitis which was “known” to be caused by over-doting mothers and was treated by lobotomy through the mid-20th century. Or take multiple sclerosis, at one point dubbed “hysterical paralysis”.

Cancer was blamed on repressed anger. The history of medicine is littered with smug medical authorities doubting the sick (until the day they themselves become ill, that is).

You even have the gall to lean on Simon Wessely of all people. This man has spent much of his career psychologizing a disease (ME/CFS myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome) which is now known to be organic!

Hundreds of studies have now turned up significant biological abnormalities in these patients across the brain, immune system, gut microbiome, and elsewhere. Whoops!

That’s the whole point though isn’t it. Those who use their platform to psychologize others’ debilitating health conditions are never fully held to account when the real underlying cause is discovered, and it’s why you continue to do it.

“Stop creating a false dichotomy between mind and body!” you’ll say.''

Well you’d never say that to support a *primarily* psychological basis for cancer or multiple sclerosis or ulcerative colitis, so why do it for conditions whose real pathophysiology has not *yet* been uncovered?

It’s intellectually lazy. It’s utterly cruel to those who are suffering.
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I’ve spoken to multiple researchers and faculty members at Harvard Medical School imploring them to publicly rebuke and challenge Gaffney (author of this piece). He’s transparently positioning himself as the heir apparent to Wessely and his BPS sycophants. Sharpe’s retweet is only further confirmation of this disastrous fact.

Our community must stand in solidarity and rebut his hackneyed arguments, particularly on social media. We’re directly in his crosshairs, and I fear that many patients and advocates who tirelessly combated Wessely are wholly ignorant of Gaffney. If his influence expands, we will truly regret this missed opportunity to curtail it.