Rod Liddle

The ME lobby is just a symptom of our stupidity about mental illness

The poisonous emails, the threats, the rage – it’s all rooted in our crude attitude to psychiatric suffering

7 November 2015

9:00 AM

7 November 2015

9:00 AM

Do you ever wake up worried that you have tiny fibres growing beneath your skin, all along your spinal column? Possibly wriggling little fibres, placed there by the government or by aliens? By aliens I don’t mean asylum seekers but proper aliens, quite probably creatures with bifurcated tongues and scaly lips from the Planet Zog. If so, you may well consider yourself to be suffering from ‘Morgellons’.

This unfortunate condition had its heyday at the turn of the century, with hundreds of thousands of people reporting to their GPs and clinics in the USA and here, pleading to have these little fibres sorted out somehow. Millions and millions of dollars were spent investigating the medical causes of the supposed disease, which also had symptoms of lethargy, torpor, inability to sleep, aching joints and limbs, pain — remember these symptoms, please, they will come in handy later on in this article. Another symptom was a blind fury on the part of sufferers at any suggestion that their illness could be in any way psychiatric in origin. It was other stuff, mysterious stuff, some of which I mentioned above, but also maybe viruses or pollution or weird electro-magnetic business. And there was a conspiracy on the part of doctors and politicians and journalists to cover it all up.

I remembered the fury with which Morgellons sufferers — and one way or another those people were suffering, remember — prosecuted their case when I wrote a short blog about another illness with a somewhat ectoplasmic pathology — ME, or chronic fatigue syndrome, or yuppie flu (call it what you want). The same blind fury. I copped it rather less than the experts who have investigated this condition and come to the conclusion that it too has a significant psychiatric component, a point of view generally shared by the medical profession (even if they are sometimes a little reluctant to come out and say it, for understandable reasons). The principal British researcher, Professor Simon Wessely at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, held that ME was almost certainly a psychiatric condition — and that was when the death threats started.

So much splenetic odium, so much hatred — aimed at a man who had wanted to help sufferers. He gave up, and so did his researcher Professor Myra McClure, driven out by the loathing. Major symptoms of ME? Lethargy, torpor, inability to sleep, aching joints and limbs, pain. No discoverable medical cause. No discernible medical cure. Given the intense activity of some ME sufferers, the poisonous emails, the threats, the rage, two things occurred to me. First, that their lethargy and torpor was clearly in remission. And second: that if, as most of the medical community believes, ME had a psychiatric basis, then ME was the least of their problems.


Wessely mused, perplexed, that these people would far rather their illness had an untreatable viral cause than a psychiatric basis which might easily be treatable. Why would they want that? The ME lobby instead put their faith in a research programme at Columbia University in New York which investigated links between ME and the very nasty, distantly HIV-related viruses XMRV and P-MLV. But the researchers concluded that there was no link. More recently another study has suggested that the symptoms of ME might be alleviated by cognitive behavioural therapy and a bit of exercise. Hence my blog.

And then there is fibromyalgia. These multifarious and deeply mysterious ailments of the advanced capitalist world! (There are no sufferers of ME or fibromyalgia or morgellons in, say, Chad.) Each with its own hastily bolted-on historicity, although in truth they were all unknown 40 years ago. Fibromyalgia’s major symptoms: aching joints, lethargy, torpor, inability to sleep, pain. Affects, according to its support group, one in 25 of the UK population — that’s 2.6 million people. And none in, say, Burkina Faso, so far as we know.

Of course, new illnesses occur. And of course we learn more about medical conditions which in the past we might have dismissed through ignorance. But the problems we have in dealing with ME and fibromyalgia seem to me to be a consequence of our primitive approach, collectively, to psychiatric illness. The stigma of mental illness — and the prejudice that if it’s rooted somewhere in the mind, it can’t be ‘real’. But of course it is real, every bit as real as if it were occasioned by a virus, or by aliens. These people — all of them — suffer, and perhaps the ones who shriek the loudest when told that their condition is primarily psychiatric are suffering most of all.

I say primarily psychiatric, but there is no Manichean division between body and mind; they are one and the same. I speak as someone who has suffered panic attacks, which can be terrifying. The manner in which the body brilliantly mimics a heart attack when these occasions occur is an immediate riposte to those who say that this stuff isn’t ‘real’. It takes hard work and concentration to keep the attacks at bay, plus exercise. One day I will die of a heart attack having assumed that it is simply another panic attack — come on, Rod, breathe deeply and focus on something nice, such as Caroline Flint addressing the Labour conference with those cold dead eyes of hers. Hell, it won’t be a bad way to go.

But I do wonder about the propensity of our lifestyle here in the affluent but relentlessly striving West to conjure up these undeniably debilitating ailments; add ME and fibromyalgia and panic attacks to stress and depression — that’s an enormous number of people, unhappy and averse. And clearly in some way hurting.

Morgellons is now consigned to the file marked ‘delusional parasitism’, although there is still a research programme in operation at the University of Oklahoma, under the guidance of a man called Dr Randy Wymore. Keep checking for those tiny wriggling fibres, then.

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Show comments
  • Not this again

    “There are no sufferers of ME or fibromyalgia or morgellons in, say, Chad.”

    Perhaps there is no ME in Chad, but there is in Nigeria.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17439996

    “ME…Morgellon’s…huff…puff…”

    Unspeakably ridiculous comparison.

    “Major symptoms of ME? Lethargy, torpor, inability to sleep, aching joints and limbs, pain.”

    Wrong.

    “if, as most of the medical community believes, ME had a psychiatric basis”

    Evidence, please.

    “More recently another study has suggested that the symptoms of ME might be alleviated by cognitive behavioural therapy and a bit of exercise.”

    Wrong.

    Even Wessely calls you a shock jock.

    • blandings

      “Evidence, please.”

      Why should he? He’s not the flake with the imaginary illness.

      • Not this again

        His claim.

        Claims require evidence.

        National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine (citation available if you require) differs with your assessment of illness. Can you cite evidence that proves them wrong?

        • KingEric

          Rod’s “claim” is based on the research carried out which could not find any physical cause for ME. Didn’t you read the article?

          • Not this again

            Only research cited was to disprove association with one specific pathogen, not determine causality. So, not a claim to any of the issues that I raised. Plus, if there’s ME in Nigeria, there’s likely ME in Chad, as well, though I’m not claiming there definitely is though he claimed there definitely wasn’t, without evidence.

            Anything else?

          • Clive

            Yes.

            You have said nothing to refute that CFS/ME originates in the psychology of the individual

          • Not this again

            Until evidence is produced, there is nothing to refute. All that has been produced is opinion. I am not arguing opinion. Let the poor sod believe whatever he likes. However, he has made a claim. He has not produced evidence to back up that claim. When I see what evidence he can produce to back up that claim, then I shall demolish it with superior evidence. But with no evidence produced, I have nothing to say to refute a ridiculous opinion unsupported by the facts. Your call on me to prove something when nothing has been offered in support of an initial claim is ludicrous.

          • Clive

            Do you accept, then, that ME/CFS may have a psychological origin ?

          • Not this again

            I accept the conclusion of the Institute of Medicine, published in February and one of the, if not the, most extensive literature reviews ever undertaken, that it has no such origin.

          • Clive

            I assume you mean this:
            http://iom.nationalacademies.org/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2015/MECFS/MECFS_ReportBrief.pdf
            …Finding the cause of and cure for ME/CFS may also require research on large numbers of ME/CFS patients, from which important subsets can be identified (for example, variations in symptoms, response to physical and cognitive stressors, brain imaging, the microbiome, virology, immune function, and gene expression)…

            Note that it includes ‘cognitive stressors’.

            So the above paragraph indicates (1) that the cause is unknown and (2) that it may be psychological entirely or in part.

            Autoimmune diseases, for instance – and I don’t know if this is one – are being researched for psychological triggers. They would therefore have a psychological trigger with physical manifestations.

          • Not this again

            You seem to have a lot invested in this being psychiatric, with far more intellectual curiosity than our friend Mr. Liddle. I have zero invested in the opposite conclusion; my interest is in evaluating the science, which at this point looks more and more like it is not psychiatric. If it is conclusively proven to be, then so be it. I predict far more success with RItuximab and immune system treatments than with antidepressants, talk therapy, and exercise, but that’s for another day.

            Since you don’t know if this is one that’s being researched for psychological triggers…shouldn’t be hard to find out. That would certainly give your argument a boost.

            Good luck, though. I, um, kinda doubt it.

          • Clive

            So, I repeat my earlier question.

            Do you accept that ME/CFS may have a psychological origin ?

          • Not this again

            You are obsessed.

            To rule it out would probably be unscientific, so no.

            Odds that is are unspeakably, impossibly small. Science points to opposite conclusion. But you want to play games, I’m not going for your trap.

            Evidence for psychological origin practically nonexistent, and what’s there is crumbling in face of recent research. People like you should start accepting THAT.

          • Clive

            You have no reason to say that ‘the odds are unspeakably small’

            I don’t know if you read my comment on another piece in the recent set on ME/CFS but the Placebo Effect in particular can be huge in areas that are apparently physical

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-h-newman-md/placebo-surgery_b_4545071.html
            …As odd as it may seem the finding that sham surgery works, and works as well as a highly-technical procedure, is not new. In 2009 two trials of vertebroplasty, a procedure to reconstruct vertebrae that break due to bone weakness, found the same improvements in sham and real surgery groups. In the 1950s a common heart procedure, mammary artery ligation, was highly effective for reducing heart pains, but no better than a sham. Knee surgery to repair arthritic joints, laser surgery to improve cardiac blood flow, and acupuncture for migraines all can improve patients’ symptoms and function, and all were the same as a sham. …

          • barrydavies

            As we all know leucotomies worked for those with schizoaffective disorders as did eat although no one knew how or why they worked, on the other hand bleeding only works for large heamatomers

          • Clive

            I do not see the relevance of that

          • barrydavies

            I don’t see any relevance in your claims on here, I’m just pointing out that the placebo effect is as useful as treatment that no real knowledge was known about how they worked, because of that they were removed, so by the same condition treatments that we know don’t work should also be removed.

          • barrydavies

            No

          • Mr B J Mann

            “I predict far more success with RItuximab and immune system treatments”

            But he’s just said auto immune problems might have psychological triggers?!

          • barrydavies

            Every condition has cognitive stressors cancer has many amputations have many even having a common cold does so the inclusion is not of any consequence to anyone with any idea of medicine.

          • barrydavies

            No because it doesn’t

          • The_greyhound

            Since there is no identified agent, and no suggested mechanism to cause the alleged symptoms, there is no scientific reason to suppose that the complaint is other than psychosomatic.

            The onus is on you to show otherwise.

          • Not this again

            Incorrect. You have made this claim. It’s up to you to support your assertion that it is.

            You seem pretty confident, so it shouldn’t be all that hard.

            If I go around saying ‘ME is physical’ it’s on me to prove it. I have some pretty good evidence I can point to, given the Institute of Medicine literature review. But I didn’t do that. Liddle put forth his theory, without evidence. He compared ME to Morgellon’s, and I’ve already characterized how amazingly bizarre and unscientific that is. So no, the onus is on you to prove his claim, since he won’t.

            Like I said, shouldn’t be hard. Bring it.

          • The_greyhound

            No agent. No mechanism. Your problem.

          • Not this again

            You have it exactly backwards: there is no reason to suppose it is psychosomatic any more than there is any reason to suppose it is physical. However, the first modern attempt to paint it as psychosomatic failed miserably, as I demonstrated by linking the relevant publications elsewhere in this thread. It’s not psychosomatic by default on the basis of neither being proven; that is bizarre and unscientific.

            Where do you guys get this stuff?

          • barrydavies

            M.E. has been shown to have a link with a faulty gene although it needs other outside influences to spark it off, such as my case where I pulled an achilles tendon whilst training, hard training as you will know leads to a compromised ability to fight infections, this meant that my daily release of endorphins was greatly reduced, The next day I got the flu followed closely by an asthma attack which required hospital treatment to stabilise, non of this has any mental health connections whatsoever, but it is exactly what happened to me when I was first diagnosed with the condition as I never recovered from it. Not Depression although given the massive reduction in my capacity to live the energetic life I was used to, nor idleness I still miss not being able to run, and desperately miss my job as a nurse, if there was an easy fix as claimed by Wellesley I would jump at it but no Behaviour modification didn’t work and get lead to my becoming ill and needing hospitalisation. Psychiatric drugs had no effect whatsoever mainly because it is a physical not a mental health issue.

          • Oh for heaven’s sake. Are you a satirist?
            ‘I got my bra caught on the door as I was racing away from the lav with my lover, and this of course caused an immediate cartilage tear round my heart, so for weeks afterwards I was laid up with palpitations, shortness of breath, severe gastric juices, a runny nose, pinching of the ovaries, a throbbing big toe, overactive toenail growth, efflorescent pubic hair, a strange chevron mark on my left lower shin, and a complete inability to make myself do a complicated salsa move like the one on the DVD’.

          • barrydavies

            Are you really this stupid or just another mindless troll, you are given a medical history and make up a nonsense story.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Aren’t there psychiatric illnesses that are linked to faulty genes and need other outside influences to spark them off?!

          • Not you again!

          • Malcolm Knott

            This argument about the burden of proof leaves me cold. The question is, surely, what is the preponderance of scientific evidence?

            NB. Strength of feeling, on one side or the other, is not evidence.

          • barrydavies

            You have not said anything that shows it does.

      • davideye

        One day I will die of a heart attack having assumed that it
        is simply another panic attack — come on, Rod, breathe deeply and focus on
        something nice
        Rod who have you been talking to could it be the vindictive man himself or SW who cannot be mamed.

      • barrydavies

        Which imaginary illness are you referring to? And what is a flake?

    • Clive

      The Nigeria study you cite says …It is possible that the presence of several fatiguing illnesses such as malaria and typhoid, the lack of adequate healthcare resources and poverty in Nigeria, place individuals at greater risk for fatigue and its syndromes…

      I believe that is suggesting that CFS might be a misdiagnosis in some or all of these cases.

      Anyway, all of that is irrelevant.

      The piece by Rod Liddle does not say this condition does not exist but that it is based in the mind.

      • Not this again

        Fair enough.

        Still waiting for evidence to back up that assertion.

        • Clive

          The PACE study was such evidence.

          You just don’t like it.

          There were also precursor studies to PACE which I have cited elsewhere in these comments

    • barrydavies

      What on earth is Morgellons I’ve never heard of this word is it a new one made up by the mental health brigade who are desperate to claim a physical illness should be treated by them?ah looked it up a hysterical condition, which is certainly not what anything to do with M.E.

  • Sasha

    ME/CFS patients and those who care about them will want to sign this petition concerning the notorious PACE trial of CBT and graded exercise therapy for CFS.

    http://my.meaction.net/petitions/pace-trial-needs-review-now

    The PACE trial authors abandoned all the main outcome and recovery analyses that had been specified in the trial’s protocol. In the new analyses, patients were considered to have recovered their physical function if they scored at similar levels to people with Class II congestive heart failure.

    The misleading claims of recovery based on these analyses are highly damaging to patients. I hope that readers of this article will join over 7,000 doctors, scientists, patients and other who have already signed a petition for the retraction of these results in the past week.

    The background pages to the petition make grim but fascinating reading for any scientist.

    Emeritus Professor Jonathan Edwards of University College London has called PACE “valueless”.

    Please sign!

  • Symbiosis
  • Nix 77

    The prestigious American Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences says that ME (called chronic fatigue syndnrome here) is a physical illness, not a psychological condition.

    ‘Chronic fatigue syndrome is a physical disorder, not a psychological illness, panel says’

    ‘Chronic fatigue syndrome is a “serious, debilitating” condition with a cluster of clear physical symptoms — not a psychological illness — a panel of experts reported Tuesday as it called for more research into a disease that may affect as many as 2.5 million Americans.

    “We just needed to put to rest, once and for all, the idea that this is just psychosomatic or that
    people were making this up, or that they were just lazy,” said Ellen Wright Clayton, a professor of pediatrics and law at Vanderbilt University, who chaired the committee of the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.’

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/02/10/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-is-a-real-condition-not-a-psychological-illness-expert-panel-says/
    .

    • Clive

      The same piece says:
      …Treatments can include drugs such as anti-depressants and sleeping pills; gentle exercise and psychological counseling; and lifestyle changes such as limiting stress, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol…

      The ‘gentle exercise and psychological counselling’ are of the ilk that seem to have got the ME lobby in an uproar but you seem to be agreeing with their use.

      • Nix 77

        The discredited Graded Exercise for is mainly promoted by UK Psychiatrists
        who created the ‘deconditioning’ model to explain away the multisystem physical
        disease ME.

        The Institute of Medicine panel did not condone the PACE Trial, or use its results as part of their recommendations.

        ‘Last February, the Institute of Medicine released its own study, commissioned by several health agencies and based on an extensive literature review, which described the illness as a serious organic disease, not a cognitive or behavioral disorder characterized by “unhelpful beliefs” that lead to sedentary behavior. Two members of the IOM panel, in discussing their report with Medscape, cast sharp
        doubt on the central argument advanced for years by the British mental health
        professionals: that physical deconditioning alone perpetuates the devastating
        symptoms.

        Ellen Wright Clayton, the panel chair and a professor of pediatrics and law at Vanderbilt University, said lack of activity could not possibly explain the scope and severity of patients’ symptoms. “The level of response is much more than would be seen with deconditioning,” she told Medscape. Peter Rowe, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins and an expert on the disease, called the deconditioning hypothesis “flawed” and “untenable.”

        TRIAL BY ERROR: The Troubling Case of the PACE Chronic
        Fatigue Syndrome Study

        http://www.virology.ws/2015/10/21/trial-by-error-i/

        • Clive

          All very interesting but I was quoting from the same Washington Post article which you named as supporting your case.

          If you cite an article like that you cannot really choose which bits you accept and which you don’t.

          • barrydavies

            But you can and do seemingly

          • Clive

            Well, no, I have no problem with the symptoms and description of ME/CFS – I do not see where I have given that impression

            All I say is that the psychology of the sufferer may be a contributory factor and the newspaper article says the same thing

            There is a tendency to say that finding physical factors eliminates psychology as a cause but that is not true at all

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoneuroimmunology
            There is now sufficient data to conclude that immune modulation by psychosocial stressors and/or interventions can lead to actual health changes. Although changes related to infectious disease and wound healing have provided the strongest evidence to date, the clinical importance of immunological dysregulation is highlighted by increased risks across diverse conditions and diseases. For example, stressors can produce profound health consequences. In one epidemiological study, all-cause mortality increased in the month following a severe stressor – the death of a spouse. Theorists propose that stressful events trigger cognitive and affective responses which, in turn, induce sympathetic nervous system and endocrine changes, and these ultimately impair immune function. Potential health consequences are broad, but include rates of infection HIV progression cancer incidence and progression, and high rates of infant mortality.

          • barrydavies

            M.E. is not a psychological problem, and there is no coherent evidence to show that it is, the immune deficiency suffered by people with M.E. is not one of the descriptors to diagnose the condition, and there is no proven link between psychosocial stressors and immune deficiency either, additionally psychiatric and psychosocial problems occur because of the stress of the condition and people who say ridiculous things like pull yourself together or refer to people with depression who have recovered as if someone with a physical condition can revere in the same manner, they probably consider that if you think positively you can grow back an amputated leg as well. M.E. is not a hypochondriac condition and it is not yuppie flu.

    • Clive

      In fact the report on which the newspaper article is based says this:

      https://prevention.nih.gov/docs/programs/mecfs/ODP-P2P-MECFS-FinalReport.pdf
      … Existing treatment studies examining counseling and behavior therapies or graded exercise therapy demonstrate measureable improvements, but may not yield improvements in quality of life (QOL). Thus, these interventions are not a primary treatment strategy and should be used only as a component of multimodal therapy…

      …The modest benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy should be studied as adjunct to other modalities…

      So this report appears to at least partially confirm the use of these specific treatments.

      • barrydavies

        Well it works for those with depressive conditions, but exacerbates M.E.

  • Nix 77

    The World Health Organisation says that ME is a physical disease. ME has been classified as a physical disease in the WHO International Classification of Diseases since 1969, classification
    WHO ICD G93.3.

    Rod Liddle clearly disagrees with the World Health Organisation on this subject.

    • Clive

      What the WHO classifies as WHO ICD G93-3 they list as ‘Benign Myalgic Encephalomyelitis’. Here is a study of that ailment:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1700895/
      The reports of the 15 recorded outbreaks of benign myalgic encephalomyelitis have been reviewed and in one instance the original clinical data studied. We believe that a lot of these epidemics were psychosocial phenomena caused by one of two mechanisms, either mass hysteria on the part of the patients or altered medical perception of the community. We suggest that the name “myalgia nervosa” should be used for any future cases of functional disorder which present the same clinical picture.

      • Not this again

        You must be joking.

        That paper has long been considered refuted–including by Simon Wessely.

        “Epidemic cases of benign myalgic encephalomyelitis were called mass hysteria by psychiatrists McEvedy and Beard in 1970,[13] provoking criticism in letters to the editor of the British Medical Journal by outbreak researchers, attending physicians, and physicians who fell ill.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] The psychiatrists were faulted for not adequately investigating the patients they described,[23] and their conclusions have been refuted.[3][24][25]”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_chronic_fatigue_syndrome#Timeline

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1046/j.1365-2796.1999.00513.x/asset/j.1365-2796.1999.00513.x.pdf?v=1&t=igm0rtfw&s=e7658cd5257ebb526f594369c878474081fc495f

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2545306/

        • Clive

          But it describes ‘benign myalgic encephalomyelitis’ (BME) which is what the WHO classification you cited exactly describes

          The ME lobby seems to keep quoting stuff from the totemic figures it has like Jonathan Edwards and from the MEAssociation website’s assertions. That study which I cited exists and may also be quoted.

          • Not this again

            And in context, its conclusions have been thoroughly debunked, so using that as a wedge to try to prove a point is a transparent maneuver that does nothing for credibility.

            Come on, this isn’t difficult. I don’t care what Rod Liddle thinks, really. If he’s going to get up on his platform and state opinions as though they are facts, then he is not immune to being called on those opinions–all that was asked was to provide evidence. You provided some, but it may as well no longer exist, as the scientific literature has disposed of its claims. Nice try, okay? But it’s just a bit more complicated than that.

          • Clive

            There is evidence – not least from this PACE study and other precursors to it
            http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/6/e001079.full
            Conclusions This study provides early evidence that psychological, nutritional and combined techniques for the treatment of ME/CFS may influence symptomatology, fatigue, function and perceived control. However, these results must be viewed with caution as the allocation to groups was not randomised, there was no control group and the study suffered from high drop-out rates.

            – that this is a psychologically based ailment.

            It’s just that you don’t like it so you say it’s wrong.

          • Not this again

            Yeah…okay…this is boring. You’ve got lots of terrific evidence. Go & have fun picking cherries.

            Again, even Simon Wessely is on record favoring a trial of Rituximab, a chemotherapy drug used in lymphoma & rheumatoid arthritis and has actually shown efficacy in two clinical trials of ME/CFS patients. It’s not looking very good for the primary psychiatric etiology, frankly.

            https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27813-antibody-wipeout-found-to-relieve-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/

          • Clive

            The article also says:
            …A 150-person study is now under way, and includes a control group. While the 2011 study included a placebo, the most recent trial did not, leaving it potentially vulnerable to the placebo effect….

          • Not this again

            Yawn. For the second phase they didn’t go with a placebo, for reasons stated in the paper. The effect nailed the exact same percentage, which argues against placebo. Regardless, it’s the third phase that will provide the best evidence. The size of the second study might be seen as a detriment, perhaps even more than lack of a control group, but they were more fine-tuning their approach ahead of the third study. If what you’re pointing to was a major issue, don’t you think somebody would have raised an issue? It’s not like it didn’t have to pass peer review.

          • Clive

            Of course the lack of a control group and consequent elimination of the placebo effect is a major flaw. They acknowledge it in the writeup which is not actually a paper.

            The 2011 study actually found a ‘cure’ for only 2 out of 15 people. It was a very small group and there appears to have been no control for psychological factors which might have effected a cure.

            This group were given the anti-cancer drug because they actually had a cancer. That will itself have a major life-changing effect with potentially profound changes to the subject’s circumstances.

            The ‘Yawn’ you put at the beginning of your comment was just nasty.

    • Mc

      WHO and most of the UN are a laughingstock- anything they utter should be treated with great skepticism.

  • The_greyhound

    Mr Liddle should know better than to challenge the recreational victimhood industry in this tactless way. There are hysterics up and down the land suffering real anguish and getting loads of attention from their imagined ailments, and here’s Rod trying to spoil their fun.

    But he touches on one issue that does deserve scientific investigation : the correlation between an attack of the vapours and certain social groups. Mr Liddle correctly notes that ‘lifestyle’ diseases are unheard of in Chad : even in the west there’s strong anecdotal evidence that they are rare outside the ranks of over-promoted women and foreigners in what it sometimes laughingly known as the public service. For instance local authorities are over run with lazy freeloaders with lousy attendance records and debilities that defy objective scrutiny.

    • Not this again

      Here’s a suggestion that you have no idea what you’re talking about: trials moving forward that may potentially work to poke nice big holes in theories of psychiatric etiology. That such trials would go forth might just indicate that poking holes in such theory is entirely appropriate.

      I mean, they don’t just go giving chemotherapy to people who are depressed, or garden-variety benefits scroungers, now, do they.

      http://jobs.sciencecareers.org/job/387222/defining-autoimmune-aspects-of-myalgic-encephalomyelitis-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-me-cfs-/

      • Clive

        The job you list says of ME/CFS ‘…The aetiology of the disorder is unknown…’ and I note the name ‘Jonathan Edwards’ as one of the sponsors of the team.

        • Not this again

          Right, so let’s administer a potentially fatal cancer drug…to psychiatric patients.

          What is your argument exactly?

          • Clive

            The piece you cite makes no suggestion that the drug will be given to patients. It says:

            Using samples collected from ME patients with mild, moderate and severe symptoms the student will undertake the following objectives:

            Determine the impact of Rituximab therapy on (auto) antibodies reactive with intestinal microbes and/or CNS cells, and brain-homing T cells…

          • Not this again

            Yeah, and? It’s being administered to the largest cohort in third stage clinical trials in Norway. You need a cite for that? I believe it was referenced in the New Scientist article.

            It would have been a lot easier to get a trial going in UK, a proper trial, if not for lack of funding. Psychiatrists wanting to prove exercise effective got 5 million pounds. No problem! Effectiveness? Followup study published last week shows null result! Rituximab? Funding? Pshaw.

            But they threw all the money at PACE, for which the studies are in the process of being so eviscerated it defies belief.

            http://blogs.plos.org/mindthebrain/2015/10/29/uninterpretable-fatal-flaws-in-pace-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-follow-up-study/

            http://www.virology.ws/2015/10/21/trial-by-error-i/

            http://www.virology.ws/2015/11/04/trial-by-error-continued-did-the-pace-study-really-adopt-a-strict-criterion-for-recovery/

          • Clive

            The drug was given in the New Scientist study to patients who had cancer

            It is an anti-cancer drug.

            They found that 2 out of 15 patients (in the 2011 study) ‘recovered’ or ‘were in remission from’ ME/CFS.

            There was no control for psychological factors, like altered life circumstances because of the cancer

          • Barb

            Incorrect. The trial that the New Scientist reported on in 2011 involved ME/CFS patients not cancer patients. The doctors conducting the trial had earlier become interested in rituximab as a treatment for ME/CFS because one of their lymphoma patients who also had ME/CFS came back to them asking for more rituximab as it had given her temporary relief in her symptoms.
            In the double-blinded study published in 2011, 10 of the 15 patients who were treated experienced moderate to major relief in their symptoms and 2 of those had already been able to return to work. It’s important to acknowledge that in this trial there was no difference between the treatment and control groups at the pre-defined endpoint of 3 months. The improvements reported above were noted at later follow up.
            A subsequent open label long term trial with 29 patients followed over 36 months found that 11 of 18 patients who responded to treatment were still in remission three years after starting treatment, having had their last infusion 21 months earlier. The average time taken to respond was 23 weeks. This is highly suggestive that ME/CFS is an autoimmune disease but certainly B cell mediated.
            A further double-blinded, randomised, placebo controlled trial with 152 patients is now underway.

          • Mr B J Mann

            But it’s already been said that autoimmune diseases might have psychological triggers.

            (And, interstingly, many of the trendy-lefty, “liberal” right-on, progressive, middle-class, alternative medicine types, of the kind that would insist that ME/CFS is a “real” disease, and autism caused by the government/big pharma, also insist that auto-immune diseases are triggered by the stress of modern life, psychic shocks, childhood trauma, their daddies not loving them enough…..)

          • Barb

            I would so like to read someone’s explanation of the mechanism by which that happens. Even if autoimmune disease did have a psychological trigger, so what? Once the autoimmune process has started, it will continue until the plasma cells stop chugging out antibodies to ‘self’. I don’t think that’s an area where psychiatry excels.
            Of course ME/CFS is a real disease. Why the need for quotes?
            Schizophrenia is a real disease, is it not, as are diabetes I and II and syphilis? All have very different causes but I can’t get your point about “real”. If you’re saying that you believe that ME/CFS is a mental illness then would you say that schizophrenia is not real? Or perhaps you’re suggesting that ME/CFS is a malingerer’s excuse? Seems a pretty ignorant attitude either way.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I’d love to give you an explanation of the mechanism, but I’m not a Nobel Laureate in the field.

            I’m sure most doctors, never mind vets would love to know the mechanism by which a parasite that breeds in water but lives in cats gets them to start loving water so much they will dive in to their deaths.

            But throwing a cat so infected a lifebelt isn’t curing it, only providing a very poor relief to one of the symptoms it suffers.

            Feel free to interpret “real” any way you want, but at the moment ME/CFS are only a not even a fully accepted group of symptoms, regardless of the cause.

            If they are found to be caused by chemicals, bacteria, viruses, whatever, fine.

            More likely, even if a correlation between evidence of one of those and the group of symptoms is discovered (and it might be with a cocktail of them), the actual mechanism might not be obvious.

            For a successful treatment of the disease, if such it is, we need to know EXACTLY what is happening and how, genetic susceptibilities, triggers, and everything in, or contributing to, the initiation and development of the disease.

            Until that is known, all we can do is treat symptoms, which can never cure an illness!

          • Barb

            What an evasive answer and rambling answer. I don’t think it’s a requirement that you be a Nobel Laureate. You obviously have no idea but just like to repeat things that would suit you to be true. Or do I mean “true”?
            p.s. a cat infected by a parasite causing it to exhibit strange behaviour would be afflicted by a biological agent. As such treating it with anti-parasitic drug might reasonably be expected to be more effective than trying to get it to behave normally – or throwing it a lifebelt.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Evasive and rambling? If you say so. Perhaps that’s why my point about the cat went right over your head. Clearly there’s no point in throwing you a lifebelt!

          • Barb

            Apologies for the ‘rambling’ comment. Yes, it went over my head.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Ta.

            Incidentally, some researchers think that a disproportionate number of suicides, and even many car “accidents”, involve people who were infected with the cat parasite, so discovering the mechanism, while it might not do anything to cure cats, might have far reaching medical implications.

            Who knows, the symptoms of ME/CFS might even be related?!

          • Clive

            This is a whole area of study by itself.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoneuroimmunology
            There is now sufficient data to conclude that immune modulation by psychosocial stressors and/or interventions can lead to actual health changes. Although changes related to infectious disease and wound healing have provided the strongest evidence to date, the clinical importance of immunological dysregulation is highlighted by increased risks across diverse conditions and diseases. For example, stressors can produce profound health consequences. In one epidemiological study, all-cause mortality increased in the month following a severe stressor – the death of a spouse. Theorists propose that stressful events trigger cognitive and affective responses which, in turn, induce sympathetic nervous system and endocrine changes, and these ultimately impair immune function. Potential health consequences are broad, but include rates of infection HIV progression cancer incidence and progression, and high rates of infant mortality.

            …and I would like to know on what basis you say

            …Even if autoimmune disease did have a psychological trigger, so what? Once the autoimmune process has started, it will continue until the plasma cells stop chugging out antibodies to ‘self’…

      • The_greyhound

        Anyone with a scientific approach is bound to note the strong correlation of “boutique” complaints and the predictable sorts of self-indulgent malingerers that lay claim to them. But I appreciate that questioning a vested interest, or challenging someone’s privilege, is likely to cause offence. Perhaps you would like to scream and scream until you are sick, in protest.

        • Not this again

          Perhaps you would like to learn why it is you are throwing rocks at the wrong target.

          http://iom.nationalacademies.org/Reports/2015/ME-CFS.aspx

          • Clive

            http://iom.nationalacademies.org/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2015/MECFS/MECFS_ReportBrief.pdf
            …Finding the cause of and cure for ME/CFS may also require research on large numbers of ME/CFS patients, from which important subsets can be identified (for example, variations in symptoms, response to physical and cognitive stressors, brain imaging, the microbiome, virology, immune function, and gene expression)…

            Note that it includes ‘cognitive stressors’ which may suggest a psychological cause or at least contribution to the cause.

          • Mr B J Mann

            But the medical profession like to medicalise everything – it’s their job!

            The pharmaceutical industry like to medicalise everything – it’s their business.

            And trials will probably have been run/promoted/instigated/at least suggested… by big pharma

        • barrydavies

          As a self indulgent malingerer before becoming ill with M.E I worked as a nurse inclusive of working overtime, and ran marathons and triathlons for fun meaning a lot of training in my free time only those with no idea whatsoever can claim that it is people being idle, it took me a long time to come to terms with not being able to first train so that I had the energy to work and then to have to take early retirement from a job I loved because I wasn’t any longer capable of performing my everyday tasks. I am not screaming after all thanks to this government I have been left to rot because of idiotic claims by people such as Wellesley who think that treating you for depression is a cure for a physical condition. I get no benefits whatsoever because the work capability assessment people insist i can work despite never having seen me unlike the 2 consultants 5 Gp’s and even 2 Atos Doctors who examined me and all had the same view that I can not work.

          • Mc

            You should not only be congratulated on surviving a callous benefits system. You also have the remarkable ability to fit what would normally have been dozens of sentences, into 3 sentences instead.

      • Mr B J Mann

        May.

        Potentially.

    • recreational victimhood industry
      Oh, you ARE naughty!

  • rtj1211

    One lesson I have learned in my life is that the human body and mind adapts in self-preservatory ways. One thing it does is to selectively block out pain which cannot be handled currently.

    Children abandoned by their mothers/parents have to block out that loss, because no young child can cope with such loss of security. Some become hyper-active and obsessional about sports/careers/helping others etc. Some put themselves in a place where no-one else can hurt them, being labelled as ‘cold’, ‘undemonstrative’ etc etc. But ultimately, they need those terrible feelings of abandonment replaced with something less painful……

    Children bullied at school have to do likewise. Either they need parents and school to teach them how to handle and stand up to bullies, or they have to encase themselves in protective armour. They can’t win a playground punch up, so they have to ignore all the taunting. They know that the most witty cutting sarcastic taunt back isn’t much use if 8 yobboes decide to respond by holding you and punching you. So they become quiet, withdrawn and mute. It doesn’t mean they are depressed, it means they are surviving. But if they grow strong in adulthood, they may become appalling bullies themselves……..

    If you have a damaged tooth and you can’t get to see a dentist, your body will shut down the pain response from your teeth to your brain. Otherwise, you would be in daily agony. That response can be shut down for years and still be restored, you know…..

    There are innumerable manifestations of the body closing down certain sensory loops, you know.

    I’m sure ME is another of them.

    • Too pat. My husband needed a root canal and the weekend before he could get the op was agony. Even the drugs he eventually got hold of (legal: prescribed by the dentist!) only brought it down to a dull roar. I’ve been in a lot of pain, myself (a smashed finger, a few metal rods being pulled out of my toes), and I assure you that nothing was conveniently shutting that down for me….

      • Mr B J Mann

        I think he meant couldn’t ever get to a dentist.

        What happened to prehistoric man who needed root canal work??!!!!?!

        • He didn’t eat nearly so much sugar : )

          • Mr B J Mann

            But surely he would have wanted a little bit of sugar to ease the pain sugar?!

  • Clive

    One thing I disagree with in the Rod Liddle piece is that this is an ailment of recent times.

    I believe ME/CFS chimes with Accidie which was a fairly common problem among monks. It was probably not confined to monks but monasteries often kept chronicles, so they would get more of a mention.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acedia

    …the Desert Father John Cassian, depicted the apathetic restlessness of acedia, “the noonday demon”, in the coenobitic monk:

    He looks about anxiously this way and that, and sighs that none of the brethren come to see him, and often goes in and out of his cell, and frequently gazes up at the sun, as if it was too slow in setting, and so a kind of unreasonable confusion of mind takes possession of him like some foul darkness….

    It seems to be a problem related to having a long-term duty – which of course monks have in spades. The condition is a response to the duty. I have seen elsewhere (but I cannot find it) someone says of monks with this condition that they actually put more effort into their everyday work but would not do their spiritual work – presumably the divine offices. Hence it was called a ‘disease of the spirit’.

    It was certainly not confined to monks, however, From the Wikipedia article:

    …Anecdotally, in Tsarist Russia, if a wealthy noble woman came down with long-term depression (which can overlap with acedia) allegedly a trusted antidote was to put her in an old peasant woman’s house and make her do many of the basic household duties such as fetching the water, sweeping the floor, chopping wood etc. Basic manual tasks were also considered vital to keep spirits up in the Desert Father tradition of early Christian monasticism….

    • Not this again

      And that squares with a 2/3 response to Rituximab in clinical trials how exactly?

      Again–exercise vs. chemotherapy. Hmmm.

      Interesting argument you guys just don’t want to let go of.

      • Clive

        There was no ‘2/3 response’ in the Rituximab study.

        Only 2 patients out of 15 ‘recovered’ from ME/CFS – these patients had cancer

        There was no control for psychological factors cause by the cancer’s effect on the patient’s life.

    • Barb

      Sorry but you’ve lost me. What exactly does apathetic restlessness have to do with ME/CFS? Do you actually know anything about this disease or do you just like to spout random information?

    • This sort of thing is also described in Boredom: A Lively History by Peter Toohey.

  • Nix 77

    Columbia University’s Professor Ian Lipkin says that ME is a physical disorder

    “There is no question in my mind that this is a physical disorder. The fact that we
    haven‘t been smart enough or invested enough in it to sort that, doesn’t mean
    that this is anything else.” Dr. W. Ian Lipkin

    Dr. Lipkin’s international reputation is stellar. He is the Director of the
    Center for Infection and Immunity; John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at the
    Mailman School of Public Health; Professor of Neurology and Pathology at the College of Physicians
    and Surgeons at Columbia University; Director of the US’s Northeast
    Biodefense Center; and Director of the Center of Excellence for Translational Research.

    http://microbediscovery.org/thescientists.html

    • The_greyhound

      A statement of opinion, unsupported by any evidence at all, as he himself admits.

      • Not this again

        Well, these are almost certainly likely to be viewed as strongly suggesting physical etiology rather than psychiatric.

        http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/1/e1400121

        http://pubs.rsna.org/doi/abs/10.1148/radiol.14141079

        http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0017287

        • Clive

          Yet you refuse to accept any part for psychology in the cause

          • Not this again

            Right. So you’re not impressed with unique proteins in spinal fluid, cytokine studies, imaging, Rituximab, or other stuff…do I have to pull this out, too? 2-day CPET testing, tilt table testing, low blood volume…you put all these things together and you still are somehow desperate to jam in psychological origin.

            Show me one paper that links psychological origin to some reasonable combination of the following: abnormal response on 2-day CPET, abnormal response to tilt table testing, recovery from Rituximab (read the comments on that paper; positive response occurred following trial), abnormal cytokines, unique spinal proteins, etc etc etc. Show me a study where patients had 3 of those 5 and the conclusion pointed to psychological origin.

            This is my last post for awhile. I’ll give you some time to come up with some literature that points to studies that include these objectively measurable biological abnormalities, response from Rituximab or similar agent…and your favorite pet theory, psychological causation.

            Shouldn’t be too hard to find. Make sure Mr. Liddle sees what you come up with, too.

          • Clive

            You are speaking about physical effects as though the mental state could not bring about changes in the body’s physical state.

            In fact, that is a whole area of study:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoneuroimmunology
            There is now sufficient data to conclude that immune modulation by psychosocial stressors and/or interventions can lead to actual health changes. Although changes related to infectious disease and wound healing have provided the strongest evidence to date, the clinical importance of immunological dysregulation is highlighted by increased risks across diverse conditions and diseases. For example, stressors can produce profound health consequences. In one epidemiological study, all-cause mortality increased in the month following a severe stressor – the death of a spouse. Theorists propose that stressful events trigger cognitive and affective responses which, in turn, induce sympathetic nervous system and endocrine changes, and these ultimately impair immune function. Potential health consequences are broad, but include rates of infection HIV progression cancer incidence and progression, and high rates of infant mortality.

        • The_greyhound

          So why does Lipkin admit that he can’t substantiate his opinion? And isn’t it interesting that what he is actually doing is plugging for research funds “The fact that we haven‘t ………. invested enough in it”

          • Paul

            Have you read his paper with Mady Hornig? If not you can just watch the short press release. He explains why he thinks its a physical illness. The evidence isnt certain hence why he claims opinion, not fact. I’m watching where his research goes. Will be interesting.

    • UKSteve

      Until recent years, a friend’s symptoms weren’t taken seriously at all.

      Then he was referred to a specialist medical centre 120 miles away from his home, and diagnosed with Lyme Disease.

      It is thought that that most skin and arthritis-type diseases are caused by pathogens, unidentified viruses, on which much research is needed. They are thought to be immunologically based.

  • Teacher

    I suffered in a greater or lesser degree from “symptoms of … inability to sleep, aching joints and … [and] pain”, also constant anxiety, shaking hands, panic attacks and the feeling of being about to break in two. When I took early retirement from teaching and got away from OFSTED and a hostile and capricious system of classroom observation all the symptoms disappeared. I have never felt better.

    • barrydavies

      Sounds like you were depressed inability to sleep isn’t a symptom of M.E. and as such being removed form the stressor aided your recovery, it is a problem that m.E. sufferers have that people such as yourself with a reactive depressive condition are wrongly diagnosed, usually by psychiatrists as having M.E.

  • plainsdrifter

    Quite. We have become ludicrously neurotic and sentimental.

    • Jen Brea

      Yes! And all those hysterical paralytics. We should lock them up right quick.

      • Complete non-sequitur. Who said anything about punishing, penalizing, locking anyone up? So apparently ME sufferers and their cohorts are paranoid into the bargain. Do you see what you’re doing? Do you see that your P. R. is not what you think it is?

        • barrydavies

          Well as the government “for hardworking people” is clearly not in favour of those who can not work, they are punishing them by leaving them destitute and unable to pay their own way through life, have you not heard of how the DWP sanctions people for the slightest of reasons, and how people have been refused DLA because the work capability assessment says they can work whilst they are on life support or in a hospice?

        • Jen Brea

          I’m sorry, I was making an oblique reference to multiple sclerosis. Every time I see a reference to Freudian concepts, it makes me nostalgic.

  • barrydavies

    Clearly the author of this piece has no idea what M.E. is and how debilitating this condition can be. It has been proven for example that there is a faulty gene involved, although this in itself is not enough to set the condition off. The description given by the Author is not that of M.E. at all.For example it is not a “new” illness the symptoms have been reported for at least 200 years. M.E. is found throughout the world, not just in rich nations. The author refers to fibres growing beneath the skin, something someone with a major psychiatric condition may claim, i.e. schizophrenia, although no one with M.E. has made this claim, and therein lies the problem with Wesseley’s attempts to pretend what is a physically disabling and physically caused condition, can be treated with Graded exercise therapy, a good treatment of the depressed but which has shown to be highly detrimental to those with M.E., and talking therapy which may help previously highly active people accept their condition, but is by no means any more a cure for M.E. than it would be for cancer or an amputation. The sleep is not inability to sleep, but non refreshing sleep, someone can go to sleep exhausted and wake up refreshed and ready to go unfortunately those with M.E. go to sleep exhausted and wake up hours later still exhausted. Add to that Brain fog, due to fatigue, painful joints inability to concentrate due to fatigue, and short term memory loss, and you have a seriously debilitating condition that because of the mistakes of people in the psychiatric side of medicine coming up with snake oil treatments neither of which have been actually proven to help let alone cure real sufferers of the condition, only those wrongly diagnosed by psychiatrists who in actuality have depression not M.E. Those with M.E. are treated as lazy idlers who should be at work because they have “yuppie Flu”.

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      ‘It has been proven for example that there is a faulty gene involved…’ If I were an advocate for CFS, I would stay away from gene association studies, which have very low explanatory power. There is no disease or behavioural trait you can think of without several ‘risk alleles’ of this kind: schizophrenia, diabetes, ADHD, athletic prowess…one of the supposed ME alleles is rs4680 in the COMT gene; exactly the same variant turned up previously as a ‘depression’ gene. If there really is a gene, it’s hard to see how eating organic food or antioxidant fruit juice (as urged by some experts) will help prevent or manage the condition.

  • flydlbee

    I have known two chronic ME sufferers. Both were severely neurotic women, and one had something very much like Munchausen’s Syndrome. They never improve.

    • The_greyhound

      See also self-diagnosed conditions like wheat intolerance, another indicative symptom of the self-absorbed hysteric.

      • barrydavies

        Who said anything about M.E. being self diagnosed, and because you knew 2 women who by your statement s were self diagnosed doesn’t make you anything of an expert.

  • Kerry Ann Lang

    It is very clear that the author of this article did not do his research. Morgellons has been linked in recent research as a skin manifestation of Lyme disease- this is now even being acknowledged by distinguished professors and well known doctors around the US. Lyme bacteria are also known to cause symptoms of fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, and neurocognitive symptoms in its later stages. A cousin of syphillis, it makes sense that the borellia bacteria would also cause skin sores like that experienced by Morgellons patients. Because Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks, it makes sense that the prevalence of these ailments is restricted to certain geographical locations, and not often found in hotter climates (borellia do not survive in temperatures greater than 105 degrees). In several years, when this becomes more common knowledge and recognized in general medicine, this author is going to be viewed on the wrong side of history. ME may not be connected to any “distantly related HIV virus,” but the way these illnesses are stigmatized and disackbowledged despite having a very clear infectious cause echoes the treatment and denial of the AIDS crisis in the 1980’s. Rod Little, I’m happy to send you some research and academic articles to educate you more on these subjects, as it does not appear that you used any up to date resources to investigate this subject.

    • Right: Lyme disease –> ticks. A cause in the outer world.

      Nobody stigmatizes suffering in the West, Kerry. Nobody. But no favours are done to anyone by pretending that it IS what it isn’t.

      • barrydavies

        The tory party stigmatise everyone with any disability by claiming they are there for “hardworking people” so they are not there for those who can’t work because of their condition, that is government inspired stigmatisation and that ideation that everyone not working is just idle is being embedded every time they say it, because people can be psychosocially engineered to believe this by repetitive indoctrination.

    • Mr B J Mann

      Except that while Lyme disease might have skin manifestations, and it might make sense that the borellia bacteria would also cause skin sores that is nothing like that experienced by Morgellons “patients” who claim they have parasites crawling around inside their skin and strange multi-coloured moving fibres (that no one else can see) erupting out of it, and if they have any skin lesions it’s because they try to gouge them out!

  • Marcus

    See chronic Lyme diseae Rod.
    It has a lot to do with the US insurance companies recognition of diseases + / – refusal to pay for some conditions. i.e. the nebulous conditions have to change names.
    Also ‘Neurogenic lupus’ is another growth area.

    • Richard Eldritch

      I was about to mention that myself. Lyme disease is far more common and undiagnosed than is known. I suspect that the increase in Tick infested foxes and deer is to blame. Wild life in the Surrey hills ( a Lyme hotspot) is out of control now that you can’t hunt them without a bunch a Crustys turning up to wibble about animal rights. If you get a tick make sure you go straight to the Docs and demand Anti biotics.

      • Dean Hanson

        How can you know Lyme disease is far more common that is known? That’s a paradox

        • Richard Eldritch

          I’m a wizard.

  • Jen Brea

    Wow. Apparently it’s possible to say whatever the F you want and print in this paper, whether or not the author bothers to invoke a single fact.

    Just a small point: “There are no sufferers of ME or fibromyalgia or morgellons in, say, Chad.” You have absolutely no way to know that. No one has ever done an epidemiological study of these illnesses in Chad. You can say, “I bet there are no cases of illnesses in Chad” but I suppose that would put a damper in the tone of authority you summon for your wild speculation because summoning actual facts is either too hard or inconvenient.

    It is true that autoimmune diseases are at much higher rates and rising in developed countries. But there are twenty plausible reasons that might be true and are supported by actual scientific evidence (distance from equator/Vitamin D, hygiene hypothesis, Western diets).

    The concept of a psychosomatic illness is deeply unscientific because it is completely unfalsifiable by definition. Many putative psychosomatic illnesses (multiple sclerosis, ulcers) were later found to have either clear physical causes or physical manifestations (signs rather than symptoms). I have no doubt that will be the same for all of these other diseases for which you have such contempt. Read the history of medicine and be humble.

    • Clive

      The relationship between mind and body is sometimes more complicated than ‘A causes B’.

      You mentioned ulcers
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychosomatic_medicine
      …while peptic ulcer was once thought of as being purely caused by stress, later research revealed that Helicobacter pylori caused 80% of ulcers. However 4 out of 5 people colonised with Helicobacter pylori do not develop ulcers, and an expert panel convened by the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research concluded that ulcers are not merely an infectious disease and that mental factors do play a significant role. One likelihood is that stress diverts energy away from the immune system, thereby stress promotes Helicobacter pylori infection in the body…

      • barrydavies

        Yes there is a correlation between stress, and the immune system, but it does not have the same effect on the immune system as say aids for example or can you cure that with CBT and GET as well?

    • King Zog

      “Wow. Apparently it’s possible to say whatever the F you want and print
      in this paper, whether or not the author bothers to invoke a single
      fact.”

      I think it’s called free speech. Something this magazine has been involved with for about 200 years now.

      • barrydavies

        There is a difference between freedom of speech and deliberately misleading those who are easily mislead to the detriment of the people you are attacking, that is called lying and that is not acceptable as freedom of speech. You get sent to prison if you do it in a court.

        • King Zog

          We have a difference of opinion. I believe that almost anything goes, in terms of freedom of speech. There are extreme exceptions, of course (immediate threats to endanger life or property; libel, slander, etc.). I am uncomfortable with the idea of censoring or restricting what people can say. As a result of this, I tend to advocate for the devil in such cases.

          Courts of Law are not places where people go to express opinions, but rather where they (at least those on trial, or acting as witnesses) give testimony. Legal testimony is not expression of opinion. Magazines such as this one – which has a long reputation of allowing people to say pretty much anything (though this seems increasingly not to apply to its comments section) – are indeed such places

          • Not this again

            Freedom of speech, when in effect, is a near-absolute, I agree.

            To leave out the context, however, is questionable. One should understand that that which is free, can be mis-used; the remedy for which is not to make it any less free, but to enforce accountability.

            Mr. Liddle is being held accountable for his free speech, which is both non-factual, and non-apologetic. He is free to spew whatever he pleases, within whatever legal limits there may be. So, to, are others free to point out his error, his tone, and his stubbornness in light of the facts, and judge accordingly as to whether or not his speech is therefore worth paying much attention to.

            I happen to enjoy my share of politics-oriented contrarianism. I don’t waste my time, though, on hacks who refuse to admit that they’ve been presented with evidence, when they have shown absolutely none, that is in direct conflict with their position. Put another way…it could be said that he argues like a far-left blogger, and the lemmings who, themselves devoid of evidence, lap it up like any other gaggle of radical progressives–you know, like the ones for whom socialized healthcare can do no wrong. Does LIddle care that the head of the Science Media Centre, at whose table Wessely sits, comes from the Revolutionary Communist Party?

            Maybe, maybe not. But you’ll blame it on the ‘lefties’ anyway, without even knowing who they are.

          • King Zog

            “But you’ll blame it on the ‘lefties’ anyway, without even knowing who they are.”

            I never said anything about ‘lefties’. Rod’s actually a lefty, though.

          • robbydot

            He thinks he is, I’m not so sure.

          • robbydot

            He thinks he is, I’m not so sure.

          • King Zog

            I think (though I don’t know for certain) that he’d describe himself as part of, or sympathetic to, the old Labour Right. His wife’s a Tory, though.

        • Sarita La Cubanita

          What exactly are you calling lying? Stating on opinion concerning illnesses?

      • Els Bakker

        And the earth is flat

    • I don’t think you understand what ‘psychosomatic’ means. It doesn’t mean that there are no physical symptoms or that the patient is lying. It means that the body is responding to destructive signals from the brain. It refers to the mind and body together pulling downwards into illness.

      The crucial thing is that people like you want, or seem to want, or apparently fervently believe, that the body has the upper hand, and your mind is helpless. Therefore, in turn, your body is helpless.

      And when someone tells you that your mind doesn’t have to be helpless, nor your body helpless, how do people in your position respond? With fury. That makes no sense to me. Buddha wouldn’t understand it, either. Nor Socrates. Nor Dr Atkins (though he of course is the least of the three).

      • Lucy Kippin

        I don’t think you know who jen brea is…

        • No: I take the arguments as I find them.

          • barrydavies

            Well as M.E, is not a psychosomatic condition I’m not sure why you are mentioning it at all.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Maybe I’ve got the wrong one, but one has posted these on her Faceplace thingy page:

          Indicating that she seems to think you can overcome things with exercise and the power of the mind:

          On the importance of praising the process (effort, strategy, grit), not the outcome. Carol Dweck believes that “effort makes ability.”

          http://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve?language=en

          The power of believing that you can improve

          Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart…

          ted.com|By Carol Dweck

          And that some kinds of people are more susceptible to being carried away with hysterical notions:

          Interesting Chris Mooney piece on “motivated reasoning,” aka why some people reject evidence of climate change but love them some conspiracy theories.

          http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/denial-science-chris-mooney

          “Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call “affect”). Not only are the two inseparable, but our positive or negative feelings about people, things, and ideas arise much more rapidly than our conscious thoughts, in a matter of milliseconds—fast enough to detect with an EEG device, but long before we’re aware of it. That shouldn’t be surprising: Evolution required us to react very quickly to stimuli in our environment. It’s a “basic human survival skill,” explains political scientist Arthur Lupia of the University of Michigan. We push threatening information away; we pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.”

          Obviously some people’s split second emotional response aligns with what would be the outcome of an emotion-free, deliberative reasoning process more closely than others. If emotions guide our decisions, folks for whom there is less natural dissonance between emotion and fact probably make better decisions.

          But when it comes to reasoning, why are some people stuck in that “fight or flight” mode?

          Some psychologists have found that people who feel powerless are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories,. From the NYTimes article (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/magazine/why-rational-people-buy-into-conspiracy-theories.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0):

          “Conspiracy theories also seem to be more compelling to those with low self-worth, especially with regard to their sense of agency in the world at large. Conspiracy theories appear to be a way of reacting to uncertainty and powerlessness.”

          People who feel powerless are also much more likely to live in a constant state of fight or flight. (Think about the high stress low status males in Robert Sapolsky’s baboon troops http://news.stanford.edu/news/2007/march7/sapolskysr-030707.html). Their reason, in other words, is going to be even more likely to be suffused with emotion, especially in the domains in which they feel the most powerless.

          And so I wonder how do we expand that circle of safety? How do we make more people feel empowered, believe that their lives and futures are in their own hands?

          • Lucy Kippin

            My point was that I’m sure jen knows more about it than most people on this page.

    • edlancey

      “distance from equator”

      priceless.

    • trace9

      It’s a sort of Hanging Chad…. But do any Chadians have ME here, or anywhere else..

    • Fraser Magee

      Most of what Rod says is pretty reasonable. If you have any evidence to the contrary then please share. As far as I’m aware there’s nothing in the medical literature that confirms an organic basis for any of the diseases that he mentions. I’m happy to be corrected though.

      • Jen Brea

        This by the Institute of Medicine (US) is the best most recent review of the literature on ME/CFS: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/19012/beyond-myalgic-encephalomyelitischronic-fatigue-syndrome-redefining-an-illness There are a few neuroimaging and neuroinflammation studies published in 2014/2015 that came out after their review that were not included. Highlights: dramatically decreased natural killer cell function, low blood volume, measurable cognitive impairment, abnormal physiological response to exercise, orthostatic intolerance. Separately, several studies in Norway and Germany observing possible positive benefit of Rituximab, a drug used for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Rheumatoid arthritis along with identifying auto anti-bodies to certain neurotransmitter receptors (also found in Myasthenia graves, Sjorgen’s, schizophrenia and Grave’s disease) in a subset of ME/CFS patients most likely to respond to the drug. In other words, a substantial portion of patients are possibly suffering from an as of yet unidentified autoimmune disease.

        “As far as I’m aware” is half the problem, especially where doctors are concerned. There are reams of information out there (on any topic) of which it is possible to be aware unless you actually go looking for it.

        As an aside: 40% of patients suffering from an autoimmune disease (yes, a real mainstream one that Rod Liddle would believe in) are initially diagnosed with a psychosomatic illness before they are properly diagnosed. So medicine has a problem across the board with these diseases. Of course, most of these patients are women…

  • Nancy Drew

    My deceased mother-in-law “suffered” from fibromyalgia.It’s a psychosomatic illness that lets you take opiate based meds. she died screaming for them. what a load of you know what.

    • Incoherent comment. She might have been demented and probably was. What does this have to do with the article?

      • barrydavies

        Opiates are not prescribed for M.E, fibro Pvids or Pvis and certainly not for psychosomatic conditions, so any Doctor who prescribed them to your mother in law for a psychosomatic condition should be struck off and never allowed to work again. I would assume your mother in law had something other than one of those conditions which required major pain killers.

      • Nancy Drew

        Read the article about fibromyalgia.

  • Barb

    Rod, I’m sure that Simon Wessely does want to help people with ME/CFS but the problem I have with his and his closely connected colleagues’ involvement is that it’s very like playing tennis with an overbearing doubles partner who keeps duffing the ball. They constantly call that they have it when they never do.

    This serves to detract attention from conducting research into the biological causes of the disease. Most of their non-psychiatric medical colleagues have believed their claims for too long. Fortunately, times are changing even if many casual spectators, such as yourself, have not yet realised.

    You rightly refer to the work carried out at Columbia University. Researchers there demonstrated that lab samples used in a study by other researchers had been contaminated and that XMRV was not associated with ME/CFS. However, you might have gone on to mention that the team at Columbia have since shown abnormal cytokine patterns in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of ME/CFS patients and that they are now studying the gut microbiome.

    • Clive

      Cytokines can be generated by the emotional state of the individual.
      http://discovermagazine.com/2014/julyaug/9-depressions-dance-with-inflammation
      …In the past two decades, researchers have tied depression to a seemingly unrelated condition: inflammation, the body’s natural response to stress. It could stem from injury or infection, or even emotional issues like an unhappy marriage or problems at work. Some amount of inflammation is generally beneficial, as it ramps up production of cytokines, proteins that help us heal and protect us from the effects of overexertion.

      But excessive cytokine levels, and the inflammation they bring on, could come at a cost: A number of studies suggest that high levels of cytokines could contribute to depression. Some studies even indicate that anti-inflammatory drugs could reduce those cytokine levels and help people recover from depression…

      • Barb

        Possibly, but that’s speculation. I think that it’s probably safer to state that being under stress of some sort is associated with increased cytokines. But which causes the other?
        Perhaps being in a state of reduced health – but not in an obviously diseased state – makes it harder for people to cope with daily demands so that they feel stressed? Thus stress may not actually cause depression but both could be a result of a common factor. I of course speculate.
        Incidentally, in the Columbia study, they found that relative to controls, cytokines were increased in short duration ME/CFS patients but decreased in those who had been ill for longer. The switch from elevated to decreased levels was around the three year point. The researchers speculate that the immune system ‘burns itself out’ but as of yet, there is no evidence for that.

        • Clive

          There is a two-way conversation between the immune syatem and brain as there would obviously have to be:

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9450372
          Cytokines for psychologists: implications of bidirectional immune-to-brain communication for understanding behavior, mood, and cognition.

          Maier SF1, Watkins LR.

          Abstract
          The brain and immune system form a bidirectional communication network in which the immune system operates as a diffuse sense organ, informing the brain about events in the body. This allows the activation of immune cells to produce physiological, behavioral, affective, and cognitive changes that are collectively called sickness, which function to promote recuperation. Fight-flight evolved later and coopted this immune-brain circuitry both because many of the needs of fight-flight were met by this circuitry and this cooptation allowed the immune system to respond to potential injury in anticipatory fashion. Many sequelae of exposure to stressors can be understood from this view and can take on the role of adaptive responses rather than pathological manifestations. Finally, it is argued that activation of immune-brain pathways is important for understanding diverse phenomena related to stress such as depression and suppression of specific immunity.

          • Barb

            That article is pay-walled

  • Keith R Laws

    Rod – just a couple of quick points. First, your point about the lack of ME/CFS cases in Burkina Faso and Chad is specious. Of course, any differences may well reflect the lack of physicians and almost total lack of psychiatrists in those countries. WHO figures show that BF has 7 psychiatrists and Chad just 1; and BF has fewer than 1,000 physicians in total (no figure for Chad). By contrast, the UK has 166,000 physicians including 9,000+ psychiatrists. So, its a pretty pointless comparison – we don’t know if people in BF and Chad are not diagnosed with CFS/ME or any other disorder you mention.
    What we do know however, is that Professor Wessely (who you mention above) has shown that rates of CFS/ME are as high or higher in people from ethnic minority backgrounds http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/38/6/1554.full.pdf+html Once you add in the fact that Prof Wessley also showed that people from ethnic minority backgrounds are also “more likely to use religion, denial and behavioural disengagement to cope with their condition”, none of the evidence really fits much with your line of argument… indeed, most of the ‘evidence’ contradicts your viewpoint

    • Barb

      Despite the enthusiasm for ME/CFS displayed by Simon Wessely and the three main PACE trial investigators , psychiatrists are not routinely involved in diagnosing ME/CFS. Diagnosis is usually made by a GP or at a specialist clinic where doctors may be drawn from a range of disciplines, including psychiatry. This merely reflects the fact that no division of medicine as yet has ‘ownership’ of ME/CFS.

      • Keith R Laws

        Sure its a grey area in UK medicine …which is why I added figures for physicians as a whole…as well

        • barrydavies

          Psychiatrists do not diagnose M.E., but they would like to add it to their repetoir because they could make a fortune out of it, it’s all about getting funding for the cinderella medical service not caring for patients.

    • King Zog

      “First, your point about the lack of ME/CFS cases in Burkina Faso and Chad
      is specious. Of course, any differences may well reflect the lack of
      physicians and almost total lack of psychiatrists in those countries.”

      Because they’re all here.

      • Mr B J Mann

        You’d already beaten me to it!

    • Mr B J Mann

      To go off topic for a moment, the “progressive” lefty “liberals” insist that it is a good thing that we import all the trained up medical personnel of those poor countries to enrich our society in general and health service in particular!!!

  • Lucy Kippin

    In this article, much word-snotorung,

    f.n: a sophism (a clever but false argument, especially one used deliberately to deceive). (“word-snot-or-ung”)

    http://oldenglishwordhord.com/2015/11/04/word-snotorung/

    • davidshort10

      ?

      I’m too thick to understand the comment but I would certainly say this was not one of Rod’s best.

  • davidshort10

    You also don’t get lots of obese people in the lower divisions of society in Chad and Burkina Faso. Nor any overweight people below the poverty line where the cause is ‘big bones’. Being very fat in many parts of Africa is a sign of wealth and high social standing in the same way as being very thin is in New York.

    • Lucy Kippin

      if you had either ME or Fibro in a developing country and were poor, you wouldn’t last long enough to moan about it I suspect.

      • barrydavies

        Well Dave and IDS with the help or people with no understanding are trying to starve and freeze those with M.E. to death by refusing any benefits to the vast majority.

    • Miss Floribunda Rose

      Having ME in New York and London is also a sign of wealth and high social standing…..

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        strange that you say that, Florinbunda, as most ME patients I know come from working class backgrounds and suffer povery from having ME. Many have spent their life savings on medical treatments and alternative medicine.
        Were you always ignorant and uneducated Floribunda ?

        • barrydavies

          Most are not either under or overweight, as they almost all have been more than average active prior to becoming ill.

  • SueMoore22

    “NIH defines ME/CFS as “an acquired, chronic multi-system disease
    characterized by systemic exertion intolerance, resulting in significant
    relapse after exertion of any sort.” The Centers for Disease Control
    and Prevention estimates that more than 1 million Americans are affected
    by ME/CFS. Currently, there are no methods for accurate diagnosis or
    effective treatment of the condition.” http://linkis.com/clinicaladvisor.com/zC3Hf

    • Miss Floribunda Rose

      Strangely, the disorder never seems to afflict third world peasants and subsistence farmers. It is a condition which only seems to affect the middle-classes of Europe and North America……

      • Helle Rasmussen

        The prevalence of ME/CFS in Nigeria is 0.6%.
        http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/9/91#B40

        • Miss Floribunda Rose

          Would that be amongst the leisured classes?

          • red2black

            Perhaps it is. I think it’s true that Gout was particular to the Aristocracy at one time, but in present-day Western society, the affluence of our middle and lower social classes mean that this is no longer the case.

          • barrydavies

            Well the media claims that it was yuppie flu don’t help at all, mainly because these days most journalism is of the cut and paste variety and taking whatever any self styled expert tells them is the facts. Once they have printed it they then try to substantiate the story every time it is knocked back. Politicians also do this, take David cameron for example who claimed at the 3013 tory party conference that people were drinking from flower vases at Stafford Hospital because they were so dehydrated. Actual facts the flower vases had been removed 2 decades before the alleged incident, for reasons of infection control. the patient who allegedly drank from the flower vase was nil by mouth, on a drip, and was was stopped from drinking in the sluice before being able to drink from a used urinal neither the original thousands and then hundreds of people died because of not being properly cared for. So you see how these myths can arise and be taken as facts just because someone prints it.

          • Mr B J Mann

            neither the original thousands and then hundreds of people died because of not being properly cared for. So you see how these myths can arise

            So you’re saying the entire Staffs hospitals scandal was a myth and the enquiry had been conned?!?!

          • barrydavies

            No the enquiry didn’t find that thousands hundreds or even 10 people died because of not being properly cared for but the mass media produced these myths and there are people who still believe that nonsense.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You are clearly one of those who think the NHS, and especially the wonderful doctors and nurses, can do no wrong.
            I’ve seen both sides of the coin.
            And I also know a lot of doctors and nurses who would tell you different.

          • barrydavies

            Not at all but I do object to lies being peddled to sell newspapers and by the government to support its privatisation aims, if you believed everything cameron said and hunt says aided and abetted by the mass media you would think the whole NHS is failing because of the idle Doctors uncaring nurses etc. when the reality is that it is underfunded and thanks to the privatisation of certain parts and the ludicrously expensive to run trust system it is being grossly underfunded. That is the truth and the same goes for the myths and lies peddled about M.E.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Oh, right, I get you now.

            You object to lies being peddled and don’t think the whole NHS is failing because of the idle Doctors uncaring nurses etc., and the same goes for the myths and lies peddled…….

            So you though you’d deny that anyone ever died in a Staffs hospital?!?!?

          • barrydavies

            You see how easy it is to believe the mass media, you believe it was idle Doctors and uncaring nurses rather than there not being enough of either available on the wards due to the government imposed strictures and the trust system, it is hard for anyone to do a job when they are physically mentally and emotionally exhausted. BTW the Aryans were made up by a government just like the myths of mid staffs were.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Oh, purleeeze!

            So you’re a tin-foil-hatted conspiracy theorist!

            And why do you think there aren’t enough idle doctors and uncaring nurses?!?!?

            Whether or not the Cons are cutting the budget as opposed to maintaining or increasing it.

            Whether or not you think that NHS management have no option but to cut clinical staff due to cuts.

            Whether or not that trust had ridiculous levels of debt due to a PFI scam:

            Doesn’t affect whether or not patients are killed by idle and/or uncaring staff.

            The NHS is an inherently and endemically bloated bureaucracy which by its nature has excessive and unnecessary and wasteful layers of management and too may corridor and clipboard nurses.

            And it’s a simple fact that, regardless of how under or over funded, resourced and staffed a hospital is, in a right-on, PC, trendy-lefty, “liberal”, equal-opportunity, public-sector bureaucracy: a nurse is more likely to get the sack for failing to keep on top the paperwork because some of her colleagues aren’t pulling their weight and you can’t keep all the patients fed and watered, never mind their clinical care catered for, while snowed under with pointless red tape AND carrying idle, uncaring and/or incompetent “colleagues”.

            Especially if you’re in trouble for whistleblowing while the guilty are overloading you with work.

            So while some of the wrong people might have been blamed by some enquiry, while many or most doctors and nurses might be angels, it doesn’t mean that patients aren’t dying because of some idle doctors and uncaring nurses!

            To put things in perspective, around 2,500 people die in road accidents pa.

            And the roads are the most dangerous environment most people experience.

            And most people are exposed to them every day of their lives.

            Most people don’t enter a hospital from one year to the next.

            And a hospital should be the safest environment most people are exposed to.

            And yet the NHS ADMITS to around 5,000 accidental deaths a year.

            As in killed in accidents, eg something being injected in the wrong pace, or wrong dose.

            This is NOT dying because of a high risk procedure going wrong, or losing out in the post-code lottery, or getting MRSA:

            It’s people being killed in a clinical accident!

            And some sources estimate the true figure is more like 100,000 a year.

            But when you tell people 2,500 die on the roads (most due to their own suicidal actions, especially pedestrians and cyclists) there are demands for draconian measures being put into place to protect the poor vulnerable innocent public.

            But when an enquiry rules that people in the NHS cause the deaths of patients people like you insist it’s all lies, NHS staff are angels, the NHS is heaven on earth, and (just as with the railways), if there are any faults, it’s down to evil right wing cuts (even though, eg with the railways, Labour did the worst axe-wielding, and most rail deaths – and there are much more, pro rata, pedestrian deaths on the railways than on the roads! – are due to drivers travelling too fast to stop near crossings or other accident black spots).

            It’s you that has been brainwashed by politicians, unions, and the meejah, into believing the NHS can do no wrong.

            Next you’ll be telling me the Tory cuts were to blame for Shipman!

          • barrydavies

            No I’m a realist who actually looks at facts before trying to sell a newspaper by sensationalising a story. There are not enough nurses because the government changed the education system and now doesn’t train as many despite their claims, you will of course note when they claim they are training more than ever they don’t mention the numbers in the 60’s and 70’s, no nurses and doctors should be referred to as idle and uncaring unless proven to be so you are clearly a mental awareness alter substance abuser who believes the tory propaganda iff you believe otherwise. Your belief in the media scandalisation is pitiful try to find out for yourself the real facts before moaning at someone who did.

          • Mr B J Mann

            No, you are a fantasist who is hooked on myths.

            As I’ve already, carefully and slowly, explained to you:

            It doesn’t matter how many or few nurses there are, or how much or how little funding is cut:

            You are still going to get some idle and/or uncaring doctors and nurses.

            Or are you going to blame Shipman on the Tories?!

            And you are more likely to get idle and uncaring staff in a bloated public sector organisation which doesn’t need to be efficient nor customer friendly to stay in business, and where staff are protected by politics and PC.

            And I speak as someone (slightly) left of centre.

            I’m just not blinded to the truth by dogma or emotion.

            Oh, and I also speak as someone who spends a lot of time in the NHS, knows a lot of people in the front line, and also used to know people killed by the NHS!

          • barrydavies

            You are an uneducated troll who just posts nonsense to try to belittle those who know more about a subject matter than you do. No one with half a brain could quote “It doesn’t matter how many or few nurses there are, or how much or how little funding is cut:” without wondering how the sick injured and disabled can be cared for with no nurses or money to fund their care, perhaps you are really a tory troll who believes unless you are hardworking, which isn’t most tory supporters you should not be bothered about. No one other than you has mentioned Shipman not even sure why you did. You speak as someone to the right of Ghengis Khan, and are blinded by your irrational belief that you understand anything about health care and specific conditions. If you spend any time in the NHS it is clearly in the offices far from any patients and not on the frontline. Your lack of compassion and understanding would make you a perfect Commissioner or trust accountant, because they know the cost of everything and the value of nothing,

          • Mr B J Mann

            You are clearly a nutter, Goodby! 8<———

          • barrydavies

            Oh dear the troll has run out of pretend arguments bye bye mr Troll don’t bother coming back, you have nothing of value to add to this site just nonsensical wittering and insulting behaviour.

          • Mr B J Mann

            No, I haven’t run out of arguments, I’ve posted enough to prove the point, and the point is that it doesn’t matter what proof you are presented with, you are still blind to the truth. But I should have spotted that when you can’t even see that the “evidence” you allude to contradicts your own points. Hence I’ve recognised that you are a nutter and run out of patience trying to cure you of your delusions.

          • Mr B J Mann

            By the way, you do realise that nurses used to do everything on the wards that the doctors didn’t in the 60s and 70s?

            Down to scrubbing the floors!

          • barrydavies

            Yes they used to have total patient care, as their role, what are you going to try next toileting, bathing, helping to walk, ensuring the patient was comfortable in a clean environment and all the other items you think do not matter compared to filling in pointless check sheets.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Sigh…., as well as being an idiot and a nutter you clearly cannot even demonstrate basic reading skills! 8———

          • Mr B J Mann

            So much for:

            “Your belief in the media scandalisation is pitiful try to find out for yourself the real facts before moaning at someone who did.”

          • barrydavies

            oh dear personal insults the usual manner of a bully with no insight, why do you think there are idle uncaring nurses and doctors? You made the claim but absolutely no evidence has been forthcoming just insults and pretending to know what you are talking about.
            You clearly do not understand the argument of the majority that because of the tory, and to a certain extent labour top down reorganisation we now have an overpriced management structure who can’t cope with the huge cuts to the NHS budget in real terms, and instead of losing their office staff, who are only there to check on pointless paperwork, they have slashed frontline staff instead.
            I’m not a trendy left wing anything I’m a concerned citizen who was prepared to stand up and be counted I don’t just troll on websites.

            Unfortunately you have allowed yourself to believe the government propaganda, it has been shown that the number of deaths supposedly in hospital are not correct, for example those people killed in road accidents who are DOA are not actually classified as being DOA they are classified as dying in Hospital because that is where the doctor pronouncing them dead works. You really need to get out more, you seem to think Shipman, who because of the Doctors contracts was actually see employed and contracted to the NHS not a true employee, is of some significance to the gross underfunding and government inspired waste in the NHS. So now you can find another misguided argument to further expose your ignorance.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I already know you can neither read, nor think: there is no need to continually post proof under every comment of mine you struggled to read and failed to understand!
            8<——–

          • red2black

            The idea that a person’s well-being is little more than a matter of political persuasion is nothing new.

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            Be careful Floribunda, as a leisured peasant, you and your children may develop illnesses. Oh dear, that would be very unpleasant Floribunda, especially with people like you sneering at and mocking ill people.

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        strangely, peasants such as yourself, Floribunda, are unconcerned about the prevalence of illness and disease in the third world, you are far too concerned with your own little comfy world. But it is soooo convenient of you to express amazement that ME may not exist in the third world, in your own opinion, but has it occurred to you that medical facilities and medical research are neglected and greatly under-funded there, and that ME and many other illnesses are not being diagnosed. As already stated above, ME will only matter to Floribunda when she or her children get the illness. Now run along Floribunda, and don’t get too concerned about the third world !

      • Lucy Kippin

        Why on earth do you assume it only afflicts the middle classes?

        And what doctors are the third world er going to see with their symptoms?
        I suspect subsistence farmers don’t get a lot of illnesses in this situation

        I was diagnosed by a rheumatologist.
        I’m not sure how many peasants have access to one of those.

  • Laroxe

    I thought the examples were interesting but I notice how the much more recent and common condition of peptic ulcers, which was explained as primarily stress related and which doctors couldn’t treat effectively. This was of course until it was discovered it was primarily an infection, which had not been considered because we though we knew all of these. I think its fair to say we don’t know the cause of ME & we are also not very good at managing it. Its difficult to see why the belief of some doctors is that important really, it is simply a belief and to shift a belief about cause into the great unknown of mental illness is a convenient cop out It, allows Drs. the convenience of blaming the patient for not getting better and excusing their own inability to help. These days in mental health we can at least create some credible theories about the psychology underpinning most disorders, I have yet to see one that offers any sort of good rational as to why this can be understood as a primarily psychological disorder. In fact as the author rightly says the relationship between mind and body is complex and new research increasingly blurs the distinction, I just don’t know why this follows a very clear dismissal of any physical link which is simply not warranted. The identification of physical markers is clearly the most straight forward and most promising area to focus research efforts for what is a massive problem. Psychological interventions are widely used and are helpful in helping people cope with the effects of illness but I noticed that in the recent PACE trial the CBT manual used specifically mentions false beliefs about their illness as a focus of therapy. This is a disgraceful perversion of a therapy which prides itself on being evidence based and collaborative.

    • Clive

      The first part of what you said is only partly true. Ulcers have both mental and physical causes:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychosomatic_medicine
      …For instance, while peptic ulcer was once thought of as being purely caused by stress, later research revealed that Helicobacter pylori caused 80% of ulcers. However 4 out of 5 people colonised with Helicobacter pylori do not develop ulcers, and an expert panel convened by the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research concluded that ulcers are not merely an infectious disease and that mental factors do play a significant role. One likelihood is that stress diverts energy away from the immune system, thereby stress promotes Helicobacter pylori infection in the body…

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        I agree, I would strongly recommend CBT to treat Dr. Wessely and Roy Liddle. They both suffer from false beliefs.

      • Laroxe

        Of course there are a number of mediators of how illness develops and there are good reasons as to why stress might effect both the development of ulcers and their healing. However everyone is subject to stress, its about meeting the demands of life, but not everyone develops ulcers, among the people that do the most common shared feature is H pylori infection, the second being NSAI drugs. I actually do like CBT it is pragmatic and works collaboratively with the client, the techniques used depend very much on what the client will find useful. There is no requirement for components that try to convince someone their beliefs are false, particularly if its based on the beliefs of the therapist, unsupported by evidence. I have worked with a large number of people trying to cope with illness and I can’t remember once suggesting their beliefs about their experiences were wrong, this would be the hight of stupidity.
        It is unusual these days for a team involved in clinical research to demonstrate their total disinterest in the views of well informed and organised patient groups and also appear unaware of evidence that some techniques can be damaging. The study starts from a position of being highly political as the current government struggles to justify removing benefits from the ill. They basically find no difference in outcomes in any condition in the long term and the one part they do find something to talk about might best be explained by the way in which the simply changed the standard for their evidence of success. Its a very poor study for all sorts of reasons that fact that the grossly inflated claims may very well be used against the patients makes the whole thing highly suspect.

  • Kathleen O’Connor

    This article is full of lies, misconceptions and misrepresentations. The author has no idea what ME really is and uses hyperbole, insults, mockery and condascension to mask his ignorance. He fails to mention any medical or scientific facts to back up his allegations.and claims, and ignores the large amount of scientific evidence which negates his presumptions. What a fool he is ! I will contact the owners and editors of this magazine to discuss the lack of integrity, truthfulness, fact finding, and basic journalisitc skills in Roy Liddle’s article(s).
    Here, Roy, my little man, in 2015 the NIH defined ME/CFS as “an acquired, chronic multi-system disease characterized by systemic exertion intolerance, resulting in significant relapse after exertion of any sort.” . And learn the medical and scientific facts about ME on http://www.me-ireland.com and read about wessely and his fraud and repeated failures for the last 30 years on http://www.me-ireland.com/bogus.htm
    And learn some manners Roy Liddle.

    • Mc

      “I will contact the owners and editors of this magazine to discuss the lack of integrity, truthfulness, fact finding, and basic journalisitc skills in Roy Liddle’s article(s). ”

      The beauty of Liddle’s articles is that they bring out of the woodwork all the nutters. And of course, because they are barmy they don’t realize that by frothing at the mouth and shouting curses at the sky, they prove the very point Liddle makes in this article.

      • Miss Floribunda Rose

        Frothing at the mouth and shouting at the sky are in fact two of the major symptoms of ME, together with a total inability to laugh or to view one’s self and one’s condition objectively……

        • Kathleen O’Connor

          the NIH, CDC, Norwegian health service, and other reputable health bodies worldwide have recently stated that ME patients and the illness have been neglected for decades. And that the illness is biological. So, yes a certain amount of frustration has arisen among patients, waiting for years and decades, look at the list of people who died from the illness and its complications
          http://www.ncf-net.org/memorial.htm
          Actually we laugh at ignorant people like you, Floribunda, who have an inability to view and accept the scientific and medial findings, http://www.me-ireland.com/scientific.htm . As already stated above, it is only when little Floribunda and her children get ME, that it really matters, isn’t that right Floribunda ?

        • barrydavies

          No they are not even minor symptoms or indeed signs although posting he same junk under different names could be an obsessive compulsive behaviour.

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        define ‘nutters’ ? is a ‘nutter’ someone who disagrees with your point of view ? I have proposed that Roy present scientific and medical facts in his article, to back up and substantiate his allegations, and the fact that he neglected to do this caused me some annoyance. And I wished to communicate this fact to the owners / editors. I see nothing irrational in this.
        For example, Mc, somebody could accuse you of being a paedaphile, and present some hearsay and rumour to back this up ; would you be entitled to defend yourself using facts and evidence, and would it be fair to call you a ‘nutter’ for doing so ??

        • Mc

          One identifier of a nutter is that they tend to write long comments. Another sign is your belief that writing a complaint to Spectator management is rational. Yet another marker is your complete misreading of what Liddle is saying and why he’s saying it. Finally, the over-use of punctuation marks,such as exclamation marks and question marks, points to nuttiness.

          • barrydavies

            Well they certainly seem to bring out the nutters who believe everything they read in the mass media and like to try to belittle those who through no fault of their own are left incapable of doing the occupations they would love to return to if only they could.

          • Mc

            If you’re referring to my comments, your mistaken. If you carefully read Liddle’s comments, you’ll notice that he too is sympathetic to ME sufferers in that he’d like them to be healthy and be able to work. You may also have noticed that Liddle is a satirist who is self-deprecating and that his articles should be interpreted accordingly – something that seems to escape his critics.

          • barrydavies

            No he isn’t sympathetic to M.E. sufferers whatsoever, and this is not satire in the true sense,.

          • Mc

            If you follow your statement to its logical conclusion, then Liddle’s not sympathetic to himself either (as a sufferer of his own mental illness, panic attacks), which is rather unlikely. I think your sense of offense overrides you comprehension of this article.

          • barrydavies

            He suffers from a mental illness not M.E., and panic attacks is not always a part of M.E. anyway so what is your point exactly ?

          • Mc

            My point is you have poor reading comprehension skills and a poor sense of humour

          • barrydavies

            You seem think that being a bully is humorous and you lack of comprehension at the amount of real evidence posted here as to the real situation for those who suffer from a debilitating condition is only matched by your lack of compassion, I would expect you to point at people with huntingtons chorea or parkinson and laugh at their inability to mobile normally because you clearly would consider them drunk or mentally ill.

          • Mc

            Barry, branding Liddle (or me?) a bully because his & my views don’t align with yours, makes you exactly like the SJW tyrants currently making news in the USA and elsewhere, who brand those with contrary view as bullies and pariahs (e.g. Yale’s shrieking girl). The beauty of free speech is that neither you, nor I, nor anyone else gets to decide what someone is not allowed to utter.

            Another commonality you share with the SJW movement and the Left, is a high frequency of logically flawed thinking: just because I disagree with someone about an illness does not mean that I lack compassion about to the fact that they may be suffering from an illness.

          • barrydavies

            No I’m saying your behaviour is that of a bully you want everyone, especially those with personal experience of the condition to accept your premise, whereas you have no cogent argument to back up your claims that means you are simply trying to bully your way into an argument which does not concern you with no other intention of belittling those who do know what they are on about. You no doubt would tell someone with a broken leg to pull themselves together and go running, because it would suit your warped sense of humour.

          • barrydavies

            You come on here and decry people who know what they are talking about putting them down continuously then pretend too be offended when your bullying personality is highlighted I couldn’t give a flying fig about movement I’ve never heard of so I have no idea what you are wittering on about. you can disagree all you like, but it won’t give you any more insight into the condition than Liddle has with his depressive condition.

          • Mc

            Glad you’ve been able to get that off your chest.

          • Not this again

            Maybe he should look into a new line of work.

            When one is a ‘satirist,’ and their readers indicate that they take this so-called ‘satire’ at face value, and scientific research posted to refute said ‘satire’ is either mocked or ignored, some may form a judgment that it fails as satire.

            Liddle has refused to provide evidence either to back up, on a scientific basis, virtually anything he has said, and indeed doubled down on what he has written, with no indication he does not actually believe it.

            Since one of his secondary statements in support of his writings was directed at editor Isabel Hardman, it’s not unreasonable to conclude that he actually does believe these things, in which case this is not satire.

            Yet it is also indefensible on any scientific or medical basis. Great job on steering traffic to a website; the advertising department must be very happy.

          • Mr B J Mann

            When Swift wrote a ‘satire’ suggesting people ate babies and some of his readers indicated that they took this so-called ‘satire’ at face value, and arguments posted to refute said ‘satire’ were either mocked or ignored, some may form a judgment that it succeeded brilliantly as satire.

            Others may form a judgment about those who mocked his satire.

          • Not this again

            Babies as food, hmm. I think you’ve just invented a particularly unique variation on Godwin.

            Congratulations.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Hmm. I think you have just proved you are ignorant as well as being an idiot (and you probably don’t understand Godwin’s Law either, as with most people who invoke it).

            Congratulations!

          • Mc

            I don’t believe Liddle’s purpose was to create a research paper, so I suggest you lighten up.

            Those who are certain of ME’s cause seem to have a direct line to a higher being, because the scientific community certainly isn’t sure of the cause. And that is why the more strident ME activists do themselves no favors with their unhinged hysteria.

          • Not this again

            “So, as we knew all along, chronic fatigue syndrome – or ME – is not a chronic illness at all.”

            “They are either neurological or psychological in origin. They are, in short, something to do with “stress”.”

            These are direct quotes from Liddle, all from the past few days. Who exactly is it that’s ‘certain’ of ME’s cause?

            The ‘more strident ME activists’ are the ones pointing out that the evidence does not exist for any medical or scientific basis for his certainty. There may not be evidence to confirm a contrary view, but there is a lot of evidence to suggest one; and, with little, if any, to back up his certainty, much to doubt his view.

            I don’t think anybody thought or suggested that he meant to create a research paper. If he had, considering the scrutiny that PACE has come under over the past two weeks, I’d wonder who’d publish it anyway. Maybe the Lancet? Hey, the government has ruled that the PACE team must release the data they’ve already refused under FOIA. Interesting times.

          • Mc

            Lighten up some more and get a firmer understanding of science: the research on ME will swing from one side to the other, as with many of these illnesses until the puzzle is definitely solved, or until it mutates into the next fashionable illness.

          • Not this again

            All too typically, when people who post as you do are shown, explicitly, in black and white, evidence that they are incorrect, you do anything but admit that you were…incorrect.

            Imagine, someone pontificating on ‘the next fashionable illness’ while simultaneously telling others to acquire a firmer understanding of science.

            Can’t make this stuff up.

          • Mc

            You’re so blinded by your keenness to vituperate that you haven’t bothered to check the nuances of what people say. For example, I have no dog in this ME fight: I don’t care if science has or will conclude about its cause, in the same way I didn’t care about ulcers’ cause. Yet you have an overwhelming urge to manufacture any premise for a verbal tussle.
            Putting aside whether there is a scientific basis for your argument, it isinsightful to briefly peruse your comments history to see how you have a remarkable itch to comment about ME.

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            wrong again. The main identifier of a nutter is one who refuses to engage in rational and logical debate regarding facts and evidence. You have refused a rational and logical debate and engaged in insults and support for lies.
            Making a complaint to an editor of a magazine is rational if an article is factually wrong, insulting, discriminatory, and misleading.
            Are you capable of understanding this. Its basic common sense. You actually sound like a nutter with your support for lies, insults, mockery of disabled people and refusal to engage in rational and logical debate. Are you educated ? did you finish secondary school ?

    • King Zog

      “…an acquired, chronic multi-system disease characterized by systemic
      exertion intolerance, resulting in significant relapse after exertion of
      any sort…”

      No, no, no, no, no… that’s ‘Benefits Street’…

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        no need for benefits or social welfare. Just give them a proper biological diagnosis and proper biological based treatments and get them back to work again. Here are some hints http://www.me-ireland.com

        • barrydavies

          Benefits lol we should be so lucky because of imbeciles who think that GET and CBT can cure the condition we are simply told no you can’t have any help because you have to be cured by this approach then go back to work. BTW if you believe benefits street was a true reflection you are grossly stupid.

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            I agree king zog is grossly stupid.

        • Mr B J Mann

          I stopped reading at the candle.

          In the top left corner.

          No, actually, I stopped at the second sentence:

          About Us
          We would like to welcome you to the web-site of the Campaign for an Irish ME clinic in Ireland. There are approximately 45,000 people suffering from ME in the Republic of Ireland today (using the 1% figure in the International Consensus Criteria, 2011).

          Their first “fact” appears to be a guess!

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            its from the International Consensus Criteria, 2011, read it and learn. |
            You could not read beyond the candle, you allege, then its time to go back to secondary school or high school and learn reading and science. I don’t have much time for the uneducated and the ignorant.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I was joking, I did read it. Just emphasising a salient point.

            You, however, didn’t.

            Or you struggle with simple English Comprehension!

          • barrydavies

            You expect us to believe what you have written, and bawl your eyes out metaphorically speaking when we point out its misguided ideations and yet when you write “Mr B J Mann Kathleen O’Connor • 10 days ago

            I stopped reading at the candle.

            In the top left corner.

            No, actually, I stopped at the second sentence:” You expect us to later believe that wasn’t the truth, a conundrum indeed from a troll

          • Mr B J Mann

            Whatever! 8<———

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            The 1% figure is from the International Consensus Criteria, 2011, you should read this criteria and learn the facts instead of indulging your prejudices and ignorance.
            You stopped reading at the candle, or “actually” the second sentence, ooh really, well you should go back to high school and get an education in English reading and comprehension and science. This would enable you to progress beyond the candle and the second sentence.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I was just making a point about the candle.

            I read it all.

            Though I didn’t need to to understand that you hadn’t, or didn’t.

    • King Zog

      “I will contact the owners and editors of this magazine to discuss the
      lack of integrity, truthfulness, fact finding, and basic journalisitc
      skills in Roy Liddle’s article(s).”

      It’s not a newspaper. It’s a magazine, full of articles which tend to take a (particularly in Rod’s case) contrarian position. The article expresses Rod’s views and opinions. People have opinions. Some opinions are annoying. Don’t take personal offence. In fact, if you read the article closely, Rod is actually extremely sympathetic to ME sufferers.

      • I think close anything is beyond her capacities, Zog. Unless it’s a warm fuzzy blanket, preferably stifling.

        • Kathleen O’Connor

          You use biblical terms in some of your posts – Jesus, Joseph and Mary – yes indeed, we all need pharisees and hypocrites
          like you to educate us. I think Jesus referred to you people as “sons
          of satan” in the bible and you are still living up to this lower ideal.
          The praying, judging, condemning and hating which you pharisees and
          hypocrites engage in continues in your mockery of ME patients. Learn
          some science at http://www.me-ireland.com/science.htm and you will be able to engage in rational debate about ME.

      • lastneil

        Love the way she criticises his “lack of fact-finding” and then gets his name wrong 🙂

        • Kathleen O’Connor

          indeed you love it, well done ! perhaps you could read the scientific and medical facts in the link below and acquaint yourself with these, and learn to love these too.
          http://www.me-ireland.com/scientific.htm

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        I said it was a magazine, not a newspaper. There is freedom of speech, but there is also responsibiity of speech. Do you understand the need for responsibiity of speech ? A contrarion position and article should rely on scientific and medical facts and evidence, not hearsay, rumour, mockery and sneering. This would help stimulate a rational, logical, and intellectual debate instead of an angry chat borne of mockery and lies.

        • King Zog

          “I said it was a magazine, not a newspaper.”

          Indeed so – in the bit that you’ve now expunged from your original post (say what you like about Rod, at least he’s not embarrassed by anything he says). But the point is not defeated – you treat Rod’s article as if it were, or should be, a newspaper report, instead of what it is – a deeply and deliberately provocative, contrarian opinion piece (and, might I add, provocative in a way that is on close/careful reading – as with many of Rod’s articles – deeply compassionate, despite the surface tone).

          “A contrarion position and article should rely on scientific and medical
          facts and evidence, not hearsay, rumour, mockery and sneering.”

          And you should rely on spellcheck.

          “This would help stimulate a rational, logical, and intellectual debate instead of an angry chat borne of mockery and lies.”

          You’ve got the tone of the article all wrong. Read other thing’s he’s written. Perhaps then you’ll ‘get it’. And calm down.

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            you still don’t understand do you ? scientific facts and evidence are required in all such articles, particulalrly in relation to illness and disease. And all you offer is ‘spellcheck’, yes indeed the dumbing down of peoples is succeeding. Can you offer a more intellectual analysis of these scientific facts, than a simple ‘spellcheck’.

            I am not embarassed by my decision to contact owners / editors, I just don’t like giving advance warning in posts. The mistake was remedied. These complaints are best done privately and discreetly.

            The tone of magazine articles, including Roy’s varies from article to article, One expects some minimum level of integrity and honesty.

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            spellcheck ? are you still a school boy ? is that all you have to offer. Are you and your little buddy Rod Liddle even capable of rational, logical, and intellectual debate based on facts and evidence ?

      • Lucy Kippin

        Really Zog, no. He isn’t. The fact that he even started off discussing aliens and morgellons should tell you this.

        The whole article had the stink of media shillery to me. I’m actually disappointed in rod.

    • I think you’ve just proved his point about 100 times over. You people just can’t help yourselves, can you?

      You’re like Leftists: what ought to be the good news is bad news to you. Pathetic.

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        leftists ?? you are truly an idiot. What about the right wing governments who bailed out your banks and financial institutions with taxpayers money – socialism for the rich.

        • barrydavies

          “You people”, so presumably you don’t consider yourself to be a human being as you are one of the same set of people and if you are unfortunate enough to get the condition you will then realise what a foolish position you are taking.

    • Oh, and do you know what cures exercise intolerance (or ‘exertion intolerance’, as you style it)? Exercise! Yes, actually doing what you think you can’t do. Jesus Joseph and Mary. Disease is the shield some people hide behind. It leads them not into temptation and forgives them their trespasses.

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        Jesus, Joseph and Mary, yes indeed, we all need pharisees and hypocrites like you to educate us. I think Jesus referred to you people as “sons of satan” in the bible and you are still living up to this lower ideal. The praying, judging, condemning and hating which you pharisees and hypocrites engage in continues in your mockery of ME patients. Learn some science at http://www.me-ireland.com/science.htm and you will be able to engage in rational debate about ME.

        • barrydavies

          Yes that’s a good idea exercise and wind up going to hospital in a blues and twos ambulance so that they can stabilise you because you acted irrationally.

    • Miss Floribunda Rose

      Do YOU yourself suffer from ME? Sounds like it. ME, ME, ME is the constant refrain of all ME sufferers….

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        Oh dear is it too upsetting for you ? Perhaps if you or your children suffered from ME you would learn to be less insulting and condascending. Its very convenient for you to laugh and sneer at ill people. It shows your true character.

      • Lucy Kippin

        If you don’t personally know any me sufferers that’s a pretty odd thing to say

    • Clive

      The NIH report also says this:

      https://prevention.nih.gov/docs/programs/mecfs/ODP-P2P-MECFS-FinalReport.pdf
      … Existing treatment studies examining counseling and behavior therapies or graded exercise therapy demonstrate measureable improvements, but may not yield improvements in quality of life (QOL). Thus, these interventions are not a primary treatment strategy and should be used only as a component of multimodal therapy…

      …The modest benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy should be studied as adjunct to other modalities…

      So this report appears to at least partially confirm the use of these specific treatments.

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        “these interventions are not a primary treatment strategy”. This statement from NIH is quite clear, though I see you are trying to twist this into a partial confirmation of treatment. I would strongly suggest you learn the scientific facts at http://www.me-ireland.com/scientific.htm before making presumptions and parial confirmations about the illness.

        • barrydavies

          Actually some people inclusive of the assessors for disability living allowance or esa only accept get and cbt as treatment and demand that you go through them or lose your benefits.

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            yes, both wessely and white, the psychiatrists had an input into these state assessments and private insurance assessments.

      • barrydavies

        no it doesn’t because it doesn’t work for people who actually have the condition, it may work with depressive conditions but not with M.E. the only benefit from CBT is in coming to terms with no longer being capable of the same capacity of physical actions you previously had no problem with.

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        it says its not a primary treatment strategy.
        it confirms nothing, there are no cases of recoveries or significant improvements from the use of these, and many cases of a worsening of symptoms, read http://www.me-ireland.com/scientific/16.htm

  • King Zog

    “By aliens I don’t mean asylum seekers but proper aliens, quite probably
    creatures with bifurcated tongues and scaly lips from the Planet Zog.”

    Rod, I thank you.

    • What I want to know, King, is what are you going to do for ME? More presents than Santa brings? (Hint: I’m partial to lemon cream biscuits.)

    • Kathleen O’Connor

      who needs aliens when we have people like you. Creatures emerging from the depths of ignorance to laugh at and sneer at ill people.

  • King Zog

    I suffer from chronic fatigue, actually. In fact it’s so bad, I have to spend about 7-8 hours out of every 24 hours completely unconscious.

    • Kathleen O’Connor

      maybe you should commit suicide, and then you would be beyond fatigue and the ability to laugh and sneer at ill people.

  • King Zog

    And in next week’s episode: Restless Leg Syndrome.

    • R. L. S. is a result of nothing less than not exercising enough. You don’t train: your muscles atrophy and they get…restless. I know: I’ve been there. It’s no big deal: just get off your @rse and work them babies. I never have R. L. S. now, because I sweat hard five days a week. The rest of the sweating comes from living in the subtropics : )

      • Clive

        You glow
        Horses sweat; men perspire; ladies glow

        • In my case I’ll have to insist that I get glossy with sweat. Not to put the punters off their breakfast, but when you’re a physique athlete you have to expect it.

      • barrydavies

        I got it when I was running 80 to 100 miles a week swimming 10 periods a week and cycling the 14 miles each way to work, where I spent the majority of my time on my feet, so how much exercise should I have done?

        • We may not be talking about the same thing. You were clearly overdoing it and causing trauma to your nerves, muscles, and joints. I wouldn’t recommend your former exercise program in a million years!

        • Lucy Kippin

          It doesn’t matter there will always be a reason why it’s your fault.

    • Kathleen O’Connor

      no, no, no, next week’s episode will be the laughing at and sneering at ill people. I can see already that we have some very fine experts here on this forum.

    • Lucy Kippin

      Sleep in the same bed as some one who has that and then get back to me!!

      • King Zog

        I do. Myself.

        • Lucy Kippin

          Doesn’t it drive you nuts?

  • nancyblake

    Maybe someone should read the US Institute of Medicine report, and David Tuller’s analysis of flaws in the PACE report. Your readers, I hope, are an intelligent lot, who deserve better than this level of uninformed bilge. And, btw, that should be ‘alleged’ death threats…don’t think we’ve ever seen them.

    • Of course, YOU wouldn’t have.

      But think about it. I disagree with people on the Internet all the time. Many of them hold views I find not only distasteful but dangerous. I am no fan of my nation’s (the one I’m living in) government, the president of which I voted against twice. Yet I do not go about issuing death threats or vile anathemas.

      If these people don’t have mental illness, why do they behave like mentally ill people? Careful how you answer.

      • halcyon

        Because, like mentally ill people (which we’re not), we face constant stigma, misunderstanding, and abuse from the public and medical community.

      • Smiffy51

        No evidence of a single death tnreat has ever been been produced.

        • Clive

          Are you sure ?

          http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/aug/21/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-myalgic-encephalomyelitis
          …Wessely has installed speed dial phones and panic buttons at the police’s request and has his mail X-rayed. He gave up his research on chronic fatigue syndrome several years ago, though he still treats patients. “I have moved my research interests to studies of Gulf war syndrome and other conditions linked to war zones,” he said. “That has taken me to Iraq and Afghanistan where quite frankly I feel a lot safer – and I don’t mean that as a joke.”

          • Smiffy51

            If there were death threats, there would have been prosecutions. Just claiming to have them does not make them real.

          • Clive

            As far as I can tell, the vast majority of death threats are not prosecuted because the police do not know the identity of the threatener.

            They do, however, put precautions in place as descibed

          • barrydavies

            No one with M.E. would be capable of killing anyone, you would think he would know that.

          • Lucy Kippin

            Wesley strikes me as a bit of a tumblrina

        • Mr B J Mann

          Kathleen O’Connor -> King Zog
          9 hours ago

          “maybe you should commit suicide”

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        no evidence of death threats and no prosecutions. I see that many people on this forum like to laugh at, mock and sneer at ME patients and this creates much anger and conflict. None of these people would do this in a court of law, yet they cry and whine about death threats against sneerers and mockers. If you want respect, then give respect, and this also applies to Roy Liddle.

    • Smiffy51

      That’s because the don’t exist. Not a single person with myalgic encephalomyelitis has ever been brought to court for threatening a researcher or doctor. It is just a lie made up by Wessely and co to demonise the patients they use as a milch cow.

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        yes Wessely has psychiatric illness, including paranoia and a persecution complex, and a split personality . He should get CBT and go on the appropriate dose of psychiatric medicine.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Kathleen O’Connor -> Callipygian
          10 hours ago

          “…..I see that many people on this forum like to laugh at, mock and sneer at ME patients and this creates much anger and conflict. None of these people would do this in a court of law, yet they cry and whine about death threats against sneerers and mockers. Not surprised by the death threats, when one sees the level of nastiness and insults of ME patients on this forum.”

          “If you want respect, then give respect, and this also applies to Rod Liddle.”

          .

          Kathleen O’Connor -> Smiffy51
          10 hours ago

          “yes Wessely has psychiatric illness, including paranoia and a persecution complex, and a split personality . He should get CBT and go on the appropriate dose of psychiatric medicine.”

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            throwing wessely’s muck back at him. You don’t like that do you ?

          • Mr B J Mann

            Eh?

          • barrydavies

            I think it was clear that Kathleen was treating wellesley the same way that he is treating those suffering from M.E.

          • Mr B J Mann

            M.E. Isn’t a disease, it is a set of symptoms of indefinate and unknown cause/s or origin/s (and so the success or failure of a treatment with some patients doesn’t mean it can’t work for others given the same label).

            However, there is one group of patients and their supporters whe react hysterically to any such suggestion of the bleedin obvious.

            Which would seem to indicate that in that group at least it is not just an illness caused or triggered by the brain in some as yet unknown fashion.

            But a fashionable hysterical group mental affliction!

          • barrydavies

            Well the treatment to which you refer is effective, for depression, a completely different condition, so why are you reacting hysterically to people who suffer from M.E. stating the facts that not only is it ineffective in treating M.E. it can actually exacerbate the condition more often than not. As for fashionable it has been around longer than Aids or do you think that is a fashionable condition?

          • Mr B J Mann

            But I’ve never said that, so why do you not only keep believing that I have, but claim that I did so hysterically and repeating that I did?

            Whatever ME is, whatever causes it, whatever might or might not cure it, you are living proof that people like you, whether you have ME or not, or any other illness, are delusional.

            Get over it!

          • Mr B J Mann

            Still no proper answer to my quotes of how you:

            “like to laugh at, mock and sneer at” Wessely….

            “None of these people would do this in a court of law, yet they cry and whine about” him…..

            “It is just a lie made up by” you “and co to demonise” him!

            Eg:”yes Wessely has psychiatric illness, including paranoia and a persecution complex, and a split personality . He should get CBT and go on the appropriate dose of psychiatric medicine.”

      • Mr B J Mann

        Ermmmmmmmm:

        The police themselves tell us that feminists receive those kinds of thre ats all the time, but so far only seem to have managed to prose cute a couple.

        Then there was that girl who ki lled herself over de ath threats.

        But it turned out she was sending them to herself.

        The police only act when it’s politically correct to. They don’t even come out to burglaries any more!

        And even on this public forum I’ve had someone imply I’m a pa edo?!?!?!!!

        >Kathleen O’Connor
        “As regards your use of “daddy” and “sweetie”, please keep your childish, paedaphile type humour to yourself, we have no need for it here on this forum.”

        • barrydavies

          she didn’t imply you were a peado, just that your humour is in line with peados, don’t get so hysterical over everything that doesn’t meet your bullying troll behaviour,

          • Mr B J Mann

            Ohhhh, RIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!!!, so that’s alright then!
            And as for bullying troll behaviour, that would be unlike the bullying troll behaviour of the ME activists towards anyone who dared to point out the flaws in their “arguments”, lack of logic in their “reasoning”, and plain lies about what anyone who dared disagree had actually said.
            And feel free to point out where the comment was “in line” with mine!

          • barrydavies

            No I’m pointing out your posting here telling people who know what they are talking about they are wrong and you are right, I wouldn’t call you an activist because clearly you have nothing better to do than to try troll this site, you haven’t made one single cogent argument just tying to belittle those who despite brain fog can make better and more realistic comments than yours. I know that people say not to feed the troll, but I find playing with your addled mind rather a release from the tedium of being incapable of getting out and talking to real people in the real world because of my physically debilitating condition. BTW your infantile insults don’t bother me I used to work in a prison and they were far more professional in their insults than anything your little mind has managed to produce.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Clearly you won’t or can’t see that the “evidence” you provide undermines your claims.

            Clearly you and your fellow activists can’t reason as you have to resort to implying opponents are paed0philes and that writing:

            “If I’d inscribed a point on a 6″ nail and managed to drive it through your thick skill you STILL wouldn’t get the point, would you!”

            Means I:

            “would lower yourself to personal physical assault”.

            If you ever worked in a prison you must have been as a trusted inmate in the kitchens at Broadmoor or similar.

            Bye!

  • Miss Floribunda Rose

    ME sufferers should be put down so as to put us out of our misery.

  • LafcadioHearn InExile

    It’s often described as “delusional parasitosis” by the mainstream medical establishment and the author of this article reflects the views of many when he concludes that since medical researchers do not agree on a specific pathogen for this condition, it must therefore not exist. For centuries people believed in tiny pathogens too small to see or measure, but clear headed folk like the author of this article understood that they were all mad. Then radicals like Lister and Pasteur claimed to have found evidence that the tiny pathogens actually did exist, but right minded folk like the author of this article wisely condemned them as lunatics as well and continued as before. The medical establishment knew perfectly well that disease was caused by bad air and unbalanced bodily humors, all of which could be cured by leech-bleeding. It is truly heartening to read the words of this author and so many comments standing up for the time tested verities of the ages!

    • Sean L

      Well put. Recommended reading for Rod Liddle.

  • Margot5000

    Anyone know what Elizabeth Barrett Browning was supposed to have had? Just curious. But seriously think the discussion of all this is important – without too many ‘victims’ automatically getting on the defensive. Particularly as many sufferers have a far worse time than if they had a treatable cancer – and many researchers link cancer to stress/immune system breakdown. All ‘many strange things’ but worth talking about.

    • Mr B J Mann

      What’s even stranger is that apparently it’s not unusual to find people diagnosed with incurable terminal cancer and given a certain time to live………

      Die at the allotted time……..

      Only for the autopsy to discover that they had been misdiagnosed and they shouldn’t have died!

      Then there are the Australian aborigines who can lay down and die on cue when they think their time has come!!

      And even Westerners who give up the will to live when their partner dies and they follow them shortly after!!!

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        any chance you might think of dying and then die, and do us all a favour ?

        • Mr B J Mann

          Not only have you totally lost it: you have clearly lost the argument too!

  • James Flack

    Living with a Fibromyalgia sufferer, I’m not going to speculate about physical or psychosomatic origins for it, but 10 years of misdiagnosis and consequently useless ‘treatments’ have managed to wreck her liver, and create at least as many problems as the original condition.

    • Kathleen O’Connor

      the nasty scumbags and insulters on this forum don’t give a damn about this. But if they or their children suffered, then their attitude would be very different. You are dealing with dumbed down sheep on this forum.

      • You condemn too much, Kathleen, without cause.

        • barrydavies

          She is correct though people only really understand it when someone close or they themselves suffer from it, others rely on mass media nonsense’s for their claims.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I think you and she both missed the point that was raised there!

            No surprises there then!

          • barrydavies

            no it is you that missed the point by a marathon distance at least, that 26 miles 385 yards I’ve run one I doubt that someone as idle as you would get to half the distance.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Stick to running mate, you seem to struggle to get anywhere with reading!

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            oh really Mr. Mann its time for you to start reading, and curing your ignorance of the illness, please read my reply to some of your nasty posts above.

            Mann, Mann, my little man………..
            well actually it involves both
            physical fatigue and mental fatigue, which occurs in many physical
            illnesses and diseases after physical and / or mental exertion. You
            claim like wessely that the mind, not mental fatigue causes the physical
            fatigue but this is contradicted in the following studies
            wwww.me-ireland.com/scientific/16.htm where physical exertion can
            cause both physical fatigue and mental fatigue, and mental exertion can
            also cause physical fatigue and mental fatigue. The mind as you refer to
            it is not the main factor here ; you confuse mind with mental exertion,
            there is a difference. The key point here is exertion and exertion
            intolerance, thus the name SEID created by the IOM in 2015. Your attempt
            to use ‘mind’ is a futile attempt to claim patients imagine the illness
            and that it is unreal and all in the mind. This perverted attempt by
            you to twist facts shows your real perverted agenda here.
            Your good
            friend wessely has been totally discredited and disproven, please
            educate yourself by reading http://www.me-ireland.com/bogus.htm
            As regards
            your use of “daddy” and “sweetie”, please keep your childish, paedaphile
            type humour to yourself, we have no need for it here on this forum.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Every time you cite a source it seems to prove the opposite of what you claim. As for your use of the closing insult, I think you’ll find it’s “paedophile”, but then I could be wrong as you probably know more about that than anyone else too!

        • Kathleen O’Connor

          I respond to unjustified condemnation and mockery of ill and disabled people.

          • I would suggest that the world has far worse problems to worry about….

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            you would suggest what ? surely respect for ill and disabled people is a foundation of civilised behaviour and this foundation in turn creates better societies and world. Look at the news and see where your disrespect, mockery, belittlement of peoples and accompanying ignorance and corruption has led to. Wake up honey.

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            hint: Paris and Middle East, etc. provide examples of where disrespect and ignorance leads to. You have much to learn and we will help you learn, despite your opposition.

          • I see. You’re blaming the Paris massacre on Rod Liddle’s skepticism. Roger and Out.

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            You idiot, can you not understand basic facts ? I blamed the Paris attack and Middle east fiasco on disrespect and ignorance, and lack of civilised behaviour. Learn to read and comprehend English.

      • Mr B J Mann

        I think you have missed the point being raised there!

        No surprises there then!

        • barrydavies

          You seem to have missed the point that ou are ignorant of the condition.

          • Mr B J Mann

            And you seem to have missed the point that it doesn’t matter if I’m ignorant of the condition because the people I’m trying to discuss it with keep shooting themselves in the foot and limping off to lick their self-inflicted wounds!

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            it actually does matter that you are ignorant as your ignorance drives the lies and the insults, mockery, and denigration of patients on this forum.

          • Mr B J Mann

            There’s a reason someone coined the term hysteria. And you seem to be it!

        • Kathleen O’Connor

          Missed what point ? Your misinterpretations of a point, based on your prejudices and presumptions and obvious ignorance.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’ve missed the point that my understand is based on my interpretations of your points, which are clearly not Base on an understanding of your cite sources, but are wholly based on your prejudices and presumptions. About what you would like them to say, and on your obvious ignorance

    • That’s a real shame.

    • Mr B J Mann

      I, myself, suffer from a serious autoimmune disease and joke that I rattle when I walk due to all the pills I take (though they shouldn’t given the infusions and other things I also have sloshing around inside me).

      Many of them have more side effects than the symptoms they are supposed to control.

      But there is no chemical cure.

      I researched one treatment I was about to be given and reassured myself that the trial I was reading about had probably led to the development of precautionary and palliative measures that would have prevented the one in a hundred fatality rate being repeated in clinical use.

      And lots of people think the disease might have psychological triggers.

      Nothing I’d like better than for them to find a cure, or at least treatment, that didn’t involve pills.

      If people with M.E. NEED there to be a physical cause and cure for what ails them:

      There must be something seriously wrong with them!

      • barrydavies

        So you have an imaginary condition so imaginary you have not been able to name it then.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Why is it imaginary? And why do I have to name it? To gain brownie points? Or sympathy?!
          I don’t need to do more than outline the points salient to the discussion.

  • Smiffy51

    “So much splentetic odium, so much hatred” Yes, do try to stop Rod dear, it is sadly repetitive and you have become obsessive.

    It is a tedium universally acknowledged that you have absolutely nothing new or of worth to say on the subject of myalgic encephalomyelitis.

    • Clive

      I don’t acknowledge it

      Anyway what about CFS or SEID ?

      • barrydavies

        They are terms used to cover a number of similar conditions such as Fibromyalgia Myalgic encephalitis and post viral fatigue syndrome.

  • annewareham

    To point out the similarity of the symptoms with previous untreatable illnesses then declare that ME and Fibromyalgia are new seems a bit odd. Seems more likely that the same illness is taking slightly different forms and continuing to defy treatment.

    • barrydavies

      The symptoms are not new at all people were described as having them a long time ago, but in those days we didn’t have the mass media who love to label things dubbing it yuppie flu and then people with no idea getting the idea they know all about it.

  • Smiffy51

    There has never been any evidence produced that people with myalgic encephalomyelitis have ever sent a death threat; no one with the illness has ever been prosecuted. It is hearsay deliberately designed to demonise a whole patient group.

    The slightest criticism of Wessely and his colleagues is considered hate mail, and any request for the researchers of the fraudulent PACE trial to publish the deterioration rates is considered vexatious.

    • Mr B J Mann

      You sayin’ he is a PC “progressive” trendy-lefty “liberal” then?!

  • Gus1

    Firstly, in the only study conducted of its kind CFS was found to be more prevalent in Nigeria than in the USA (see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17439996). So speculating about Chad probably isn’t a good idea.

    Secondly, ME/CFS/SEID or whatever you call it has definitely been around for a long time, for example it was previously called neurasthenia. I find it particularly interesting that A.D. Rockwell in the late 19th century made the point quite sternly that many patients diagnosed with the illness “are not neurasthenic…instead, therefore of rest…they need mental and physical activity”. Given that interventions with graded exercise like the PACE trial, which only looked at non-severe patients, produce improvement only for some individuals, and that other studies have found clear physiological problems with ME/CFS patients, such as the 2 day cardiopulmonary exercise testing. I suspect this is a problem that is still being repeated. It would almost surprise me more if the clearly unwell bedridden patients who suffer from seizures etc, have the same illness as those that complain of excessive tiredness after a days shopping (these people do exist ME activists). Especially given the loose criteria often used to define the illness in some countries.

    Lastly, I think it is important to mention for some of the commenters rather than Rod himself, that whatever the origins of the illness the actual physical symptoms are real. For example, the Institute of Medicine report reviewed thousands of medical journals and found the evidence overwhelming. This doesn’t mean that the origins aren’t ‘psychological’, or somewhere in between. Given that stress is known to be a factor in causation of ME/CFS, plus the increases in neurasthenia during WW1 and the high prevalence of gulf war syndrome in veterans (described as a ‘chronic fatigue syndrome-like’ illness…”like” because you can’t have big strong vets getting a wimpy women’s disease!) it is clear that mental stress plays a role. However, it is probable given all the measurable physiological problems, that this ‘maladaptive stress response’ (not the best description) produces a real illness. This is presumably why drugs like rituximab have a positive effect, and also why psychological interventions have a much greater effect during the early onset of the illness, as they can prevent/reverse what happens to the immune system etc that causes the other symptoms – before ME/CFS becomes a ‘locked in’ physiological problem. This last bit is obviously speculation, but the other points are valid.

    • Clive

      I don’t believe anyone denies that there is an ailment.

      The problem is that the ME/CFS/SEID sufferers want it to be exclusively physical.

      That is to deny the mind/body interactions which are causing all kinds of strange phenomena in humans which we are only just beginning to understand.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoneuroimmunology
      The main interests of PNI are the interactions between the nervous and immune systems and the relationships between mental processes and health. PNI studies, among other things, the physiological functioning of the neuroimmune system in health and disease; disorders of the neuroimmune system (autoimmune diseases;hypersensitivities; immune deficiency); and the physical, chemical and physiological characteristics of the components of the neuroimmune system in vitro, in situ, and in vivo…

      …There is now sufficient data to conclude that immune modulation by psychosocial stressors and/or interventions can lead to actual health changes. Although changes related to infectious disease and wound healing have provided the strongest evidence to date, the clinical importance of immunological dysregulation is highlighted by increased risks across diverse conditions and diseases. For example, stressors can produce profound health consequences. In one epidemiological study, all-cause mortality increased in the month following a severe stressor – the death of a spouse. Theorists propose that stressful events trigger cognitive and affective responses which, in turn, induce sympathetic nervous system and endocrine changes, and these ultimately impair immune function. Potential health consequences are broad, but include rates of infection HIV progression cancer incidence and progression, and high rates of infant mortality.

      • Gus1

        The problem is that *some of* the ME/CFS/SEID sufferers want it to be exclusively physical (probably a small minority). I would be wary of tarring everyone with the same brush.

        • Clive

          I don’t want to be glib, Gus1 – but take a look down the comments here.

          • Gus1

            To be fair, if we judged different population groups on their internet comments, we would probably lose faith in humanity rather quickly.

          • As someone that has spent arguably too much time on comments threads for a handful of years, I have to disagree: the Internet is as representative of humanity as anything else — probably more so, since we all have access to the discussion now, whereas in the past public expression was mainly limited either to laborious and one-sided letters to the editor or to mob action in the street, on the other hand.

          • barrydavies

            I don’t want to be Glib but look at lives comments I wonder if he has actually bee in contact with someone who suffers from the condition, or has any inkling other than what he has read in the mail?

          • Mr B J Mann

            “I don’t want to be Glib but look at lives comments I wonder if he has actually bee in contact”

            I don’t want to be Glib, but has baz had a bee in his bonnet all his life?!

          • Clive

            My partner dealt with a group of people with ME/CFS for an unrelated reason and I came into contact with them quite a lot

        • Mr B J Mann

          Yes, but they are the activist ones, along with a supporting cast of victim supporters, that are making all the waves!

      • davideye
        • Clive

          In this piece – whherein the author advocates the ‘ME is a physical disease’ line – the author says of Simon Wessely “… he invited me to meet him for a coffee to discuss his stance further…I have pointed out to him that I am extremely busy at the moment but I will be back in touch.

          The truth is this…I have done my research, and he knows it, and while as a journalist I should always be prepared to hear the other side of the story (I am) there comes a point when you know what you know and no amount of sharp words can change that……”

          In that she advocates the ‘physical’ side and will not hear the other, she looks familiar

          • davideye

            that’s good you recognize her .

    • King Zog

      “Firstly, in the only study conducted of its kind CFS was found to be more prevalent in Nigeria”

      Actually, I think that’s just African Time.

  • Sean L

    Some total drivel here – getting carried away with your own rhetoric mate. I returned from Africa with crippling fatigue, amongst other symptoms, a few years back. Since they couldn’t find anything wrong with me, I was told I was ‘stressed’ and/or ‘depressed’ – the two being used interchangeably – but I couldn’t have been less stressed. And I wasn’t after benefits either.

    What’s at issue here are the limits of medical diagnoses – I’m taking hypochondria, malingering, and all the rest of it for granted – aren’t they perrenial features of the human anyway?

    We, or ‘they’, just don’t know that much about the immune system. For example, after my tests I was told that I’d had glandular fever in the past – the Epstein-Barr virus remains with you apparently, however inert. I never knew I’d had it previously because I don’t normally go to the GP. Only this time I’d been unwell for months and thought I must be seriously ill.

    Convinced that my own condition was somehow autoimmune, I asked the specialist at the London hospital where I was eventually referred if my symptoms could be caused by my immune system messing about with me? She just shrugged – they *don’t know*. Whereas Professor Liddle here presupposes their infallibility. And for no other reason, at least none that he offers, than that it fits with his ‘selfish whining monkeys’ thesis, to which I’m otherwise sympathetic.

    Besides,CFS isn’t a diagnosis anyway, at least in the sense of identifying a causal agent, merely a convenient term for a cluster of symptoms. As to “Chad” – that is total BS. I’ve lived in Africa, and often contribute to medical bills for relatives there. Of course they suffer from all kinds of ailments. But no one has a clue about their precise extent or nature because you have to pay for medical care, and the vast majority can’t afford it. By the same token they can’t afford to be selfish whining monkeys, I’ll grant you that.

    But the relative presence or absence of selfish monkeys isn’t an argument affirming the medical opinion that symptoms of fatigue, however labelled, are phantasmic. That’s just you inserting a political prejudice, one that I share to a great extent, into a medical controversy. But surely your strength is debunking ‘expert’ opinion, not endorsing it. Yet you could hardly have picked a field where it’s less warranted, where expert opinion is so fickle and ill-founded. You need only scan a few medical journals to recognise that.

    • Lucy Kippin

      That’s really interesting to hear.
      My friend was very ill whilst travelling in South America. When she returned they diagnosed her with ME because of her crippling fatigue as you put it.

      She’s never been well since.

  • Paul

    I have m.e. Or Cfs. Or Seid. You know what? I dont care what you call it. I have regular counselling and take antidepressants. For the first few years I denied anything was wrong. Then I tried to convince myself I was not physically ill. Then I tried to exercise my way out of it. It made me sicker. Or feel worse, whatever. I’m not a scientist though I have a passion for it and try to keep up with MeCfs research, so it’s not really for me or more importantly, people like Rod Liddle to argue. Why can’t scientists just report on science!? There are plenty now working with MeCfs. I’m trying to work out what value this article adds to the debate. Who benefits? Patients? Researchers? The public? There is nothing new here. There’s a misunderstanding of the research which is clear to those who have spoken to the researchers involved and some rather confusing comparisons to an older illness with overlapping symptoms. This is fallacious reasoning here. Plenty of illnesses overlap. My symptoms are the same as my friend who has MS. Does this mean the cause is the same? No. Again though, its not our call.

    I have no ideological beef with suggestions I may have a psychosomatic illness, in fact I’d still prefer it as the chance of recovery would be greater. I’m not here to tell you how much I exercised before I got this or to try and convince people who are certain I am just trying to get out of work, I’m just here to correct the assumption that we all spend our lives desperately trying to convince people we are physically sick and send death threats to researchers. Some do, no doubt! They deserve criticism. Give it to them by all means but don’t fall for confirmation bias and think we all do it, or even a majority. We are a mixed bunch just like the public at large. I’m about to attempt an MA in History with the OU, mostly from my bed, I want to achieve. I will achieve despite feeling like this and despite not really knowing what is wrong. Some of us still work. Some of us are tube fed. Some have self diagnosed and some of us may well be lying. That’s the problem with an illness without biological markers.

    I won’t lie I get deeply hurt by some of the comments here. We are real people and we have feelings. The debate over the nature of this illness is fine, but there’s no need to be mean about it. Oh and stop assuming we are all tired, I’m not tired 😉

    • In my first bout, I took up programming – very – very slowly. It is a totally mindless thing to do – it just requires computation of a sort and the box does most of that. While my higher faculties lay in ruins, there was no personality to get in the way of my learning – and the fact it was dreadfully slow going was not an issue. OK I could only attempt that on my far less bad days, but it helped. It’s what I do as a job now – thirty years later.

      • barrydavies

        Good for you it is nice to hear a positive story that isn’t peddled as a cure by the people who lack the insight and knowledge to comment.

  • Graham

    This is the problem when journalists and medical professionals with weak statistical skills skate over the details of studies on ME, and simply accept statements of opinion. Medical treatment needs data behind it. Have you found out how many large biomedical studies into ME have been financed by the Medical Research Council or by the research arm of the NHS? It is easy to reject biomedical claims when you haven’t even tried to look.

  • The fascinating elephant in this living room is that whatever Rod or anyone else says on this subject — and he is merely in a reporting position — the angry respondents (see below for the latest tranche) never address the key issues.

    1. If the illness is not understood, why do they seem keener on retaining a label and a specific assumption about that illness, instead of allowing it to remain amorphous so that scientists can investigate its true nature? In short, if sufferers have the most to gain from NOT being dogmatic about the cause of their illness — we all agree for the most part on its physical manifestations, though they vary — why do they give the impression that they are more concerned about recognition than anything else? If we could institute special services for sufferers, on the one hand, or special studies of their various conditions on the other, equally funded, why do I suspect that most of them would choose the former over the latter?

    2. Why do sufferers only and always DENY the truth of anything stated, rather than accepting that there might be some germ of truth about doctors feeling that the subject is too hot to handle and not worth the trouble? What sort of evidence — besides giving up on a project — would suffice? Death threats: what sort of evidence, other than confidential police reports, would suffice? They won’t take others’ word about this, yet they expect their every word about their own condition or position or goodness or harmlessness to be taken on faith. This is while accusing reporters of bad faith for raising any questions at all. So sufferers that we hear from clearly have double standards: one rule for them, another rule for everybody else.

    3. Why do sufferers never express true surprise at their condition or a sense that they themselves may not understand it/may have developed the wrong ideas about it? Why do sufferers not express more hope about getting away from it, assuming that scientists could bring their suffering out more into the light of day? Do they really want a solution found or not? If so, how does it help them to be so vociferous about the cause or underlying condition that gives rise to their symptoms?

    • Paul

      A rather curious comment given mine below. Ian Lipkin explains in his press release relating to his large scale study why researchers became uninterested. It was because the search for a viral cause was fruitless, there are now more becoming attracted to research now some insights into the immune system are becoming apparent. There’s good research happening. The comments section of an online magazine really aren’t the best places to gain info on science. Nor indeed are they the best places to form assumptions about a diverse patient group.

      • I agree, but why assume that ‘assumptions’ were formed here?

        • Paul

          Angry patients aren’t representative of people with ME. They’re just the ones you see online. I’m not denying they exist I’ve been on the receiving end! If that isnt your assumption then I apologise.

          • It’s true that people that regularly post online tend to have more free time than others. On the other hand, whenever a controversial subject arises, word whips round and they all pile on, regardless of their schedules and other commitments. And I do find that certain groups (trannies and their pals represent one) that are angrier and more emotionally charged than others (nudists, for example, who can get cross but are better at making arguments).

          • Paul

            I am neither. Though I do sleep in dinosaur pyjamas.

          • barrydavies

            Maybe it is because people with M.E. are derided as hypochondriacs or idle by those who have never met anyone with the condition, it is easy to do a daily Mail and put down anyone who does not fit in with the everyone is fully fit and should be working nonsense. To many of us who worked for decades and are now denied any benefits because of the psychiatric school making up treatments that do not work and have never been proven to work, which fits the Bill for IDS and the rest of the anti benefit brigade, it is an every day burden I would rather be at work 37 ½ hours a week and be able to train for marathons and triathlons which I did before finally succumbing to the condition when they sent me home from work because it was clear I would fall over if I continued to work. I have been examined by experts in the field and they found the faulty Gene, and other physical descriptors that are used for the diagnosis, no depression or any other nurses and I am certainly not psychotic, so no mental illness nor psychological aspects other than the distress at losing a job I loved doing, and struggling with everyday actions which people without the condition can do easily. It is time this condition which has been described well before the mass media dubbed it yuppie flu was taken as seriously as other debilitating conditions. GET and CBT do not cure the condition which would be possible if it was all in the brain, they frequently exacerbate it, because they are psychiatric interventions and M.E. is not a psychiatric condition.

          • Again, ‘psychosomatic’ does not equal ‘hypochondriac’. Is the misunderstanding theirs or yours?

          • mags42

            Strange that Psychiatric Consultants seem to consider them linked then and use the term to abuse their patients – I have been on the receiving end of this!

          • Sorry to hear it.

          • Psychosomatic – a physical condition caused by a mental condition – which is probably caused by a faulty physical system squirting the wrong chemicals etc in to the brain at all the wrong times. Nothing you can do about it.

            Hypochondriac – there is nothing wrong with you – snap out of it – I can, so so can you. We all get depressed from time to time – get over it !. It’s all your fault.

            Easy to confuse the two.

          • I don’t agree that there is ‘nothing you can do about it’ — in fact, the whole idea of psychosomaticism is that the mind and body are intimately connected and that the body often takes cues from the mind and the particular state that it’s in.

          • I should have emphasised ‘you’ in my comment. If the unaided person could, then I for sure would have done and I have no reason to think anyone else would not have bothered. To be pedantic – nothing you can do without help. Better ?

          • barrydavies

            Except that M.E. is not a psychosomatic or hypochondriasis

          • barrydavies

            Psychosomatic is a belief that you have a condition and that belief makes you continue with it, as most people with M.E. are suffering he condition long before they are diagnosed how does that make it a psychosomatic condition, ? It clearly doesn’t because the sufferers are gradually developing the condition without any inkling what is causing their gradual decline. So it isn’t hypochondria or a psychosomatic condition, and can’t be treated with talking therapy or by making he condition worse through GET.

          • I believe what you describe in your first clause is known as hypochondria.

          • I totally agree. I wonder if facts and statistics support my theory that the most physically fit and active are the ones most likely to ‘get’ ME. I buck the trend by the way.

          • barrydavies

            I certainly was fit, at work I was dubbed Mr. Super fit, before becoming less and less capable with no psychological or psychiatric reason for my declining condition.

          • Oh – you are another of many people I have heard of like that. Oddly, as I said, I’ve never been a fitness freak. I cycled though – commuting only – would that have been enough I wonder ? Has any research looked in to this aspect of the condition ?

          • The truth comes out! :^0

          • Mr B J Mann

            Dinosaur pictures?

            Or with a traditional cord tie?!

            If the latter: where do you get them?!

    • Mr B J Mann

      Yup. I suffer from a serious auto immune disease, and have for decades, and try to keep abreast of developments. I usually see a consultant, but I have to touch base with my doctor at least annually for him to continue prescribing my medication (I’m in perfect health apart from what’s wrong with me, my consultant tells me!). Quite often there is a student sitting in and my doctor has often quipped to them that I know more about my condition than he does.

      However, like all the consultants and doctors I’ve dealt with, and all the researchers I’ve read of, I don’t have a clue what has caused the condition, never mind what the cure is.

      Strange that ME sufferers, despite the brain fogs and memory losses and extreme fatigue, etc, etc, know more than anyone else about their condition.

      Just think how many of them would have won Nobel Prizes in medicine if they hadn’t been so cruelly struck down!

      • It really is baffling. KBO, as Churchill advised.

        • Mr B J Mann

          But what if you’re not that way inclined!;-)

          • He lived in more innocent times, BJ!

          • Mr B J Mann

            That’s just my initials, by the way!
            My parents lived in more innocent times too!!!

      • barrydavies

        Well patients are expected to be able to decide on their treatment whilst in hospital so clearly a person has better insight into themselves than any professional.

        • Mr B J Mann

          You clearly don’t understand what that means.
          Patients have a better insight into what treatment they’d prefer, they don’t have a better insight into medicine or science just because it affects them.
          Just because someone’s been flattened by a falling boulder doesn’t make them better trauma surgeons any more than it makes them Physics Nobel Prizewinners!

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            actually your friend wessely is aiming for a Nobel prize for his nonsense and consistent failures. At this rate, you Mann could be in line for a Nobel prize.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I doubt if i’d win one, but you’ve clearly lost it!

  • Liberanos

    I’m with Marx, at least to the extent of his materialism. I believe that matter precedes thought and that everything, including every thought and emotion we experience, is the result of a physical action within our brain. There is nothing that is not material within the universe…if one discounts magic. So, like Mr Liddle, I’m sure that the suffering of these patients can be intensely unpleasant, real and debilitating…while being ‘in the brain’.

    • barrydavies

      So you are accusing people with a severely debilitation condition as being hypochondriacs because you have no understanding of the condition itself?

      • Mr B J Mann

        Jeeez, are you trolling, being deliberately obtuse, or is the brain fog preventing you from reading with comprehension?!?!?!

      • Liberanos

        Precisely the opposite.

        • barrydavies

          So you think that M.E. is entirely in the Brain then, just carry on thinking that but please realise your thinking is not only flawed it is completely incorrect, as I said you clearly have no understanding of the condition I doubt if you have ever seen anyone who truly suffers from the condition.

      • Dogsnob

        Did you actually read what is there?

        • barrydavies

          Yes did you?

          • Dogsnob

            Night, night pet.

    • Sean L

      Democritus nailed it long before Marx: “There are atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.”

  • Teresa Greenwood

    I’d like to draw your attention to this peice of work, done by a team of impartisans over 2 years, reviewing ALL research papers and at the cost of over a million.

    Now this is proper science!

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ME/CFS has been reported in people younger than 10 years of age and older than age 70. ME/CFS is an acquired, chronic multi-system disease characterized by systemic exertion intolerance, resulting in significant relapse after exertion of any sort. The disease includes immune, neurological and cognitive impairment; sleep abnormalities; and dysfunction of the autonomic system, which controls several basic bodily functions. These symptoms result in significant functional impairment accompanied by profound fatigue. Additional symptoms may include widespread muscle and joint pain, sore throat, tender lymph nodes and headaches. Effects of the illness can range from moderate to debilitating, with at least one-quarter of individuals with ME/CFS being bedbound or housebound at some point in the illness and many individuals never regaining their pre-disease level of functioning.

    http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-takes-action-bolster-research-myalgic-encephalomyelitis/chronic-fatigue-syndrome

    • Mr B J Mann

      And?!

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      Let me quite from the research referred to here: ‘An estimated 84 to 91 percent of people with ME/
      CFS have not yet been diagnosed, meaning the
      true prevalence of ME/CFS is unknown. …..The cause of ME/CFS remains unknown, although symptoms may be triggered by
      certain infections, such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).’ This kind of review is not science at all – it just amounts to selecting and summarising publications. It’s really a species of journalism.

      • Teresa Greenwood

        Journalism?? You obviously don’t understand what science is. Studying for months on end ALL publications meeting the requirements over the last 50 years.in not journalism, it’s science.

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          If they had extracted effect sizes from publications, and then compared them in a meta-analysis, that would be science. But here we have an under-defined syndrome; the publications are simply lists of factors, rather than experimental reports: ‘Yet another molecule implicated in CFS.’ A systematic review can only be as good as the papers it is based on. As the authors concluded, the cause remains unknown.

          • Teresa Greenwood

            Publications are a list of factors, not experimental reports? Are you kidding me? Scientific papers repeatedly showing immune, neurocrine abnormalities and inflammation. Have a read of one or two, you might learn something.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            I am reading the same report that you provided a link to. It is a narrative summary of published reports. The authors conclude that the cause is unknown; that ‘some progress is being made in studying ME/CFS using physiologic and molecular methods’ ; that ME is the wrong term since neither brain inflammation nor muscle pain are characteristics of the disease; and that a new list of 5 criteria should be used in diagnosis. Chapter 6 contains the key message: ‘…poor NK cell cytotoxicity … correlates with illness severity in ME/CFS patients and could serve as a biomarker for the severity of the disease, although it is not specific to ME/CFS. ‘ Bear in mind, this is the strongest evidence they found, and it’s a cautious statement about correlation (nothing here about cause). Referring to this work (16 studies in all), they write ‘However, this finding should be interpreted with caution as even the strongest of these studies are subject to methodological limitations ‘.

          • barrydavies

            Well lets be honest there are many conditions where the initial cause is unknown, so what is your point exactly. There are many theories about the causations of Cancer although some non smokers who have never been in contact with the carcinogenic agents related to lung cancer get it.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            We don’t know the cause of breast cancer, but we recognise breast cancer when we see it. The status of CFS is controversial because the best available evidence does not even agree on the biological signs (NK cells and so on).

          • barrydavies

            Well that isn’t the best available evidence it was a theory just as wellesleys failed ideation was only ever a theory with no evidence to support it, but in his case plenty to deride it.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            According to the IOM report that others on this page have relied on, NK cells are indeed the best evidence. All the other measures they looked at in their review (hormones, infection and so on) were on much shakier ground. This does not preclude, of course, some currently unknown mechanism.

  • Clair Louise Coult

    When I was diagnosed with ME I was 15 years old. I was happy, I had friends and family, I had a future and it was bright. The condition left me collapsed on my bed after a day at school, I struggled to get out of bed in the mornings, even when my friends came over to take me out for the day. I didn’t have a psychological condition. Graded exercise increased my symptoms until I was bedbound by pain and exhaustion. I wanted the exercise to work but it didn’t. Twenty years later, after being maligned and neglected by the NHS I was diagnosed with POTS and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome hypermobility type. The graded exercise prescribed to me in my teens didn’t work because it injured my fragile connective tissues. Now I have a better understanding of my conditions but I am left wondering how many other ME patients are just like me and really have POTS and EDS or some other medical condition because of a lack of awareness amongst the medical profession and a keeness to diagnose anyone suffering with pain and fatigue with the meaningless labels of CFS and ME.

    • Did you ever get better ???

      I had what several doctors called ME, thinking about it, I was not exactly full of the joys of life when it first hit me, but a recurrence came on at a point in my life where I was happy, full of hope and expectation. Being effectively disabled is not what anyone would want. It is not an escape from life and its problems as some may think, it piles them on and destroys your ability to do anything at all about them – even worrying is too hard.

      I do not believe in homeopathy. it has no basis in medical or scientific fact – but … 20 minutes after taking a Lycopodium 30 powder – in which I had utterly no faith, expectation or otherwise – and which I had forgotten I had for several weeks – I got better and immediately went to a Prom concert . TWENTY MINUTES. This happened twice. I still don’t believe it – but it did. I just thought I’d mention it. The Homeopathic Doctor who prescribed it was terrifying, he did it for the money – I see no placebo effect possible here.

      • Clair Louise Coult

        No, I never got better. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is a genetic connective tissue disorder. There is no cure but with correct physio and management technique I can have some quality of life. The pain and fatigue I was suffering was not in my head or exaggerated, it was caused my microtears and muscle spasms because my muscles were working hard to keep my joints in place when my ligaments were too lax to do the job. POTS also explained the weakness and dizziness I felt when I stood up. My pulse races and my blood pressure drops because my auronomic nervous system doesnt work properly. I have pots secondary to EDS because the veins in my legs are too floppy which causes blood to pool in my limbs if I sit or stand still. The doctors missed all of these signs but now it’s blindingly obvious what is wrong with me. I encourage ME and CFS patients to read about EDS and POTS because it just might explain their symptoms and getting the right diagnosis can be life changing.

        • Many thanks for your reply. Having read your symptoms I now know I don’t have POTS – no pain for me, at least not physical. I am glad you have found some respite and thank you again for your post. I hope mine helps someone !

        • Many thanks for your reply. Having read your symptoms I now know I don’t have POTS – no pain for me, at least not physical. I am glad you have found some respite and thank you again for your post. I hope mine helps someone !

      • Mr B J Mann

        No one can explain how or why quantum physics works either, as I understand it, but it’s supposed to be the foundation of everything?!

        • barrydavies

          Actually a well known disabled man can. Stephen Hawkins.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Really? I bet he wouldn’t agree that he knows how it works!

          • barrydavies

            Probably not he is to intelligent to pretend he knows the answer to everything, unlike some posters here who think they know all about M.E. and how it is a mental illness, which it isn’t and can be cured which it can’t and how GET and CBT are wonderful when they are dangerous interventions for M.E.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Feel free to point ANY poster here other than the ME obsessive that claim they “knows the answer to everything,”

            Or even just “who think they know all about M.E.”

            And can you provide ANY proof of your continually repeated claim that ANY of them think “it is a mental illness,”

            And as for “which it isn’t and can be cured which it can’t”.

            If you think it can’t be cured why should society waste funds finding a cause, never mind cure.

            You really must hate ME sufferers real bad considering how hard you try to undermine their case and alienate any support!

    • Lucy Kippin

      I was diagnosed with fms whilst doing my foundation in art. I’d felt ill all during my a levels. But it was at a time when I’ve never been happier. And I can’t say I was overworked or stressed with my studies and I went on to do a very mellow degree in art.
      Yet I had all the joint pain and fatigue associated with the illness. I just cannot see a psychological cause for it.

    • Jen Brea

      Clair, 50-90% of ME patients have POTS or NMH. In fact, orthostatic intolerance is now one of the criteria for diagnosis in the US. The core symptom of ME is PEM (post-exertional malaise). If you have POTS w/o ME you can probably exercise and it will help your POTS. If you have both, it’s a big no-no. I’m sorry about your EDS – these are also often interrelated – I know folks with EDS who have gone on to develop ME. People with ME who have family members with EDS. I don’t find it a meaningless label inasmuch as the research being done now on well-defined cohorts of ME patients is very encouraging! (see in particular the work of the Open Medicine Foundation and Ron Davis at Stanford). I am sorry for your experience with the NH. All too common.

      • Clair Louise Coult

        Consider this. Do ME patients have ME and POTS or does POTS explain their symptoms? If so does that make the ME diagnosis redundant considering ME is a diagnosis of exclusion?

        How does the label ME help the patient or the doctor? Does it help them understand the condition? No, it just means they have some common symptoms. Does it help the doctor decide what treatments to prescribe? No, there are no treatments for ME. Does it mean anything? No, it is purely a label for a collection of symptoms that are common in other conditions. Is it potentially dangerous to the patient to be diagnosed with ME? Yes, because the doctors stop looking for other causes for the patient’s symptoms and they could miss out on a correct diagnosis and treatments that could significantly improve their quality of life. I have experienced that and so have many other people I know who were originally diagnosed with ME and later diagnosed with other neurological, autoimmune and connective tissue disorders. It’s easy to diagnose ME when the basic bloods and physical examination comes back normal. Giving something a name doesn’t make it a medical condition.

        EDS is a genetic condition, children of a parent with EDS have a 50% chance of having EDS therefore EDS should be considered in family members diagnosed with ME instead of sticking to an ME diagnosis and depriving them of the correct diagnosis and treatment. For example GET would be dangerous for a person with EDS misdiagnosed with ME as it could permanently damage their lax ligaments, condemning them to a life of permanent disability. I don’t think the conditions are interrelated, in those families with EDS ME is highly likely to be a misdiagnosis because many medical professionals don’t know enough about EDS to diagnose it. And it is ludicrous to diagnose an EDS patient with ME when EDS can cause ME symptoms and the reason for those symptoms is already known. It would be like diagnosing a Rheumatoid Arthritis patient with Joint Pain Syndrome. It’s completely pointless and makes no difference to understanding or treatment.

        Prof. Newton from Newcastle did a survey and found that around 40% of the patients referred to her CFS clinic actually had other conditions and were misdiagnosed with CFS. How can ME/CFS research move forwards when 40% of the people in the research group don’t actually have the condition they are trying to research? It would be like trying to find a cure for headaches by researching everyone with pain in their head. Those patients might have headaches for many different reasons, dehydration, head injury, migraine, brain tumour, but if you lump them all in the same basket, call it Head Pain syndrome and try and find one thing that cures them all you’re never going to get anywhere.

        I do believe that ME patients are ill, I am not convinced that ME is a distinct condition as I have yet to see any proof that it is. If you read about the history of EDS you will find that two hospitals were researching the same condition but called it different things. Geneticists were dealing with EDS and rheumatologists were describing exactly the same condition but calling it Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. Now they are considered to be the same thing.

        I think a similar thing might be happening with EDS and ME. I’m not saying that all ME patients have EDS but I think a significant proportion of them probably do. It explains the normal blood tests, the painful joints and muscles without heat or swelling, the autonomic dysfunction, the fatigue, the gastrointestinal disturbances, the PEM, etc.

        Next year there is going to be an EDS symposium and Prof Grahame has said he wants to put right the mistakes doctors have made over the years regarding EDS. Often it is diagnosed using the Beighton score but this was never intended to be used as a diagnostic tool so many people who have been evaluated for EDS and have been told they don’t score enough points, may still have EDS. I was evaluated by 5 rheumatologists and all missed my hypermobility until I saw one of the country’s leading experts and got my diagnosis. since then ever doctor I see is amazed that it was missed for so long because once you know what you’re looking for it’s obvious. I am sure I am not the only ME patient to be diagnosed but EDS needs to be considered before condemning patients to an ME diagnosis.

  • Christian Godbout

    “Heads I win, tails you loose!” If we accept this psychiatric view of ME, we confirm it is right; and if we resist it, our reaction betrays that this is an uncomfortable truth for us and thus we again confirm it is right…Freud was good at this sort of thing…

  • Andrea Lewsley Mardon

    People in Chad do suffer for ME and in the Central African Republic, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa etc. Medical science has proved that the white matter in ME brains has shrunk and there are abnormalities in the right connector between the white and grey matter – this can be seen clearly in a brain scan. There is a problem with the last beat of the heart which is seen in no other illness. Brain inflammation and viruses in the heart were found in the autopsies of people who have died from ME. The shape and state of blood cells in muscles are the same as someone who has just run a marathon. After exercise the mitochondria in every cell of the body continues to lose energy for up to 3 days after the exercise has stopped also not seen in other illnesses. The immune cells which line every blood vessel in the body – even the tiniest of capillaries- are dying off at a rate of 17% a day instead of the normal 3%, also not seen in any other illness. Do your homework before you write drivel like this.

    • Mr B J Mann

      So you’re saying that the bodies of ME sufferers think they’ve just run a marathon?

      It’s all beginning to make sense now!

      • Andrea Lewsley Mardon

        No I didn’t say their bodies THINK they’ve run a marathon I said their blood cells are the same shape which means they can’t pass in to the tissues. The muscles are also filled with lactic acid which cannot be secreted. If you’ve ever had muscle cramp you will know how painful that is but ME sufferers have that pain all the time. Like Wesselly You ignored 90% of the research and picked on the one bit you could make sarcastic comments about their bodies ‘thinking’ they’ve run a marathon.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

          1) I’ve had cramp when exercising.

          2) And I’ve had cramp when sleeping.

          3) ME sufferers have muscles filled with lactic acid which cannot be secreted(?) while prostrate in bed.

          So what explanation/s does 90% of research give for (1), (2) and (3)?!

          • Mary Schweitzer

            The research was conducted using CPET (Cardio-Pulmonary Exercise Testing) and has been replicated at several universities in different countries. The test scores how you utilize oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. The researchers compared high-functioning ME/CFS patients (Canadian definition 2003) to a control group of deconditioned healthy people (the couch potatoes, as it were). On the first day of exercise, they both scored the same. But on the SECOND day, the couch potatoes either scored the same or slightly improved because they were more used to the test – in contrast, the ME/CFS patients’ scores dropped significantly, as much as by one-half.

            This demonstrates the symptom that is considered mandatory for a diagnosis of M.E. (by those who are not British psychiatrists) – starting with Melvin Ramsay, who was in the middle of the Royal Hospital outbreak in the 1950s and wrote textbooks on the disease in the 1980s. Patients are made considerably worse by exertion, whether physical or mental. We call it crashing or payback.

            Basically, something happens to our ability to perform in aerobic metabolism. So treatments that tell you there’s nothing really wrong with you (CBT) and push you to exercise despite what your body is telling you (Graded Exercise) can be really harmful for patients.

            The issue for patients is not that they have a prejudice against mental illness or a diagnosis of mental illness – it’s just that it’s the wrong diagnosis. If you had Hepatitis C, it would not be helpful to be sent for CBT and GET. That would be the wrong treatment. And it’s the same with us. For 30 years we’ve been sent to the wrong treatment, and it does get irritating. More than that, there are people who are now bedridden or in wheelchairs because they were pushed to exercise beyond their capacity. That’s a bit trying, too. I’ll try to comment on that more later.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Patients are made considerably worse by exertion, whether physical or mental.
            Nope, that’s clearly impossible, you clearly can’t have a physical medical effect stemming from the brain, never mind the mind, hundreds of ME patients have sworn blind that that is a fact! Who are these charlatans, these snake-oil salesmen, peddling you these lies?!?!?!!?

          • Mary Schweitzer

            Quoting from the IOM (Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, USA) report on ME/CFS, p. 84, “As noted earlier, cognitive exertion also may trigger increased mental and physical fatigue in ME/CFS patients (Arroll et al., 2014; Cockshell and Mathias, 2014). Mental fatigue tracks closely with physical fatigue (Light et al., 2009, 2012; Meyer et al., 2013; White et al., 2012). Subjected to a 3-hour standardized neuropsychological battery, healthy subjects experienced mental fatigue during and up to 3 hours after testing but recovered full mental energy, on average, by 7 hours posttest. In contrast, at 24 hours posttest, ME/CFS subjects continued to experience significant mental fatigue and did not return to their pretest mental energy levels for an average of 57 hours (Cockshell and Mathias, 2014).”

          • Mr B J Mann

            O *M* G !
            Please try reading what you are quoting!

          • Mary Schweitzer

            Well, you’re clearly not reading what I’m writing so my effort at education is over. Believe me, I know much more about this disease than you do. I took the high road and hoped you were willing to learn. Apparently not. Have a nice life.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Errrrrmmmmm:

            “Quoting from the IOM (Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, USA) report on ME/CFS, p. 84, “As noted earlier, cognitive exertion also may trigger increased mental and physical fatigue in ME/CFS patients (Arroll et al., 2014; Cockshell and Mathias, 2014). Mental fatigue tracks closely with physical fatigue (Light et al., 2009, 2012; Meyer et al., 2013; White et al., 2012). Subjected to a 3-hour standardized neuropsychological battery, healthy subjects experienced mental fatigue during and up to 3 hours after testing but recovered full mental energy, on average, by 7 hours posttest. In contrast, at 24 hours posttest, ME/CFS subjects continued to experience significant mental fatigue and did not return to their pretest mental energy levels for an average of 57 hours (Cockshell and Mathias, 2014).”

            Now that I’ve highlighted the salient points, do you think you could manage all by yourself to count how many scientific papers you cited that prove that physical symptoms can be produced by the mind, never mind the brain?

            Or does daddy have to do that for you too sweetie?!

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            Mann, Mann, my little man………..
            well actually it involves both physical fatigue and mental fatigue, which occurs in many physical illnesses and diseases after physical and / or mental exertion. You claim like wessely that the mind, not mental fatigue causes the physical fatigue but this is contradicted in the following studies wwww.me-ireland.com/scientific/16.htm where physical exertion can cause both physical fatigue and mental fatigue, and mental exertion can also cause physical fatigue and mental fatigue. The mind as you refer to it is not the main factor here ; you confuse mind with mental exertion, there is a difference. The key point here is exertion and exertion intolerance, thus the name SEID created by the IOM in 2015. Your attempt to use ‘mind’ is a futile attempt to claim patients imagine the illness and that it is unreal and all in the mind. This perverted attempt by you to twist facts shows your real perverted agenda here.
            Your good friend wessely has been totally discredited and disproven, please educate yourself by reading http://www.me-ireland.com/bogus.htm
            As regards your use of “daddy” and “sweetie”, please keep your childish, paedaphile type humour to yourself, we have no need for it here on this forum.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I claim nothing, my dear, other than every time you cite evidence it disproves your point.

          • barrydavies

            You claim to know what you are talking about, and so far have posted nothing to substantiate that position. Perhaps you could tell us why you hate people with M.E. so much you feel the need to troll the site and peddle your nonsense?

          • Mr B J Mann

            And you claim to know what you are talking about, but so far have posted nothing to substantiate that position.

            Perhaps you could tell us why you hate people who dare point out t flaws in your “arguments” to do with M.E. so much you feel the need to troll the site and peddle your nonsense, false accusations and personal attacks?

          • barrydavies

            Fatigue in one or the other area and you missed emotional fatigue as well will always be allied with each other after you need to sleep to relieve the fatigue symptoms unfortunately as is well documented part of M.E. is the prevalence of non refreshing sleep.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Brain fog hit you again.

            This is not complicated.

            You are trying to defend someone who insists that no physical symptoms can ever have had an initial brain, never mind mind, originating or trigger.

            And then quotes scientific papers that say the opposite.

            And then accuse anyone who argues against them of being idiots/ psych0paths/ even by implication paed0philes!

            That proves that they and you are idiots.

            It doesn’t matter what other evidence you want to quote:

            You have already succeeded in proving that you are idiots who know nothing about science and can’t argue rationally!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “Have a nice life.”
            What’s left of it.

          • barrydavies

            Seems that she was reporting what the IOM said and as anyone who really understands what it is to have M.E. will tell you Brain fog is a common occurrence, exacerbated by mental exertion , something welessleys “treatments” only make worse.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Another one who can’t read, even their own posts. She was reporting that nothing mental can have a physical effect. Something that you, the IOM, and she herself, have all totally contradicted!!!

          • barrydavies

            You clearly only read what you expect to have been said to fit your entirely biased point of view.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’re projecting again. Try reading what you and your playmate actually post!

          • barrydavies

            You clearly can’t make the link that some people can me emotionally exhausted, whilst physically and mentally stable, or physically exhausted whilst emotionally and mentally stable, or mentally exhausted whilst physically and emotionally stable, or any two and one situation, or have M.E. and have all three exhaustions at the same time, B.J.Mann you have not posted a single piece of value instead just tried to claim that nothing is wrong that can’t be easily fixed, even worse than Wellesleys claims

          • Mr B J Mann

            Why do ME Cyber-Obsessives have to continually fabricate things?!

            Feel free to prove I’ve ever:

            “just tried to claim that nothing is wrong that can’t be easily fixed”?!

        • Mr B J Mann

          PS Why do all the ME lobbyists have this same reaction to any non pat on the back+hugz<3"xxx!! response. Is it a symptom?! Is it, like the cat parasite, a psychological reaction to a biological stimulus? Or evidence of a psychotic reaction?! I wasn't being sarcastic, merely recognising that you may have made an important leap forward in the understanding of this disease!

          • barrydavies

            Why do all the anti M.E. brigade think that me is only one symptom brain fog is a prevalent symptom and over cognitive exertion exacerbates it but that does not make it a mental health condition.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Eh?! Why don’t you try again when the fog subsides!

          • barrydavies

            Err you clearly have no knowledge or insight into the condition so go away and play with the trains at Euston Station.

          • Mr B J Mann

            And you clearly have no self awareness.

            But a fixation on the “fact” that everyone that points out you have just contradicted yourself is part of “the anti M.E. brigade think that me is only one symptom brain fog”:

            That’s because it’s the only symptom the Cyber-Activists exhibit!

    • Observer1951

      I think the drivel is being written by you. What you have written is scientific nonsense. Example the mitochondria in every cell in the body continue to lose energy for up to 3 days. Do you know what mitochondria are or what they do? Ever heard of ATP or ADP, citric acid cycle? Example the right connector between white and grey matter? Nonsense. Your whole statement on white blood cells, 17% etc is just not worth replying too. Don’t try quoting science when you clearly know little or none of the subject. For what it’s worth I think MS probably does have a physical cause but then I do know some science and can read read the literature intelligently

  • Andrea Lewsley Mardon

    Also there was an outbreak of ME in Iceland and the Royal Free Hospital in the early fifties – much longer than 40 years ago.

  • Helle Rasmussen

    “Myalgic encephalomyelitis – Adult and Paediatric: International Consensus Primer for Medical Practitioners” (2012) is written by an international consensus panel of ME experts and it describes how to diagnose and treat patients with ME: http://sacfs.asn.au/download/me_international_consensus_primer_for_medical_practitioners.pdf

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      This is a manual of crank diets and unconventional cures. ‘Most fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs are high in antioxidants and nutrients.’ This statement is downright misleading; and it is unclear why antioxidants are supposed to help in any case. ‘Eat organic food as much as possible. Prioritize: greens, berries, apples, soft skin fruit. Soaking non-organic
      produce in water with 1 tablespoon of both lemon juice and sea salt for 20 minutes helps remove toxins. Take multi-enzyme tablet with meals as indicated or if IBS is present.’

      • Helle Rasmussen

        These are the diets and cures for ME that 25 international ME experts recommend. Gluten- and milk free diets help a lot of ME patients as do other diets, according to their food sensitivities.

        Oxidative and nitrosative stress is prevalent in ME patients.

        See Morris and Maes 2014: Oxidative and Nitrosative Stress and Immune-Inflammatory Pathways in Patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3964747/

        “Sources of continuous activation of O&NS and immune-inflammatory pathways in ME/CFS are chronic, intermittent and opportunistic infections, bacterial translocation, autoimmune responses, mitochondrial dysfunctions, activation of the Toll-Like Receptor Radical Cycle, and decreased antioxidant levels. Consequences of chronically activated O&NS and immune-inflammatory pathways in ME/CFS are brain disorders, including neuroinflammation and brain hypometabolism / hypoperfusion, toxic effects of nitric oxide and peroxynitrite, lipid peroxidation and oxidative damage to DNA, secondary autoimmune responses directed against disrupted lipid membrane components and proteins, mitochondrial dysfunctions with a disruption of energy metabolism (e.g. compromised ATP production) and dysfunctional intracellular signaling pathways. The interplay between all of these factors leads to self-amplifying feed forward loops causing a chronic state of activated O&NS, immune-inflammatory and autoimmune pathways which may sustain the disease.”

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          As the authors make clear in this publication, this is speculation. They propose that oxidative stress (which can lead to all the effects they list on immunity, metabolism, neurological defects, blah blah) is a mechanism of ME. Now: even if this were all true, why on earth would eating organic food and antioxidants help? How do the antioxidants reach the site of the defect? Why would the trace amounts of vitamin E in diet compensate for a failure of all the endogenous mechanisms (glutathione, thioredoxin, and so on). Antioxidants in diet have become a secular religion, but there’s no reason to think they can cure a disease.

          • Helle Rasmussen

            Antioxidants on their own can not cure ME. Nobody claimed that.

            An intravenous cancer drug, Rituximab, has so far shown good results in Norway as a treatment for ME: Fluge, Mella et al. 2015. B-Lymphocyte Depletion in Myalgic Encephalopathy/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. An Open-Label Phase II Study with Rituximab Maintenance Treatment http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0129898

            A dobble-blinded Phase III study with Rituximab started in Norway in 2015. The results are expected in 2017:
            The Biggest Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment Trial Begins: Fluge/Mella On Rituximab. http://simmaronresearch.com/2015/01/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-rituximab-fluge-mella/

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            But look at figure 2 in this phase II study; the error bars overlap at 36 months, meaning that there’s actually *no difference* between the responders and non-responders. The range of responses (about 5 pain units) is larger than the effect size they’re looking for (1.5 pain units). Under these circumstances, you’d need about 200 patients in the study, not 28, to get a meaningful result. The biggest problem with this study is that there’s no placebo control; 18 out of 28 patients could report improved symptoms after 36 months for any reason at all.

  • Dogsnob

    I’ve recently been informed by my doctor that I am paranoid.
    Well, he didn’t actually say it, but I know that’s what he’s thinking.

    • Thanks for the smile!

      • Clive

        A guy on the Today program some time ago said he looked up ‘Paranoia’ and the entry said ‘why do you want to know ?’

  • Antithesis

    Oh dear! Has the recent criticism of the PACE trial upset a few people?

  • Sean L

    Perhaps the most ridiculous claim here is about a disease or its symptoms being unknown 40 years ago. As if that proved anything. There must be potentially pathogenic entities evolving every second, millions of the f*ckers. Probably nowhere more so than the more fertile areas of Chad. Another thing is that an organism can be pathogenic or non-pathogenic according to context. For instance people are sometimes puzzled as to why HIV in Africa is contracted heterosexually, whereas here it’s mainly spread man on man. But there’s a very simple reason for that, which is that sexually transmitted diseases, like others, go mostly untreated in Africa; and people who are already diseased are far more vulnerable to infection than otherwise healthy people. Whereas here when you get a dose of the clap you just go to the clinic and get treated straight away. So we’re not comparing like with like. Still, it beggars belief that an otherwise intelligent man like Rod Liddle can make an argument that because an organism doesn’t exist in Chad it therefore can’t be in Chertsey. Though because of cheap travel, to say nothing of mass immigration, there’s now a far greater probability that a pathogen originating in Chad *will* find it’s way to Chertsey. God knows I’ve personally introduced enough infectious diseases from various African countries myself, though not as yet Chad. Who knows how many might manifest themselves in what in our ignorance we term “ME” or whatever? As if the word made any odds one way or the other.

    • I really think the commenters fixating on Chad are missing the point. Rod isn’t really commenting on Chad — it’s just a foreign place plucked out of the air, essentially. He also mentions Burkina Faso in the same spirit, though that seems to have gone unnoticed by his detractors. His essential point (correct me if I’ve misunderstood) is that this sort of thing seems to be a condition of modern nervousness, a ‘disease of civilization’, if you like.

      • Sean L

        Yes Rod diagnoses various social diseases, that’s what he does – acutely in my view. And doubtless any number of those who exhibit ostensibly medical symptoms of fatigue are actually victims of socially generated maladies like loneliness and despair. But it doesn’t at all follow that people with symptoms of fatigue are thereby all suffering from a comparable social malaise merely because no medical cause has been identified, as if current medical opinion was omniscient. That they’re indiscriminately diagnosed as having “ME” doesn’t alter that. To that extent what he says about medical disease here is utter tripe, and nowhere more so than when he invokes “Chad” or wherever, or “40 years ago”. Pure BS.

        • Here’s my take on it, Sean — granting the truth of 95% of what you say. The group of people that Rod is describing does not include you. The group he has in mind, the group answering to his description — and I think by now that it’s abundantly clear — is the group that has shall we say an emotional investment in being viewed as being sick. There is clearly, in this group or subsection of the population, a psychological discontent that plays some part in their overall malaise, even if it’s not the cause of it.

          • Sean L

            Sure. I think we’re saying more or less the same thing. But none of it validates the nonsense above about “Chad” etc.

  • George

    For what it’s worth, I had ME in the 1980s. I found the B12 injection helpful, but not much else that was suggested.
    What caused it to disappear? It is 100% gone now. I became addicted to intravenous amphetamine and ritalin (not as a treatment, it was just going around in my peer group, I just liked the way it made me feel). I stopped eating. I found when I stopped eating I no longer had ME. Eventually I worked out that my body didn’t react well to grains and sugars and preferred a high fat diet of mostly animal foods.
    Taking speed to excess didn’t cure any psychiatric disease that I know of, the benefits persisted long after the comedown as long as I watched what I ate, even though the comedown is famously depressing. It was basically a fasting cure that gave me relief from foods that were – well, the technical term is rubbish.
    I wonder what people with Morgellons live on. If they live on health food, low calorie diets, low in fat or high in polyunsaturates, it’s possible that their skin is weak and admits fibres from fabrics and animal hair. The modern delusion is that plant-based diets are healthier, meaning that they are likely to be recommended to people with somatoform disorders, but for many people this isn’t true at all.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3917888/
    “Our results revealed that a vegetarian diet is related to a lower BMI and less frequent alcohol consumption. Moreover, our results showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with poorer health (higher incidences of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), a higher need for health care, and poorer quality of life.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3466124/.
    “Vegetarians displayed elevated prevalence rates for depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and somatoform disorders.”

    • Rolobre

      I also had ME (diagnosed in the late 70’s by a psychiatrist) We had a great discussion and he gave me his copy of the British Medical Journal in which there was an ME case study. It described an outbreak of ME in an institution after an influenza outbreak. He said a virus such as flu or glandular fever could trigger this. He assured me there was nothing wrong with my mind but they didn’t have an answer to restoring full health.

      There had been an outbreak of glandular fever where I was living and some of us seemed to be afflicted by this mysterious debilitating fatigue and illness. Our GP’s had no explanation, my father also a GP doubted that this chronic fatigue was a genuine issue. This is what prompted me to see a psychiatrist, on a whim, when passing through another town where I wasn’t known by the medical community. I knew I had no depression or reason to think that this was psychological. I had been very healthy, happily married and physically active. My sporting activities included squash and scuba diving. I learned to ease my way back into these activities with a very low level of engagement, or I would suffer a bad relapse of unwellness. I managed to keep my part-time job but it was very taxing.

      I gradually improved over the years and this I now attribute to my reduced intake of wheat/bread as I was always watching my weight, even though i did not become GF until about 5 years ago.

      I believe gluten sensitivity is a very real issue for many people and that my auto-immune issues have mostly disappeared since I have emiminated gluten and most grains from my diet. I now have plenty of energy – never feel the need to nap.

      Spoke recently to an old friend whose daughter had bad chronic fatigue and was accused of being a malingerer. Asked after her health and was told that she is now perfectly normal after becoming ‘gluten free’.

      I believe it is an auto-immune issue related to gluten sensitivity.

      • George

        Hi Rolobre, I think you’re right (for example, there are records of viral infections causing late-onset gluten intolerance which sometimes passes when the infection is cleared). However I also think that replacing gluten with equal amounts of other grains or legumes won’t solve the problem, for a number of reasons. There is cross-sensitivity between gluten and maize protein, for one thing, for another, wholegrain lectins and phytate interfering with absorption of B12 and vitamin D won’t help things, and for another high blood sugar and insulin will add to fatigue, brain fog, and hyperalgesia. Grains and sugars are also a perfect medium for candida, which often seems to come along for the ride. Better just to hiff the lot I reckon, people will go round in health food circles trying supplements for years when what’s required is something more primal.

  • Els Bakker

    Obviously you have no idea about ME/CFS or mental illness. You have not even done the basic research and then try and dismiss all the scientific research worldwide which by now proves ME/CFS is a physiological illness? Basic intelligence is not to be seen in any of your articles. Then again I live on the other side of the world and don’t know all the incompetent journalists in the UK.

    • Mr B J Mann

      So what does basic scientific research worldwide prove is the physiological cause of ME/CFS then?!

      • Els Bakker

        Couple of articles, from thousands published available from world wide research institutes, if you are interested. Also, did you know people with ME/CFS are not allowed to donate blood? Strange for a “mental” illness. http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877(15)00382-5/abstract. http://www.meresearch.org.uk/news/immune-changes-in-severe-mecfs/

        • Mr B J Mann

          Well, it was a waste of time reading the first one as all I learned was that you hadn’t! Could you please actually read the second and confirm if you still want me to?!

          • Els Bakker

            Don’t bother, you obviously already know everything you want to know

          • Fraser Magee

            These are just review articles that suggest possible hypotheses. Do you have any links to case-control studies or hard evidence that there is a viral cause for ME? I’m not aware of any but more than happy to maintain an open mind.

          • Sue Smith

            So, it really IS all about ME after all. (Sorry!)

          • Kathleen O’Connor
          • Mr B J Mann

            SpamBot ALERT ! ! !

          • Mr B J Mann

            I think you’re projecting there dear.

            You presented an article that you hoped was going to confirm your beliefs without even bothering to read it, or, if you did, you were so blinded to the truth you missed the fact it didn’t say what you hoped it would, and you have the cheek to post that?!?!?!

            Oh, and it doesn’t say “people with ME/CFS are not allowed to donate blood”

            It says:

            The hypothesis implies that ME/CFS patients should not donate blood……

            You are seeing what you WANT to see!

            Oh, oh, and I did actually read both, and NEITHER say what you WANT them to say!

          • Els Bakker
          • Mr B J Mann

            Darlin, you’ve already proved, with scientific papers in peer reviewed journals, that you only see what you want to see.

            You don’t have to confirm it with a newspaper article about a respected distinguished scientist with personal involvement and experience of the disease who admits that:

            “It’s probably the last major disease that we don’t know anything about. . . . “

            And yet another:

            “new definition, which still hinges on reported symptoms but places central importance on “post-exertional malaise,” a crash that patients experience after even the slightest physical or even mental exertion leaving them exhausted and feeling ill for days or weeks.

            What is it with you people?!

            You insist that physical effects can’t have mental causes and that it’s been proved to have a physical cause:

            Yet you insist on spamming the Internet with articles proving that no one knows the cause but it’s perfectly possible it could be mental (as in to do with the mind, not the schoolyard jibe).

            Are you trying to prove you’re mental in the schoolyard sense?!

            What really gets me is that you activists and the most newsworthy victims (“He’d helped build a nunnery in India, ridden a motorcycle in the Himalayas and…., worked on,,, Obama’s 2008… campaign, and although he was already ill… pushed himself to travel to Washington… to photograph the inauguration.” fer Chrissakes! Yes we can and no we can’t!!!) are the kind of people who argue for 50% female involvement in everything because you’re depriving humankind of 50% of its talent – who knows what Nobel Medicine Prizewinners we’ve lost:

            Yet you insist that half the potential causes of what you insist on continually reminding us is a very serious illness are not just ignored, but that if anyone dares mention such heresies they be burnt at the stake.

            All you’re doing is adding furl to the fire and convincing more and more people it’ all an example of mass hysteria among “liberal” women and feminised men who are so insanely privileged they have nothing concrete to worry about and finally realise their lives are worthless!

            A photographer son of a Western scientist helping to build a Nunnery in the Hilly Mayas?!

            You couldn’t make it up!!!

            What on earth would a west coast photographer know about building a Nunnery in California, never mind Calcutta?!?!?!!!!

            It’s like those gap year trustafarians who go to Africa to teach the locals how to dig wells?!?!?!?!?!?!

            The only well they would have ever seen would have been a wishing well!!!!!!

            Talk about wishful thinking?!?!?!!!

            And all in the mind!!!!!

          • Els Bakker

            Thank you B J for your thoughtful and intelligent reply. Hoping you or any in your family NEVER contract this disease.

          • Mr B J Mann

            And thank you for your incessant juvenile attempts at emotional b1ackmail, childish passive aggressions, and hysterical micro and macro aggressions as I continually demonstrate your supposed supporting “evidence” undermines, and even overturns, the claims you imagined they confirmed.

            No wonder I’m getting your kn!ckers in a tw!st!

          • Els Bakker

            Thank you for all your compliments and I shall attempt to mend my evil ways

          • Mr B J Mann

            Clearly not started yet then!

          • Els Bakker

            My apologies for my tardiness , I am emotionally and intellectually obviously not as advanced as you are.

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            Mann your condascending and insulting comments provide no insights, no meaningful debate, no resolution, no rational way forward. You are an idiot trapped in your own conceit and ignorance.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I think you’ll find they were condescending, dear.

          • Victor

            Mr Mann, I’m not a patient, nor am I an activist, but I’ve seen many patients who have been diagnosed with this disease, and in a sizeable number of cases the patients’ testimonies and pitifully circumscribed lifestyles (compared with their pre-illness states) suggest very strongly that their lives have been devastated by scarcely imaginable suffering, both for its intensity and its duration. If you (and Mr Liddle) had any genuine insight into the suffering of the people whose attempts at self-defence you are so quick to denigrate with your crudely articulated, exclamation-filled generalisations, you would put a curb on your ill-informed tongue.

          • Mr B J Mann

            And that adds precisely what to the sum of .edical advances?!

          • Kathleen O’Connor

            yes, yes, Mr. Mann we have read your bullshit many times. Read http://www.me-ireland.com/bogus.htm to learn about your friend wessely and his bogus mental illness claims. You will learn that your views are completely incorrect and lack a rational scientific basis.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Considering everything you’ve pointed me at so far has actually proved you wrong: what would be the point?

        • kingkevin3

          A similar law was enacted in East Germany during the outbreak of BSE and the surrounding hysteria. British people were not allowed to donate blood for fear of infecting the local blood supply. I was one of them .Of course is was all nonsense. There never was a threat of BSE infecting the general population. From HIV/AIDS to swine flu to Ebola, there is alot of money to be made out of hysteria and I would guess ME too.

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          Have you read the first of these links? An ‘independent researcher’ decides that ME must be infectious, based on its occurrence patterns, and sends his musings to a journal with no peer review. If ME really had the status you claim, there would not have been so much hoop-la when Hornig et al claimed in February 2015 that 50 immune markers appear in the blood of patients (this was said to be the first unequivocal evidence). One swallow does not make a summer. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26079000

        • Kathleen O’Connor

          yes, yes, Mr. Mann we have read your bullshit many times. Read http://www.me-ireland.com/bogus.htm
          to learn about your friend wessely and his bogus mental illness claims.
          You will learn that your views are completely incorrect and lack a
          rational scientific basis.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Yes, yes, Ms o’ Connor, and I am tired of following your links which always prove you wrong!

  • Els Bakker

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/with-his-son-terribly-ill-a-top-scientist-takes-on-chronic-fatigue-syndrome/2015/10/05/c5d6189c-4041-11e5-8d45-d815146f81fa_story.html . Oh sorry, only flawed (plenty of information) research from a couple of psychiatrists (not scientists) from Oxford is important. By the way,do you not find it strange that people with #ME/CFS are not allowed to donate blood? Strange, if is is a psychological illness only.

    • Clive

      The National Blood Service did it to protect the donors while the ME Association said it was really due to XMRV in the ME people’s blood which has since been comprehensively disproved anyway.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11465723
      …NHS Blood and Transplant says the ban is “a precaution to protect the donor’s safety by ensuring their condition is not made worse by donating blood”.

      They say the move brings ME blood donation policy into line with other relapsing conditions or neurological conditions of unknown or uncertain origin, such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease.

      But the ME Association believes there is another reason for the ban – to protect blood recipients from a potentially blood-borne illness.In the current state of uncertainty about a possible viral link a ban is a perfectly sensible measure to take in case it is caused by a retrovirus

      Although they agree with the ban, they say the public should be made aware of all of the reasons for it.

      Experts do not know what causes ME.

      But US scientists recently linked the condition to a retrovirus – known as XMRV – after finding it in the blood of many patients.

      The Whittemore Peterson Institute team found XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) in 67% of ME patients compared to under 4% of the general population.

      However since the 2009 discovery, published in the journal Science, other research teams, including experts in the UK, have failed to demonstrate such a link.

      A spokeswoman from NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Currently there is no epidemiological evidence of a link between XMRV and CFS in the UK.”…

    • Fraser Magee

      The reason fibromyalgia and ME sufferers aren’t allowed to give blood is to “protect the health of the donor”. It’s got nothing to do with disease transmission. Stop misleading people. http://www.blood.co.uk/pdf/publications/blood_matters_34.pdf

      • Mary Schweitzer

        Why would it protect the health of the patient if the patient had a psychiatric problem?

        • Clive

          Because in that it’s a psychological condition, it’s not only a psychological condition

          …and because no-one will definitively say what the cause is (in fact they can’t even say what the illness is) and blood transfusion services are risk averse

    • Smiffy51

      They are not allowed to donate body tissue after death, either. Apparently they can somehow magically pass on their ‘false illness belief’ by this means!

  • Roisin

    I don’t know about ME, but I’m pretty certain that finding Caroline Flint attractive is an ailment of psychiatric origin.

    • Sue Smith

      LOL

  • anneallan

    Bring back neurasthenia; butter is once again good for you, so why can’t neurasthenia stage a comeback?

    • barrydavies

      It never went away

    • Mary Schweitzer

      There are different versions of neurasthenia being resurrected to apply to “M.E.” But the ORIGINAL citation – by both Steve Straus at NIAID in NIH in 1988, and Simon Wessely in the UK – was from the **1869** book called “American Nervousness,” by NY physician George Beard. That’s right – 1869, as in “Oh, you have a broken leg – somebody bring me a saw.” The book was actually about neurasthenia and hysteria as twins – both caused by the error of permitting girls to study the “hard” sciences and math in high school. Learning science and math required developing brain (nerve) cells. But at the same time, the girls were developing their complex reproductive functions, which also required developing cells. It was not possible to do both at the same time (a boy’s reproductive change did not require anything so energetic, though they WERE warned about, um, activities that would waste their, um, resources …).

      • anneallan

        It’s very kind of you to go to all this trouble. But it was just a light hearted quip – to demonstrate that there’s nothing new under the sun.

        • Mary Schweitzer

          There is nothing light-hearted about being diagnosed with neurasthenia in 2015. There is nothing light-hearted about telling everyone that a serious disease that actually kills people is really neurasthenia. There’s nothing funny about MS; there’s nothing funny about Parkinson’s; and there’s nothing funny about ME.

  • Shelley Anne Thompson

    Yeah, I think they said something similar about Multiple Sclerosis, back in the day. Ignorant article. The reason that these conditions may not exist in other parts of the world might have something to do with them being ‘undiagnosed’. Also, there are environmental influences but don’t let the facts get in the way of a bit of self-aggrandizement. Breast cancer is hardly existent in some parts of the world (Japan?) so that particular argument is extremely weak. MS is much more prevalent in some areas of the world than others, where is is hardly seen so a big part of your postulating falls apart there. Maybe these conditions do have strong psychiatric components but your sneery,patronizing tone indicates where you are really coming from and I’m not fooled by it.

    • Mary Schweitzer

      As late as the 1960s they called Multiple Sclerosis “hysterical paralysis.” They called autism “Cold Mother Syndrome” – autistic kids resist being cuddled and do not like being looked straight in the eye, so the mother was simply responding to what the child preferred. But the psychiatrists said it was caused by neurotic mothers. There are many other examples.

      • Jeffrey Vernon

        Multiple sclerosis was first recognised by the French neurophysiologist Charcot in the 1860s. Hysterical paralysis does exist, and there must have been occasional cases of wrong diagnosis; but it would not be true to claim that MS was written off as an imaginary ailment until the day before yesterday.

        • Mary Schweitzer

          Charcot called EVERYTHING hysteria. He made it the most common diagnosis on the Continent in the mid-19th century. As I assume you know, he diagnosed classic hysteria, which is the “wandering womb.” And he diagnosed it in men as well as women. His prize pupil, Sigmund Freud, wrote in a letter that he himself had felt the tell-tale “lump in the throat” of the wandering womb. (Ohhhh-kay). But by the turn of the century, new methods of diagnosis put an end to all those diagnoses of hysteria. Turned out a lot of older rich men had third-stage syphillis. Then a lot of “hysterics” had epilepsy, something that could now be diagnosed with an EKG. In the first decade of the 20th century, they discovered the cause of tuberculosis – a bacteria, not dissolute living or bad air (although both of those could have put one at greater risk of getting sick while around people with TB). As Michel Foucault pointed out, we can’t really go back and re-diagnose people whom were thought to be hysterics. But we can learn a bit of humility in terms of medical knowledge, which is always shifting.

        • Mary Schweitzer

          In the US, as late as the 1960s, women who were later diagnosed with MS had been given diagnoses of hysterical paralysis. Imagine someone with the most common version of MS – relapse and remission. They bring her into a hospital, have her rest a lot, and talk to her. She goes into remission! WOW! They cured her! It was self-confirming. But now we know that MS is caused by demyelination of the nerve sheath. And that is what is missing for M.E. – something that is generally agreed upon as representative of the disease, that would make diagnosis matter-of-fact. Once again I repeat the plea – we need a lot more research funding.

      • Sarita La Cubanita

        In my great-grandparents’ day children with an inability to function in regular life – autistic children – were hospitalized in mental institutions. Here in the U.S., most mental institutions have been closed since the 1980s. Now the alternative provided is to put them in regular classrooms.

        • barrydavies

          Yes our long stay institutions were closed at the same time, and now severely mentally ill people can wind up in police cells or prisons as a place of safety, it sent us backwards.

    • barrydavies

      indeed and stomach cancer is prevalent in Japan because of the amount of raw fish they eat there apparently.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Another day, another theory.
        Used to be that charcoal grilling was the culprit.

        • barrydavies

          Never heard that one especially as charcoal is used for medicinal purposes in the swallowing of caustic agents, but the raw fish has actually been shown to cause the problem.

          • ossiebee

            Barry – burnt meat eaten regularly is hardly the same as ultra-purified wood charcoal taken very occasionally to absorb ingested toxins and the like.

            But actually Jack is right – before that the theory was bracken shoots, which never really made sense.

          • barrydavies

            Well as you say another day another theory, so if it isn’t the fish why is stomach cancer more prevalent in japan than anywhere else, one would have considered the charcoal theory to mean that places like australia new zealand and america would have more of it considering the amount of barbecued and otherwise cremated meat they eat.

  • Gazcon

    I’ve been diagnosed with ME. In a way, I agree with Liddle’s point (though not his tone). I suspect those suffering from “ME” are actually suffering from a range of different conditions, some as yet undiscovered. Some people suffering from “ME” may have a psychological component to their suffering, others don’t.

    Personally I’m fairly sure, given the history of how my condition developed, persisted and deteriorated, there’s no psychological component for me. It’s quite clear to me that my system does not function as it should, my “batteries” do not recharge even after good sleep, and I am utterly exhausted at the drop of a hat. As the limited battery of tests available at my GP always come back clear, I am told I have ME. I feel this is a cop-out. I am sure that given sufficient cash to go private or sufficient time for science to advance that the true physical cause would be found.

    • Kathleen O’Connor

      if you agree with Liddle then hop into see dr. simon wessely, and he will dose you with CBT and psychiatric drugs, most of which have dangerous side effects.

      • barrydavies

        The psychological component is usually the difficulties in coming to terms with becoming incapable of doing what you used to do and still believe you should be able to.

        • Mr B J Mann

          Like think rationally.

          Closely followed by an inability to remember that the paper you are linking to contradicts the points you are trying, but failing, to prove.

          And coming up in third place memory loss causing you to forget you’ve made an “argument” repeatedly.

          And been shot down every time!

          • barrydavies

            well you clearly are incompetent in the thinking rationally part of life. Brain fog is a major part of M.E. as anyone who knows about it will the you. perhaps you can tell us next how exercise and talking can cure measles for example.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Baz, i’ve aready sussed you’re an idiot.

            No need to confirm it!

          • barrydavies

            Well I’ll take that as a compliment from you because it means you have to resort to personal insults as you have no cogent argument to present, and that you have given up. now go and troll elsewhere.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’ve been attacking, insulting and l!belling people from the start of the thread, but when someone finally accepts you’re an idiot you accuse THEM of having” to resort to personal insults as you have no cogent argument to present”.

            Talk about projection?!

            8<————

          • barrydavies

            Were you looking in the mirror when you wrote that you even seem to think that writing 8 <—– means something to anyone other than you, playing with trolls like you is just to easy, I know I am getting under your skin because you have resorted to making childish insults and then trying to reflect them on me. All bullies and trolls like you seeth with anger when they are confronted with their irrational behaviour. Tell me who finally accepted that I have a very low i.q. idiot was an old psychiatric diagnosis after all, but then I wouldn't expect anyone with as little medical knowledge as you have displayed to know that.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Says the nutter who insinuated that writing:

            “If I’d inscribed a point on a 6″ nail and managed to drive it through your thick skill you STILL wouldn’t get the point, would you!”

            Meant I:

            “would lower yourself to personal physical assault”

            *<——- Clearly means I was cutting the discussion/thread.

            Unfortunately I lowered myself to not just reading more of your loony ravings, but dignifying them by responding.

          • barrydavies

            You referred to a physical assault not me, and your made up 8<—– does not clearly mean anything to anyone but yourself I thought you were pointing to your mental age and it seems that your obsessive compulsive disorder means you still have to try to attack people on this site inclusive of myself. Your ideas seem to be wiped by the first sentence of Liddles post "Do you ever wake up worried that you have tiny fibres growing beneath your skin, all along your spinal column? Possibly wriggling little fibres, placed there by the government or by aliens? By aliens I don’t mean asylum seekers but proper aliens, quite probably creatures with bifurcated tongues and scaly lips from the Planet Zog. If so, you may well consider yourself to be suffering from ‘Morgellons’. Of course this like you is designed to be insulting and pretending that people who suffer from a genuine physical condition are mentally ill.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I already know you can neither read, nor think: there is no need to continually post proof under every comment of mine you struggled to read and failed to understand!
            8<————

          • barrydavies

            You have not managed to post anything of relevance so far just typical trolling nonsense, I have no problem reading it even when I have to laugh at your ignorance. I haven’t worked out if your real age is 8 or your educational achievement yet.

          • Mr B J Mann

            8<—————————

          • barrydavies

            Well if you could read and understand you would be able to see that Liddle when he started his essay with this statement, “Do you ever wake up worried that you have tiny fibres growing beneath your skin, all along your spinal column? Possibly wriggling little fibres, placed there by the government or by aliens? By aliens I don’t mean asylum seekers but proper aliens, quite probably creatures with bifurcated tongues and scaly lips from the Planet Zog. If so, you may well consider yourself to be suffering from ‘Morgellons’. Is giving the impression that a physical condition is made up and that he doesn’t accept M.E. exists anywhere but in the mind.

      • Mr B J Mann

        Ksthleen, not only are you sick, you are evil.

        You have just wished harm on an M.E. Sufferer because they dare to suggest we might not know everything there is to know about M.E..

        And yet you have the bare-faced cheek to demand more funding for research.

        Clearly you are one of the sufferers whose main symptom is permanent brain “fog”!!!!!!!!!!

  • barrydavies

    It is a shame that people with M.E. are being denied research into this severely debilitating condition because some people with depression reacted well to GET and CBT, the evidence shows that both approaches can exacerbate genuine M.E. because it is not hypochondria or any other form of a mental illness. Once this idiocy is addressed then maybe there can be some research into treatments that actually would help.

    • Kathleen O’Connor

      Look at the self contented idiots and ignorance on this forum and you will understand why illnesses and diseases are neglected in societies. They prefer to mock, sneer, dismiss and belittle ill people.

      • Mr B J Mann

        But you claim you already know all about everyone who has, might have had, or will ever be diagnosed with, any of the symptoms of M.E.

        So why do you also claim more needs to be spent on research?!?!?!!!!!

        • barrydavies

          well you seem to be the fount of all knowledge so give us the real answer not your favoured snake oil response

          • Mr B J Mann

            8<——–

          • barrydavies

            is that your real age or you mental age ?

          • Mr B J Mann

            I already know you can neither read, nor think: there is no need to continually post proof under every comment of mine you struggled to read and failed to understand!
            8<————-

          • barrydavies

            Well I have been reading your billious comments so that is one area where you can easily be proven to be a liar, and unlike you I can look at all the information and experience not just one persons lacking in evidence approach so it would appear that even with brain fog my intellectual capacity is far superior to your own. There is no reason for an ignorant troll like you to post anything here.

  • Mary Schweitzer

    I collapsed with this disease on October 24, 1994. Prior to that i was a tenured professor of history. I had a blackout, and when I came to I could not understand the papers in my lap – it was as if they were written in cyrillic alphabet. My symptoms included ataxia, expressive dysphasia, disorientation, dyslexia, very poor short-term memory and difficulty forming memories in general, and massive confusion to the point I once poured a pot of coffee in a silverware drawer convinced it was a cup. I had constant pain behind my eyes and in the back of my neck, plus severe headaches and large muscle pain. for the next five years i deteriorated, despite rest. By 1998 I could not even brush my own teeth, and my daughter had to fasten my seatbelt because i would stare at the two ends in confusion.

    I have been in a number of studies. Among what we have learned: I had abnormal immune biomarkers – a natural killer cell function below 3 percent; the 37kDA Rnase-l defect, and an abnormal cytokine pattern. I was first found positive for HHV-6, Variant A, by one of the co-discoverers of the virus and its two variants. But in 1999 I began treatment with an experimental immune modulator/antiviral – I am not normal, but I can do things I once dreamed about – walking, really striding – walking on a trail; walking on the beach. Driving a car. Reading a book. Taking care of myself and my setters.

    I went off the drug in October 2000 because I thought I was cured; a year later i had another sudden onset relapse. I was positive for HHV-6A again. It took seven months, but I went back on Ampligen at a hospital in Philadelphia. This time we used my aftertax disability to pay for it and I lived off of my husband’s income as a professor of finance. I was on it for 5 years when the head of my practice died and FDA took the drug away.

    This time I relapsed in only 7 months: I was running a fever of 102, I was active for EBV and cytomegalovirus, and I was pretty sick. (nevertheless, my husband got mer to go to the world Series in Philadelphia wrapped up in a blanket, with sunglasses so the lights wouldn’t hurt my eyes, in a wheelchair under an overhang so I would stay dry.)

    I went out to Dr. Peterson’s at Tahoe and had extensive testing. I had abnormal SPECT scans, very abnormal CPET results (enough to be given permanent disability on those results alone), abnormal Holter Monitor testing. We did a spinal tap and I had active HHV-6 and cytomegalovirus in my spinal fluid. [Might explain the stiff neck and headaches, the cognitive dysfunction, ataxia, etc.]

    It has been a battle to get back on Ampligen and remain on it – and i have to pay for the privilege. I lost my husband to cancer two years ago, so I moved out to Tahoe where I would at least be close to Peterson’s office and infusions. I hope I do not lose it again.

    There is evidence, Mr. Liddle. There are more like me. My blood serum and spinal fluid have been used in studies at Columbia University lately. We get $6 per person from NIH to study our disease; Multiple Sclerosis (hardly an overfunded disease) got $800 per person from NIH just in 2010 (I do not have more recent numbers). We desperately need research funding.

    As for CBT and GET – for what I have? you have to be kidding.

    • Vindice

      what do you have?

      • Mary Schweitzer

        I have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, or M.E.

        • Vindice

          That translates as muscle pain and inflammation the brain / spinal cord. These are symptoms. I’m asking what is causing the symptoms. And why one should suppose that the symptoms of others diagnosed with M.E. would have the same cause?

          • Mary Schweitzer

            We don’t have enough money to conduct the studies to find those answers. All I know is that i had massive symptoms of encephalitis at the same time I had active HHV-6A and cytomegalovirus in my spinal fluid. So there seems to be some relationship in terms of what was going on with me. I have friends who fit the same profile. Are we a subset? Are we typical? we don’t know. When 85% of patients with the disease haven’t even been diagnosed, how could we know?

      • Mary Schweitzer

        I should add that once I am on Ampligen (the Phase III immune modulator I have to pay cash for, and get by infusion twice a week, which tethers me to an infusion site), I do begin a very slow graded exercise program. But that is after my viruses go dormant and my NK cells start behaving themselves again.

        Before Ampligen, I would wake up sometimes and forget that I couldn’t walk any more, and fall to the floor. I couldn’t even brush my own teeth. With active EBV and Coxsackie in my blood, active HHV-6A and Cytomegalovirus in my spinal fluid, I was one sick puppy. To look at someone that sick – or worse, to look at Ron Davis’ bedridden son – and say, “Oh, you need to exercise” as your main option is lunacy. Do we do that with other severe diseases? You have to start getting better to be ABLE to exercise. Exercise before then runs the risk of making you worse.

        We had a patient, Sophia Mirza, die after being sectioned in the UK (forcibly removed from her home and placed in a psychiatric hospital) – after being required to do exercise that her body was saying DON’T DO THIS – the damage to her body was not reparable. A formal inquiry showed substantial damage to the basal root ganglia – something non-psychiatric M.E. experts had been warning about for decades. The official conclusion was she died of ME/CFS.

        There is a young woman imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital in Denmark as I write this – Karina Hansen was forcibly taken from her home while police held her parents back, three years ago. She has not been allowed to see her family (aside from one early visit with her sister, who burst into tears at the degree to which she had deteriorated, and was then forbidden to return). They have a new prime minister and things may be looking up for Karina and her family, but in the meantime, she remains imprisoned and isolated. A cruel punishment for the sin of having ME.

        Look up the website for the 25 percenters ME group in the UK – you will find patients either confined to a wheelchair or bedridden because they were pushed to exercise beyond their ability by British psychiatrists who are so wedded to the belief that the disease is just “inappropriate illness beliefs” (which can be cured by CBT), and deconditioning because of those inappropriate illness beliefs (to be cured with GET).

        How do you get somebody to exercise beyond what they should? You tell them that they’ll only improve if they do this – and boy did they want to improve. Or you threaten them with sectioning – and as a last resort, you DO force them into a psychiatric hospital, where you can use punishment and reward to try to make them follow your will. Patients who cannot continue the exercise are then diagnosed with “persistent refusal syndrome.” (Karina has that diagnosis now.)

        In the US, they do not ship young people off to mental hospitals, but they do take teenagers away from their families and put them in foster homes where they are ordered to exercise. In one case a young man who was wheelchair-bound was put in foster care and required to live in a basement, able to get his meals only by crawling up the stairs.

        This is ALL a belief system, no different from the “medical truth” three hundred years ago that the body was controlled by the four humours (which is why some patients were bled for certain diseases – too much blood had thrown the four humours off).

        I have a dear friend who had a son two years after she became sick with M.E. By the age of 9 he was showing symptoms. But doctors did not believe him and did not believe her. Sometimes they laughed behind closed doors as soon as she left.

        At the age of 23, he died of a massive heart attack in his sleep.

        M.E. is a very serious physiological illness. It cannot be fixed by positive thinking any more than cancer can (thank heavens they’ve abandoned THAT shibbeloth). If patients are angry, it is because we have lost people to this disease.

        I know patients who fell ill in their teens and are now in their 40s. They did not get to marry the love of their life, as I did. They did not get a rising career – at least I had one, even if it was cut short. They do not get to have children and grandchildren, as I do. And their parents worry about what will happen when they die. Who will take care of them?

        There are at least one million adult Americans and 250,000 in the UK who have M.E. CDC admits that 27 years after giving the world the name “chronic fatigue syndrome,” 850,000 victims of this disease in the US are not diagnosed. (And those who are diagnosed tend to be white and upper middle class – since studies have also shown this is an equal opportunity disease, that gives you a hint of where the undiagnosed patents may be.) I don’t know what I would have done without my family to care for me. I fear for those people who are not diagnosed. The best chance for recovery is to rest as soon as you know you have this disease. They can’t do that until their bodies give them no choice – as mine did, the day I had a blackout in my office in 1994.

        Psychology and psychiatry have a role to play in helping people adjust to a long-term disabling illness. But they should not be the diagnosis of last resort. If a patient has “medically-unexplained symptoms,” that does not mean they have a primary psychiatric condition. And assuming so may put them in grave danger of going from high-functioning and contributing member of society, to permanent invalid.

        What could be more stupid than that?

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Support mental health or I’ll kill you.

    • Kathleen O’Connor

      yes Rod Liddle and his minions might kill you if you don’t support it. LOL, LOL

  • Phil Murray

    Hope you’ve seen this, Mr Liddle, from someone vastly more qualified than you? Oh please feel free to ignore it if it doesn’t fit your own agenda against those who have had their lives destroyed from this real, very real, physical affliction (including me – though I recovered – it took 6 years and was the achievement of my life) . http://www.telegraph.co.uk/wellbeing/health-advice/doctors-diary-its-too-good-to-be-true-that-exercise-can-help-chr/

    • Jeffrey Vernon

      James Lefanu was a GP and kidney specialist, and has no special insights into ME. There is no convincing link between the immune system and ME; it might turn out to be an immune disorder, but at the moment it is a mysterious condition of unknown origin:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26148446

      • Kathleen O’Connor

        what exactly is unknown ? read http://www.me-ireland.com/scientific.htm

        • barrydavies

          well if it’s unknown to those within real knowledge Im not surprised really, but fir those in the know it certainly leads to a reduced effectivity in the immune system.

      • Neil

        Really? That will be why B-Cell depletion alleviates CFS/ME symptoms as shown by the various Rituximab trials then…

        • Jeffrey Vernon

          AS I wrote to another poster 14 days ago, who gave a link to the phase II trial in Norway: ‘Look at figure 2 …the error bars overlap at 36 months, meaning that there’s actually *no difference* between the responders and non-responders.’ There was also no placebo group for comparison, and only 28 patients (you’d need about 200 given the variance in the response).

  • Innit Bruv

    Mister Piggy displaying his ignorance once again.

    • The_greyhound

      A truly devastating critique. I bet you can write sentences with verbs, if you try hard, and get the right help.

  • Sarita La Cubanita

    Excellent article. You’d be very very hard-pressed to find these in countries such as the Latin countries. These are diseases of the affluent nations, where family and true friends and neighbors are lacking, but we enjoy a wealth of endless and overwhelming stressors.

    As the level of stress increases in modern life (and it will continue to increase), new unspecifiable, practically undiagnosable “diseases” will continue prop up. And they do exist. Absolutely they do exist. They’re the result of insurmountable stress playing havoc with the body.

    There’s little comfort in today’s world because as time goes by our only community is on TV and on the social media, and is not a real community. We can try fooling our body into thinking that TV and the social media provide some sort of comfort, and is a replacement for the lack of serious family security and real neighbors, but it isn’t. People are becoming less well-balanced, and these new “diseases” which are not viral or bacterial in nature, are the result of an inability to find any security or comfort anywhere. Of course no one wants to be told that their condition is the result of the artificial society we’re living in now because they run the risk of being judged as needing psychiatric help, and no one wants to be seen that way.

    I expect it will get much worse and no better.

    • Kathleen O’Connor

      you are completely ignorant of the biological facts of the illness, read http://www.me-ireland.com/scientific.htm
      Your comments are full of presumptions and assumptions and personal prejudices, and lack credibility and a scientific basis.

    • Mr B J Mann

      This reminds me of some experiments from the bad old days when some scientists separated baby chimps from their mothers and then fed some through an artificial teat on a metal chimp, and others where the artificial chimp was covered in fur.

      They found that both groups suffered brain damage!

      Then there was the guy who wanted to find out if there was a “natural” language, and seperated human babies from their mothers and put them into the excellent care of nannies from a range of countries who were never to speak to the babies, but otherwise kive them the highest levels of care and attention………..

      ……….the babies died!

      ……………………ALL of them!!!!!!!!!

      • Sarita La Cubanita

        I believe it.
        I think growing up in the security of a family which belongs to a tight community of people who are similar and will be there for one another, allows people to thrive because it removes the constant stress level of being constantly on guard and being “one against the world.”

        • barrydavies

          And this has what exactly to do with people who have loving families and support form them but still have M.E.?

          • Sarita La Cubanita

            Mental illness can be innate or genetic, or it can develop through stress. I’m not merely talking about individual stressors – a divorce, a death. I’m talking about a society’s stressors. Countries where there is isolation and little security tend to suffer from greater stress, and end up consuming high amounts of tranquilizers, sleeping pills, etc.

          • barrydavies

            You mentioned growing up in a loving family or being in a tight community as being less of a stressor and yet people in that situation also commit suicide, and also the majority of people without being in a tight community or having any close family do not commit suicide so societies mores are hardly worth referring to as they do not lead to any particular behaviour or condition in every similar situation.

          • Sarita La Cubanita

            There are exceptions to everything. But the rate of mental illness is far less in countries in which there are families within communities within societies.

          • barrydavies

            Really and which countries would these be? Could it be that there is not the infrastructure to deal with mental illness in those nations, or that the close families hide away their relation who has a problem, thereby denying them treatment.

    • barrydavies

      no they are not diseases of the affluent nations whatsoever, and some of us have family and true friends, so your comment was wrong from the outset.

      it is not a stress related condition, so why mention it.

      perhaps you should post this somewhere else, such as a reactive depressive ailment thread.

      • Mr B J Mann

        If he’d posted it on a reactive depressive ailment thread then you wouldn’t have benefited from it!

        • barrydavies

          You don’t benefit from bad medical approaches, they used to believe bleeding cured all sorts of conditions when in fact for most it was fatal.

          • Mr B J Mann

            If I’d inscribed a point on a 6″ nail and managed to drive it through your thick skill youi STILL wouldn’t get the point, would you! 8<—————–

          • barrydavies

            So you would lower yourself to personal physical assault as well as repeating the nonsense you spout about a subject matter that is far above your cognisance. You really should get out more, you might find that there is a real world out there where making insults isn’t as easy as you do here.

          • Mr B J Mann

            So:

            “If I’d inscribed a point on a 6” nail and managed to drive it through your thick skill youi STILL wouldn’t get the point, would you! 8<—————–"

            Is physical assault, now?!

            Feel free to call the police and report it then!

            Clearly you are unhinged!

            So can I take it that:

            "You really should get out more, you might find that there is a real world out there where making insults isn't as easy as you do here."

            Was a personal threat, and I need to take precautions against you?!

            Do the rest of the ME lobby know about the psycho loonies "supporting" their "cause"?!

            Goodbye!

          • barrydavies

            Good riddance I would say but looking at the times you posted it seems that you can’t let go, have you thought of getting help for your obsessive compulsive behaviour? I see you are still posting the peculiar to you and only meaningful to you 8<—— for no purpose. You threat of driving a 6 inch nail through someones head indicates a latent desire to physically assault someone, you should seek help before you act out your fantasies. What exactly is unhinged in medical terms, or do you think I am a door? My comment was just pointing out that it is easy for you to make insults behind a keyboard miles away from the people you are insulting, which you would be to scared to in the real world. and you end with yet another insult and yet another made up body of m.e. lobbyists and another insult of psycho loony in fact your whole argument is based solely on insulting childish comments with no realistic medical comments whatsoever.

  • Kathleen O’Connor

    Mann, Mann, my little man………..
    well actually ME involves both
    physical fatigue and mental fatigue, which occurs in many physical
    illnesses and diseases after physical and / or mental exertion. You
    claim like wessely that the mind, not mental fatigue causes the physical
    fatigue but this is contradicted in the following studies
    wwww.me-ireland.com/scientific/16.htm where physical exertion can
    cause both physical fatigue and mental fatigue, and mental exertion can
    also cause physical fatigue and mental fatigue. The mind as you refer to
    it is not the main factor here ; you confuse mind with mental exertion,
    there is a difference. The key point here is exertion and exertion
    intolerance, thus the name SEID created by the IOM in 2015. Your attempt
    to use ‘mind’ is a futile attempt to claim patients imagine the illness
    and that it is unreal and all in the mind. This perverted attempt by
    you to twist facts shows your real perverted agenda here.
    Your good
    friend wessely has been totally discredited and disproven, please
    educate yourself by reading http://www.me-ireland.com/bogus.htm
    As regards
    your use of “daddy” and “sweetie”, please keep your childish, paedaphile
    type humour to yourself, we have no need for it here on this forum.

    • Mr B J Mann

      You really are an obssed idiot, I don’t know why I’m wasting my time responding to your hysterical outbursts.

      NO one has EVER said that true “ME” is a mental illness! NO ONE!! EVER!!!

      THAT IS ALL IN YOUR MIND!!!

      People like you try to claim that neither the brain, nor the mind, can cause physical real symptoms and that people like Wessely, Liddle, and I, are claiming it is a mental illness.

      NO THEY DON’T!!!

      But people like you keep posting things like:

      “mental exertion can also cause physical fatigue”

      Which:

      A) Prove you are wrong.

      B) prove that the activists are mental.

      And you go on to confirm it with medical “arguments” like:

      “Your attempt to use ‘mind’ is a futile attempt to claim patients imagine the illness and that it is unreal and all in the mind. This per verted attempt by you to twist facts shows your real per verted agenda here.”

      “Your good friend wessely”

      “please keep your childish, paedaphile
      type humour to yourself”.

      OK, you win:

      You’ve convinced me you really are sick and really do need treatment!

      • barrydavies

        Well to me it seems you are obsessed with trying to tel people who suffer from the condition that they know nothing while someone who refers to tin foil helmets and generally trolls sites where he has no expertise has to be right about everything. Have you ever considered getting help little Mann

        • Mr B J Mann

          Feel free to find any evidence you can to support your spurious slur. And as I have repeatedly pointed out, one doesn’t need to know anything to point out when people who know even less (despite their high opinions of themselves) insist on presenting purported proofs that actually demolish their own positions. Have you ever considered getting English Comprehension lessons? Or even reading lessons?!

          • barrydavies

            So you can say that people who have the condition wear tinfoil helmets but when it is reflected on you you take offence, we are well aware that welesley has a high and misguided opinion of himself and that you clearly do, despite being totally wrong. You seem to have a position that doesn’t need demolishing it fell down because it has no foundations.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You appear to have confirmed your problems.

            Here, try again:

            Feel free to find any evidence you can to support your spurious slur. And as I have repeatedly pointed out, one doesn’t need to know anything to point out when people who know even less (despite their high opinions of themselves) insist on presenting purported proofs that actually demolish their own positions. Have you ever considered getting English Comprehension lessons? Or even reading lessons?!

          • barrydavies

            So you like all trolls feel free to try to intimidate and belittle people who are having a sensible discussion, then demand that they provide evidence whereas you yourself have provided no evidence that there are M.E. activists, wear tin foil helmets, because they are in some way mentally ill, idiots, or that because they disagree with your warped ideation of what the condition really is can’t understand english. at least you have admitted you actually know nothing about the subject with your claim that you insist on presenting purported proofs that actually demolish your own position.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Stop Projecting Trøll!
            8<———

          • barrydavies

            You are a troll I’m not projecting anything just making an honest statement.

      • William_Brown

        Give up B.J., you’ll never win against such active energies…

        • Mr B J Mann

          Unbelievable, but true!

          • barrydavies

            You will never win in repeating nonsense that anyone who actually knows what they are talking about knows is nonsense.

  • Mr B J Mann

    I’ve read this article, yet again, and Mr Liddle says:

    experts who have investigated this condition and come to the conclusion that it too has a significant psychiatric component

    Professor Simon Wessely at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, held that ME was almost certainly a psychiatric condition

    most of the medical community believes, ME had a psychiatric basis,

    But the problems we have in dealing with ME and fibromyalgia seem to me to be a consequence of our primitive approach, collectively, to psychiatric illness. The stigma of mental illness — and the prejudice that if it’s rooted somewhere in the mind, it can’t be ‘real’. But of course it is real, every bit as real as if it were occasioned by a virus

    I say primarily psychiatric, but there is no Manichean division between body and mind; they are one and the same.

    Clearly the obsessives “arguing” here have another problem entirely!

    And they clearly don’t suffer from fatigue!

    • Not this again

      So it’s psychiatric then. Okay.

      Considering that Rituximab looks promising so far in clinical trials, maybe there are other psychiatric diseases that similarly benefit from such a drug.

      Many patients always did say they wouldn’t care if it was psychiatric, because then treatments such as exercise and antidepressants would likely be effective. So if it is psychiatric, and Rituximab proves an effective treatment, then I think you’ll find what will be prioritized is the availability of an effective treatment, not any perception of stigmatization related to mental illness.

      • barrydavies

        No it isn’t psychiatric at all. rituxmitab has never been shown to have any effect on M.E. so why refer to it. It’s use is only licenced for arthritis, and cancer, so anyone using it on someone with M.E. who doesn’t have one of those conditions is acting illegally.

        • Not this again

          Oh. So Fluge & Mella are acting ‘illegally’ now?

          Relax, take a deep breath, and read what I wrote again.

          • barrydavies

            If they are using a drug for something that it is not licensed for then by definition they are acting illegally. That is the legal situation.

            rituximab, Rituxan (cont.)

            Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

            Jay W. Marks, MD

            PRESCRIBED FOR: Rituximab is used for treating non-Hodgkin’s B-cell lymphomas that have CD20 receptors on their surface. It is used when lymphomas recur following other types of therapy or are unresponsive to other types of therapy. It is approved for treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Wegener’s granulomatosis, and microscopic polyangiitis. Rituximab also is combined with methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) to treat rheumatoid arthritis in patients who have failed other biologic medications, such as infliximab, etanercept, or adalimumab.

            SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effect of rituximab is a constellation of symptoms (fever, rigors and chills) that occur during administration of the first dose of drug. More than 80% of patients experience these side effects, and it is severe in 4-7 out of every 10,000 patients. The side effects appear only 40% of the time with the second dose of drug and and become less frequent with the last two doses.

            Other common side effects related to rituximab are:

            nausea,

            hives,

            fatigue,

            headache,

            itching,

            difficulty breathing due to bronchospasm,

            a sensation of swelling of the tongue or throat,

            runny nose,

            vomiting,

            decreased blood pressure,

            So it is not licensed for use in M.E. and as fatigue is a side effect it would seem to be completely the wrong drug to give to people who have a condition with the main symptom being fatigue. Additionally you will notice it is not a psychiatric drug so the only psychiatric patients that would benefit in any case are those with arthritis or cancer.

          • Of course it’s not licensed for use in treating ME – YET. The drug trials are STILL ONGOING. ME/CFS would appear to be an autoimmune disease after all. And for the first time, those of us who have this disease see a glimmer of hope.

          • barrydavies

            I have the disease and don’t see it as a glimmer of anything at all.

        • This is stupid. Rituximab has resulted in total remission for several ME patients in the ongoing drug trial in Norway, and has resulted improvement for 60% of the patients in the trial. You’re simply wrong, and you didn’t bother to do any research before you spoke.

          http://simmaronresearch.com/2015/01/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-rituximab-fluge-mella/

    • barrydavies

      So a psychiatrist with personal gain as a motive makes a false claim, and to you this is evidence. Who are “most” of the medical community, as most are not involved in the diagnosis or treatment of the physical condition known as M.E. There is clear evidence of a physical basis not psychiatric in this condition. The problems we have in getting any useful research into the treatment is the cack handed way in which people believe someone who has made unsubstantiated claims as to the efficacy of his treatment for a handful of people wrongly diagnosed as having M.E. with a methodology proven to work with depression. The so called stigma of mental illness does not concern anyone who suffers from M.E. because they do not have a mental illness whatsoever. Isn’t it time you went and trolled elsewhere perhaps you should be telling people with liver failure that they should not drink to much, when they have never drunk in their lives because you seem to be incapable of understanding that not everyone is the same, and there are more than one reason for several conditions.

      • barrydavies

        You do realise B J Mann that using capital and bold fonts does not make your nonsense any more important or correct don’t you, there is evidence that people who have m.e. have a suppressed immune system you do realise that this is a physical condition and that there has never been any research which has formed a thesis of a correlation between psychiatric conditions and a compromised immune response don’t you.

        • Mr B J Mann

          No, but they should make it easier to spot the salient points that you have repeatedly missed.

          In the reports that you and your fellow activists yourselves put forward as evidence to support your case.

          Clearly you don’t like them being highlighted as they destroy your argument.

          Not that you have one!

          • barrydavies

            No it is considered to be shouting on the net, the last resort of the person with no cogent argument, indeed they highlight the mistakes in you claims. I am not an activist indeed no one who suffers from M.E. is capable of being an activist, although there needs to be someone who actually helps people instead of coming up with totally unrelated treatments and claims of psychosomatic or psychiatric causes for a physical neurological condition. You haven’t made a single salient point, so what am I supposed to have missed? Clearly you highlight nonsense as you are just trolling not making any form of cogent argument to support your incorrect assumptions.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You are completely incapable of considering the meaning of simple English. Goodbye TrØll.
            8<———

          • barrydavies

            You seem to have difficulty in understanding anything that doesn’t fit in with your prejudiced viewpoint, your english is indeed simple as is your signature so mr 8<—– please do leave and leave the discussion to those with knowledge insight and experience 3 areas where you are sadly lacking. Try trolling the tory party site they would probably think you were serious.

          • William_Brown

            Now, now girls, calm down.

      • Mr B J Mann

        Stop trying to distract from the facts!

        This sub-thread is about what Liddle said.

        Whether a psychiatrist had a financial incentive or made a false claim has no bearing on the issue at hand.

        The point at issue here is whether Liddle said what he was accused of saying.

        Clearly he wasn’t as you dare not address the point and insist on not only putting up straw men, but in a different field.

        On another farm.

        In a different country.

        So YOU stop trolling!

        • barrydavies

          So yet again you make a completely ignorant claim, “Whether a psychiatrist had a financial incentive or made a false claim has no bearing on the issue at hand” so you think that fraud is OK as long as it backs up your biased assessment and means you don’t have to actually find the truth.

          You quote in bold letters Liddles claim that experts, who also have personal gain as a motive have claimed a psychiatric component. Of course as with any other chronic physical condition people may become depressed as a reaction to the position they find themselves in, I have posted that before but you only read what you want to into other peoples posts. This however does not make it a psychiatric condition nor does it mean that psychiatric interventions will help with the real problem. As the average G.P. can deal with reactive depression there is no need for a consultant Psychiatrist to be involved in any way shape or form. Of course real experts int he field, neurologists not psychiatrists have made it clear that the condition is real, not psychosomatic, and has a physical cause the neurological alterations, such as peripheral neuropathy can actually be tested, and are not just in your head, or even the brain. As anyone with any real knowledge of medicine will tell you in any case the autonomous nervous system does not even link directly to the part of the brain which deals with cognition.

          So you live on a farm do you? I have worked on one but never been rich enough to live on one, I don’t know which country you live in but if it isn’t the U.K. Ian not concerned, it is of no relevance, and your ignorance is just trolling, I am just educating you.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I realise it is too much to expect a troll to learn to think but could you not at least learn to actually read?!
            8<——–

          • barrydavies

            Read what exactly and I see you are still posting your number 8 as if it has any relevance to anything whatsoever, BTW I was moved form the infants to the juniors one year early because my reading abilities were above average, and 50 odd years ago that was unheard of, so just go and troll elsewhere you have not addressed any point just attacking those who know what they are talking about because in your small minded world you think you are being clever. —————>9999 and that is a pointless meaningless thing to put just as yours is.

    • ‘Most of the medical community believes ME has a psychiatric basis.’

      Oh, really? Then why does the WHO list it as a neurological disease? And how do you explain THIS? https://iom.nationalacademies.org/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2015/MECFS/MECFScliniciansguide.pdf

      And how do you explain THIS? http://simmaronresearch.com/2015/01/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-rituximab-fluge-mella/

      A couple of discredited idiot psychologists say something, and you believe it without question? Dumb.

      • Mr B J Mann

        And you reply to a comment without reading it, never mind reading what it was a response to.

        Even dumber!

        • Well, you presumably wouldn’t be trying to imply that his quotes say something more wishy-washy than his views if you didn’t believe there was some truth to them. The problem is, there is 0 truth to them. No part of ME is psychological. None. Proven.

          So what is YOUR point?

          • Mr B J Mann

            My point, as you would have know if you had bothered to read my posts, was that people weren’t just misquoting Liddle, but falsely accusing him of things he didn’t say.

            The truth, or otherwise, of what he wrote is irrelevant to the point at issue, which is people misquoting him, and then implying views to him based on those misquotations.

            You, however, clearly have no problem with either, and, in fact, appear determined to ake up where they left off!

          • You appear not to realize that his statements are about as definite as anyone in the scientific or medical fields would ever make. The ‘implied’ views are his actual views.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Fortunately I’ve spotted one of your other contributions and realised it’s not just brain fog leading to comprehension problems.

            Goodbye.

            8<————

          • Ad homimen, and out! (I love when people satisfy themselves with a last word that proves their thinking is irrational).

  • richie4

    Your panic attacks are a neurobiological condition rooted in psychology but also occuring in a genetically or epogenetically predisposed person. Plenty of people have such and treat them neurobiologically e.g. with low dose short course diazepam i.e they have an organic aspect.
    Depression is psychiatric and neurobiological. It has an organic aspect.
    Why does claimng a psychiatric aspect to ME/CFS/FM make iot any less neurobiological.? And why the should the only treatment on offer be CBT/GET?
    If GABA promotinng diazepam can be use in panic attacks. why not GABA promoting preganalin in FM? If dopamine agonists can be used in psychogenic dystonia why not in FM?
    I am not endorsing the view that CFS/ME and FM are of psychiaric orign, it is complex – Read e.g. Goldstein”s Betrayal of the brain where psychological stress, viral infection and genetic predisposition are all considered, but even if they were, they would deserve the same degree of organic consideration as panic attacks or depression or psychogenic bracing or several other conditions where mind and brain/body interface to create PHYSICAL pathologies. This would go far beyond the simplistic and monolithic offering represented by CBT/GET.

  • This is completely stupid. It would have taken you maybe a half hour of Googling to turn up reliable information on ME/CFS research showing that this disease is physiological. The WHO states that it is physiological. The IOM states that it is physiological – yet YOU believe you know better?

    We don’t have anything against folks with psychological disorders. There are ME patients who suffer from anxiety or depression as well. But ME is NOT a psychological disorder, and people who have it have been subjected to inappropriate (and, naturally, 100% ineffective) psychiatric treatments for the disease, while their underlying medical condition has gone untreated! Don’t you think that’s just reason to be pretty PISSED OFF?

    The presumption that this disease is psychiatric in nature has PREVENTED funding and research into an effective treatment. Millions of us have been languishing in pain and misery for most of our lives, while the establishment makes pithy suggestions about CBT (0 effect on our condition), or GET (makes us sicker).

    The Rituximab trials that are currently ongoing in Norway have evidenced that the majority of people who have been diagnosed with ME/CFS appear to have an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE. Killing off all of their B-cells (which make auto-antibodies) has resulted in total remission for a few. (In case you wondered, the placebo group is not doing so well – placebos tend not to work on ME/CFS patients).

    But apparently you think a psychiatric condition can cause a positive tilt-table test for orthostatic intolerance, or miraculously result in a person showing significant post-exertional malaise and reduction in capacity after a 24 hour exercise-to-exhaustion test. (Hint – no psychiatric condition can do that).

    How DARE you mouth off on this subject which you know NOTHING about, and spread this damaging misconception about our disease! We have had ENOUGH. We want a real treatment – we demand REAL RESEARCH. And we are not going to shut up until we get it.

    This is not ABOUT YOU. It’s not about psychiatric diseases, or psychological disorders, or any stigma they might carry. This is about OUR disease – which is 100% physiological!

  • IAMHERENOW23

    The author writes these type of “articles” simply to be controversial, it appears. He has a history of inflammatory “writing”. However, they say that – “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” Therefore, those of us who are sick with ME/CFS SEID which has been defined as real physical DISEASE in the U.S., we must continue to spread facts as opposed to the opinion of those who know nothing about this illness.

    To the author, please do some actual reseach as reputable journalists do. It appears lazy to just spout opinion regarding a matter of science. While you may have a vocabulary, it’s meaningless without substance.

    This type of article shows a lack of either talent or work ethic, and i dont mean that to be negative. My statement is simply fact. We welcome you to the light. Please use your energy for something positive and show readers that you have some substance. We all do, it just requires effort.

    Much healing to the ME/CFS SEID community.

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