Psychiaters eisen nog steeds ME/CVS op als hun vakterrein; ook al beweren ze soms dat 't niet 'tussen de oren zit'.


An open letter to the 'Wessely School' psychiatrists

Margaret Williams 14th October 2004

Would psychiatrists of the 'Wessely School', in this instance Anthony Cleare, be courteous enough to explain why they continue to assert that ME/CFS is an affective disorder in defiance of the evidence that it not a psychiatric disorder?
These psychiatrists make such a claim in specific terms on their Kings College website
( which states:

"We specialise in mood-disorders. These include depression, bipolar disorder and the 'affective spectrum' disorders such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalitis (sic) ME, fibromyalgia, somatisation and anxiety.".

Would Dr Cleare be willing to explain why he continues to reject the considerable international evidence that, as documented in a Co-cure post on 12th October
2004 by Jill McLaughlin, what he and his 'Wessely School' colleagues insist are "medically unexplained symptoms or syndromes" may in fact be medically ill-described and ill-categorized syndromes?
As Professor Leonard Jason demonstrated in his presentation at the American Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (AACFS) Seventh International Conference held in Madison, Wisconsin on 8th-10th October 2004, these issues are not semantics about an
obscure classification issue but the crux of many problems that are in need of resolution.

As McLaughlin so aptly notes: "the fallacious psychopathological paradigm has been promulgated extensively and leaves patients unable to receive (adequate) testing or differential diagnosis or follow-up. The assumption that mixing 'fatiguing
illnesses' will clarify the pathophysiology has not held up.".

Indeed it has not held up: could it be that psychiatrists of the 'Wessely School' are unaware of
the press-release of 7th October 2004 by the AACFS (contact person being Professor Charles Lapp, Board Member of AACFS) about the Seventh International Conference that was co-sponsored by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National
Centre for Infectious Diseases?

That press-release is unequivocal: CDC researcher Dr William Reeves, Chief of the (ME)CFS
research-programme, reported that (ME)CFS-patients are more sick and have greater consequent disability than patients with chronic obstructive lung-disease,
cardiac disease, osteoarthritis and depression, and a CDC collaborative study with Australian researchers found that the strongest predictor of the development of (ME)CFS is the severity of the acute illness at onset and that psychological factors played no role in the development of (ME)CFS following infection.

Would Dr Cleare be kind enough to comment on why psychiatrists of the 'Wessely School' refuse to accept the views of anyone whose views differ from their own

Is he aware that the internationally renowned psychologist Dr Dorothy Rowe is on record as stating:
"People who know absolutely that they are right are very dangerous."? (Observer, 14th November 1993).
Perhaps the apparent inability of 'Wessely School' psychiatrists to accept evidence that does not accord with their own beliefs has less to do with medical science and patient-benefit but more to do with money?
This may not be as far-fetched as it seems: some years ago, Professor Malcolm Hooper (Professor Emeritus of Medicinal Chemistry) attended a pharmaceutical conference and in discussion with the Research Director of the pharmaceutical company concerned said:
"We must never forget that we are here to help patients.", to which the Research Director replied:
"No, we're not!". Thinking he must have misheard, Professor Hooper said: "Sorry - what did you say?" The response he received from the Research Director was emphatic: "We are not here to help patients. We are here to make money.".
It was at that point that Professor Hooper walked away and turned his back on the pharmaceutical industry, preferring to do what he can to help patients.

Permission to repost.