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Wessely gets touchy feely

Discussion in 'PsychoSocial ME/CFS News' started by Estherbot, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. alex3619

    alex3619 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    This is not just psychiatry, its also the other doctors who pass the patients on to psychiatry. Doctors often call patients like this "heartsink" patients, because they cannot help and they feel bad about it. How they handle this is however an issue in medical training ... failed training. Uncertainty is a big issue in medicine. Not knowing what is going on or how to fix people is an issue. When the patient has chronic illness and does not die its a long term issue. Doctors need to be prepared to say they do not know, but will do what they can to help. That is, show concern without pretending to knowledge.

    The issues here are deep and complex, and its all muddled up with how doctors are frequently taught to deal with things. I do not doubt there are doctors who figure out their own solutions, but most don't seem to.
     
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  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I have done the same thing, and probably will again. I don't like the sound of "one" and usually substitute "you" but the context does not always disambiguate the meaning.
     
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  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sometimes psychopsychiatry reminds me of the Inquisition. All they need is a comfy chair.
     
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  4. Obermann

    Obermann Established Member

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    As Sir Simon is as comfortable with poetry as pathology, I would like to recite another poem in his honour. This is a variation of a classical limerick by Thomas Thornley:

    A candid Sir Simon confesses
    that the secret of half his success is,
    not his science as such,
    nor his marvels so much,
    as his wild irresponsible guesses.
     
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  5. Mithriel

    Mithriel Established Member

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    Actually I think most of this thread has missed the point. SW is very, very clever. He qualified as a doctor but there are hundreds of doctors in the UK alone. No, he saw an opportunity to invent his own branch of medicine and has made a fortune out of it as well as gaining honours and respect from the establishment. Steve Jobs could have learnt from him.

    All that was needed was a callous disregard for the patients he was meant to serve.
     
  6. Obermann

    Obermann Established Member

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    I think that Sir Simon's career has been shaped by a blend of rationalization, opportunism, and neglect in unknown proportions. Sloppy scientific practices were not introduced by him or his coworkers, but are widespread within psychology. It is hard to believe that Sir Simon intentionally proposed a flawed theory to boost his career. I think that he got absorbed by a scientific subculture, where studies are designed to support theories rather than to put them to the test.
     
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  7. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think he's not a very nice man, apart from possibly to his family, and I think he knows it but, at best, being generous, doesn't care. His blatant manipulation is too directed to be by accident, its by design, it's unfortunate that the bad place is fictional, as he could be much better employed there.
     
  8. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    There is a very good book explaining the process and formation of 'Professionals' called 'Disciplined Minds'.

    Conformity in academia is a big part of the process.

    The desire to question everything and want to understand is gradually shaped in desired directions and 'comfortable' areas.

    The process of doing well at school and university is linked with pleasing authority in order to get the grades and connections.
     
  9. Helen

    Helen Established Member (Voting Rights)

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  10. alex3619

    alex3619 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think most of us are aware of that. Its one of the reasons he is dangerous.
     
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  11. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I agree. Such people sleep, eat, breath, and ooze from every pore, manipulative career/social ladder climbing and power mongering. Much of it is done without conscious thought, it's innate behaviour. @Mithriel is right, he is very clever indeed. The Moriarty of psychiatry.
     
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  12. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I agree he is very clever. The bit I've bolded I don't know because I don't know him, though I agree his behaviour, or perhaps the outcome of his behaviour is suggestive of this. It could be other things. I don't know what motivates him. I'm not as confident in proclaiming theories about what's going on in the heads of other people as SW himself is.
     
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  13. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    You only have to know the type in my opinion, and he gives off all the signals.
     
  14. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    :)
     
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  15. alex3619

    alex3619 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    M is just a W upside down.
     
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  16. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:!!
     
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  17. Valentijn

    Valentijn Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a common type of behavior in many fields, though less common and more repugnant in medicine. Basically there are people who are very good at social climbing, networking, etc. They usually aren't particularly good (or bad) at their actual job, but it doesn't matter because they know that other factors are more important in getting to the top.

    Simon Wessely has made it to the top because he's an excellent bullshit artist, and has made the connections necessary to help him get there. This is unfortunate, but not abnormal, and certainly not implausible. But it's not the result of honest or innocent behavior. Those people have goals, and it is to get as close to the top as they can. Actions are undertaken and statements are made with that goal in mind - it doesn't happen accidentally in the process of being delusional or an idiot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  18. Skycloud

    Skycloud Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I agree
    I agree
     
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  19. Obermann

    Obermann Established Member

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    I think that the main concern here is bad scientific practices in psychology, rather than the personality of Sir Simon. He didn’t invent anything himself. The biopsychosocial paradigm was proposed by Engel in 1977. The precursors of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) had been around for a long time, but finally merged into CBT in the 1980s. The idea that ME was purely psychological was aggressively promoted in 1970 by McEvedy and Beard. They suggested that epidemic ME was mass hysteria, so Sir Simon’s initial proposal in 1988 that ME probably was triggered by an infection and perpetuated by psychological factors actually was a moderation.

    Sir Simon just took ideas and concepts that were around and tried to adapt them to ME. He is good at networking and connecting with other scientists. He also understands that in an immature science like psychology, you have to sell your ideas rather than to prove them. You must make yourself heard and write many papers, not necessarily with any substance. I don’t think that Sir Simon is a good scientist with any deep understanding of the underlying theories. He motivated his model of ME with an irrelevant traffic analogy: in a hit-and-run accident, you don’t need to pursue the guilty party in order to start with the rehabilitation. However, even if you don’t need to know the trigger in ME, any serious scientist knows that you need to understand the nature of the injuries/symptoms to start with rehabilitation. The biopsychosocial theory for ME doesn’t deal with these details.

    At some point, Sir Simon probably believed that CBT for ME was a good idea to try out. However, he is an ambitious career-oriented salesman for scientific ideas, not a scientist who follows up and checks if they really work out. That attitude prospers in an intellectual environment where theories are rationalized and never put to the test. He later got so invested in the model that there was no turning back, no matter what.

    It may be provocative that Sir Simon has built his career on our misfortune, but as long as psychologists and psychiatrists nurture unsound scientific practices, pseudoscientific ideas like the biopsychosocial model for ME are going to thrive. CBT was tested for many other alleged psychosomatic illnesses, and it would eventually have been proposed for ME; if not by Sir Simon, then by Michael Sharpe, Trudie Chalder, Peter White, Esther Crawley, Per Fink, Vegard Bruun Wyller, Gijs Bleijenberg, Judith Prins, Rona Moss-Morris, or someone else. The key issue here is that psychology and psychiatry must change. Otherwise, they will gradually fade away and eventually become as irrelevant as astrology or alchemy.
     
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  20. alex3619

    alex3619 Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Actually it goes back to the 1930s at least. Its just the the term biopsychosocial was proposed in 77. Before then it had other names, and was proposed again and again. It was Engel's paper that took off, mostly because he framed it about medicine in general and not psychogenic psychiatry.
     
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