Discussion in 'PsychoSocial ME/CFS News' started by Sly Saint, Jan 21, 2018.
What is the Tavistock Institute?
Thanks for posting these, @Sly Saint. I just had a look at the abstract for this one, and its kind of interesting. This is what they did:
This is what they found:
This suggests that even from the first visit, these US doctors are judging - based on your symptom profile - whether you are worthy of validation or not.
I'm sorry. Is it just me or does the "Objective" in that abstract not make any sense?
Is it meant to be something like "To understand whether physicians communication with patients may contribute...etc"?
Which is concerning for people who find it hard to describe symptoms. I wonder how many they fail to diagnose due to not asking and patients having normalized additional symptoms.
Some great debate and excellent points, as usual.
One would think. But sadly this is too optimistic.
I am approaching 5 months spent living in an inpatient ‘neuropsychiatric’ rehab unit, where the BPS model is used to treat ‘functional’ disorders. Yes these terms are fancier than ‘Medically Unexplained Symptoms’ but the core principals are the same. Let me tell you, this MUS bandwagon has legs. It will go far. Patients here are delighted with their care, feel they are being taken very seriously at last, and are totally open to all the repressed trauma Freudian speculation. When I try to spark some debate about what goes on here, I am met with smirks, rolled eyes, and awkward silences. Patients and staff alike view me as a precocious kid with a ‘persecution complex’. If you start talking about NHS shortcuts, big pharma etc you’re just seen as a conspiracy theorist.
As for the staff, yes there will always be psychs, OTs and physios to fill these roles. Believe me. The therapy team here are 99% white, in their 20s, and even some internationals (Aussie, French). This place has a national reputation. These are hotshot psych grads, moving to the Big Smoke on what I assume is a comfortable wage, cutting their teeth on some serious psychobabble. It’s not bottom-of-the-heap work to them. Quite the opposite, they consider this cutting edge. They boast endlessly about their long waiting list and high success rates. All the outcome measures used are as subjective as it gets. We are constantly drenched with rhetoric of road-to-recovery, progress, rehab, goals, coming out of your comfort zone and blah blah blah. It’s re-education.
MUS clinics will not be the feature of a gritty exposé, hitting tabloid front pages. They will get away with it and dress it up as life-changing treatment like this place does. Very scary, and very worrying. Just think of the amount of undetected organic health problems being neglected. It’s like regression, like we’re going back in time, denying the existence of modern medicine.
Interesting. I can well imagine the sort of place you refer to. But maybe this is the honeymoon phase when young enthusiasts buying to the concept. After five years, when MUS becomes a butt of jokes, maybe things will change. I used to work in a physical rehabilitation centre in north London like this around the time that 'rehabilitation medicine' became a new speciality. It was full of hyper enthusiastic physios and OTs and other therapists. Within five years it had shut. But maybe the point is that the wheel will continually be re-invented?
Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And I get the impression that UK universities are doing a very poor job of educating psychology students and even medical students about certain aspects of reality that they could be learning a lot from. Instead they are likely being taught about how utterly miraculous the mind is in doing all sorts of improbable things, and it's taking them a few years of spectacular failure in the real world to realize it was a bunch of bullshit.
There actually are patients who find the whole MUS culture wonderful and want to learn how to cure illness with mental acrobatics.
The tragedy of illness can induce irrationality.
@Tab Hoarder, thanks for your perspective - and welcome to the forum! (love your username, by the way ).
I have also encountered a lot of FND people who are very comfortable with certain aspects of the psychostuff. Its seems to be acceptable when dressed up in one of two ways:
1. In pseudoneural terms (e.g., 'the neural hardware is okay, but there's a problem with the software')
2. In terms of past trauma that wasn't their fault
I think for some people who actually did experience bad stuff in the past, there's some appeal in being able to say 'look what you did to me'. It gives their illness some sense of meaning I guess, and maybe its good to have someone to blame.
FND patients seem much less keen on psycho explanations that propose they themselves have psychological vulnerabilities (e.g., overly negative schemas, difficulty managing emotional conflict, being intensely anxious or introspective).
Unfortunately, theorists and practitioners in the FND area are wise to this and they present their explanations accordingly. This is actually quite misleading. I reviewed contemporary FND theories recently and they all propose that the patients have psychological vulnerabilities - any or all of the ones listed above. Obviously, they must do this, because the theories need to get around the huge problem that not all trauma victims etc., have FND.
PS Add to say I don't believe any of these things are the cause of FND either! I find those accusations objectionable too!
I think we can see from the positive reviews to Suzanne O' Sullivan's awful book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Its-All-Yo...ll_reviews&filterByStar=positive&pageNumber=1 how patients can fall hook, line and sinker for this claptrap. It's not only medics/psychs here giving 5 star reviews, although a good few are. There are ordinary people who truly believe in the Psych School's mind-body explanation
So we have to wait five years in the hope that this will all fizzle out? It'll be too late by then.
MUS/IAPT practitioners are being employed all over the country to reduce the number of GP consultations, drastically cut outpatient clinic lists, and now, it appears, to identify/label/treat people at A+E to effectively prevent them from accessing these emergency services too. https://www.staffnurse.com/jdp/liaison-psychologist-j3s53474h3my3yw3t87
And let's not forget that they are even targeting elderly patients now, those who have in the past been relatively shielded from this MUS rubbish - Hidden in plain sight - Age UK (pages 21 - 24).
I'm sorry to say this, but MUS isn't a transient health fad, it's a political agenda. It's unlikely to change unless/until people wake up and challenge the politics.
Soon MUS patients will have to wear a special badge that identifies them as such, to make sure they don't accidentally get medical care.
I think they've got that already, it's got something like 16H on it, it's in their computerized clinical records -
Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS) - London Health Programmes (page 6)
That's my impression, too. Thanks for writing about your experience.
When can you leave that place?
@Inara I’m in the process of applying for supported living, so hopefully will be moving on in the near future.
An excellent post from the frontline. May I have your permission @Tab Hoarder to copy this post to other forms of social media please? I'm conscious this is already a public forum but wouldn't wish to make use of your desperate situation in a cynical way or without your express permission.
@Lilpink go for it! Anything I post in a public forum I’m happy for anyone to read.
If it’s personal stuff I would stick it in a members-only thread.
@Lilpink, would you give the link when finished?
Separate names with a comma.