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Living with ME in Denmark - interviews with Rebecca Hansen and Kamilla Thomsen

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS news' started by Sly Saint, May 2, 2018.

  1. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    This came up on the Mikes EU marathons thread.


    I spoke to Rebecca Hansen from the Danish ME Association ME Foreningen and severe ME patient Kamilla Thomsen. Here's what they told me about living with ME in Denmark.

    Rebecca Hansen
    • Can you give us an overview of what life is like for ME patients in Denmark?
    Very few doctors in Denmark know that ME is a biological illness, so most patients do not get an ME diagnosis. Instead, when a patient presents with ME symptoms, they are told that they are stressed, just need to pull themselves together and get some exercise. They are often put on anti-depressants. It is hard for patients to get a doctor to refer them to relevant examinations to rule out other illnesses, or even to get basic blood tests taken. For example, we talk to patients that have never had their vitamin D levels tested. They are seen as difficult patients that take up a doctor’s time.

    The official view is that ME is a form of somatoform illness, a mental illness, so ME patients receive incorrect treatment that can be harmful to them. This official view also makes contact with the social system extremely problematic. Many ME patients have families that do not understand why they just can’t exercise their way out of their illness. Parents are often blamed for their child’s illness and we know of several cases where children have been removed from their parents. Karina Hansen is one of them. Her story can be seen in the film Unrest and read about here: http://me-pedia.org/wiki/Karina_Hansen

    The main reason for this overwhelmingly negative attitude about ME, is a long campaign by a group of psychiatrists who are working to have ME seen as a form of somatoform disorder, called a funktionel lidelse (functional disorder). This group of psychiatrists is led by Per Fink and they work with Hans Knoop, Peter White, and Michael Sharpe."

    full article here:


    lafarfelue, ahimsa, Squeezy and 14 others like this.

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