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Perfectionism, depression and anxiety in chronic fatigue syndrome: A systematic review, 2020, Cherry et al

Discussion in 'PsychoSocial ME/CFS Research' started by Andy, Dec 6, 2020.

  1. Andy

    Andy Committee Member (& Outreach when energy allows)

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    Open access, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022399920308849
     
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  2. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Starts from the Beard Mcevedy/ neurasthenia stance.
    2 papers cited: one based on a survey done in Canada 2000/2001 the other
    "
    This material is based primarily on our experience at the
    Outpatient Fatigue Clinic of the Department of Internal Medicine and at the Depart-
    ment of Psychiatry, Osaka University Hospital"

    The rest is all about perfectionism.

    From table on bias
    Unbiased selection of cohort? all studies rated 'partially'.
    Adequate description of cohort? all studies rated 'partially'.


    will be interesting to see if they apply the same 'logic' to long-covid patients
     
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  3. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This idea that "maladaptive perfectionism" is a problem amongst patients with ME has always puzzled me. I look at myself, my life, my home, and I don't see any evidence of this perfectionism at all. Is it just a cheap way of categorising people as mentally ill, even when it is absolute nonsense?
     
  4. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It is a "get out of jail" idea. People with depression are often unmotivated to do anything so they let things like housework go. ME people who keep themselves clean and have a tidy house have depression but also perfectionism which is why they do not fit the stereotype. Heads they win, tails we lose.
     
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  5. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Wow, a good reason not to refer to PEM as PENI (psychoendoneuroimmunology (PENI))! Laugh and be well- ugh.
     
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  6. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Is "in patients with CFS/ME" of any relevance? Is it not the case that anyone with maladaptive perfectionism is going to be more prone to depression? I don't see that ME/CFS has any relevance.
     
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  7. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    GIGO aside, it's amazing seeing things like this:
    A frank admission that the current model is complete bullshit. The current paradigm, ongoing for a few decades now, is literally this, built on the premise that these people do understand it, hence why it is acceptable to lie and manipulate with intent. Millions of people have been subjected to it, mostly by denying any support but still, this is what the model calls for. It's been a disaster and this point has been made endlessly. Still the model persists because of the above, which the people peddling this nonsense readily admit is completely false. Amazing.

    Even more so that the "recommendations" are LITERALLY THE CURRENT MODEL:
    Forget eminence-based medicine this is amnesia-based medicine. The past doesn't exist, unless it is to support the need to continue doing the same. The future must be the same as the past, which has never been tried, even though it currently literally is the standard paradigm. Everything is new again. Always. Never been tried, but tried-and-tested. Nobody could have ever expected this to happen but we've always known about it. We know everything there is to know about this but don't ask questions because nobody knows.

    And that's all putting aside just how stunningly stupid the whole premise is. Seriously there are actual cults out there that are less delusional than this.
     
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  8. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    What is maladaptive? What's maladaptive for one individual might be perfectly appropriate for another.

    What is perfectionism? Again what's perfectionism for one is appropriate behaviour for another.

    Just another way to patient blame & use it to justify your own existence. What makes this individual an appropriate arbiter of what's appropriate or not, other than their own ego of course.

    Subjective nonsense.
     
  9. ladycatlover

    ladycatlover Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh God, yet another rubbish psych paper from Liverpool! :oops:

    I didn't have any problems from any of my lecturers at Liverpool John Moore's Uni, why should Liverpool Uni be so different? Is it because it's one of the Russell Group?
     
  10. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I thought that but didn't want to say it. There is a tradition to maintain.
     
  11. MEMarge

    MEMarge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Both paediatric and adult "CFS Clinics at Liverpool" are regularly reported to be dreadful. Both their lead clinicians Dr Theo Anbu and Dr Michael Beadsworth are on the NICE GDL team atm.

    The name Peter Fisher sounds familiar. Did another PhD student of his recently produce another pointless paper on CFS.
     
  12. shak8

    shak8 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Wow, a "systematic literature search" using those key words that yields a whopping 7 studies.

    I could plug in such key words as artichoke, depression, and vocal chord trauma, and pull up some studies.

    I find the promotion of this old trope of purported causation to be part of a maladapted career choice.

    The paper is all over the place, from causation to trying to define adaptive perfectionism (which they failed to do). I won't bother with a close reading when I have to read every citation to see its relevance to an irrelevant and dated paper.

    Maladapted perfectionism is such a useless term. More important would be looking at the losses entailed with the illness. Coping with getting through the day. Lack of understanding by family and society and healthcare, economic deprivation, the lack of help, and other issues that plague PwME.

    They could look at CNS abnormalities for any increases in anxiety and depression. They could try to replicate other studies on the associations they take for granted.

    But no, this is psychosomatic 'medicine.' So irrelevant. Another example of a belief system that precludes original thought.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
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  13. Michiel Tack

    Michiel Tack Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Four of the seven studies were done by the same research team in Belgium.
    So it could be that maladaptive perfectionism was singled out post-hoc: researchers tested for perfectionism and when it doesn't show the results anticipated, they look for subscales that are more 'interesting'.
    So even If there is a consistent relationship between depression and the subscale maladaptive perfectionism, we don't really know what it means. It could be that both correlate with other things. One study, for example, found maladaptive perfectionism was no longer a significant statistical predictor of depression severity, when controlling for self-esteem.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
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  14. cfsandmore

    cfsandmore Established Member (Voting Rights)

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  15. Perrier

    Perrier Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Off topic but: I looked into what was happening with folks struck by MS. Their lot is not really cheerier. Here is a simple read which is a good summary: https://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/portable-history-ms/

    And then there is this one: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7373820/ and then this short blurb: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/373333

    You know, I am not ill with ME but watching a daughter's life destroyed, and watching so much suffering, no wonder there is anxiety and depression--but these are reactive. And 'perfectionism' can also be reactive, to a body over which one has no control, to a life robbed of normal rhythms. I think I have to stop reading this stuff because it's so primitive.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
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  16. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Is there another simple explanation. People with an obsessive craving to always achieve well beyond their realistic capabilities, are more likely to do exactly that when recovering from a debilitating illness - which is the very thing they should not be doing. It wouldn't mean that pwME or long covid are inevitably that kind of person, far from it, but it would tend to show people with such tendencies more strongly represented. Folk with such a tendency would be harder to treat, and to convince they should back off from exertion, rather than obsessively insist on pushing through.

    ETA: And if you were to look at the opposite extreme, the lifelong couch potatoes might be much less likely to succumb.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
  17. ladycatlover

    ladycatlover Moderator Staff Member

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    So this one looks like a re-write for publication of the first half of her thesis? I haven't got time to read tonight. (Come to that I don't think I'll bother as it's kind of like word salad, it appears to be in English, but doesn't make sense) It seemed to be what the BPS lot did a lot of - write up the same stuff a load of times and get in different journals.
     
  18. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Ah, Psychology, dear Psychology - so mercifully free of the ravages of perfectionism.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2020
  19. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    It's possible Barry, although we have no evidence that being a couch potato is protective against ME/CFS and pushing on with exercise while in the acute stage of being ill is a risk factor. Given that there is no evidence, I don't think we have to go with that idea.

    It's more likely that people who really care about performing to a high level are the ones who work hard to get a diagnosis. They are the ones lining up to be in research trials. They are the ones who doctors remember, either because of the bright shining careers lost, or the fact that they are very annoying as they try to make their doctors fix them. On the other hand, the ME/CFS couch potatoes with little ambition might not even get diagnosed with ME/CFS. Instead, they might just be regarded as lazy by their family and themselves, or they might get a mis-diagnosis of depression and sit watching reality television all day. They almost certainly won't be jumping through hoops to get on a research trial.

    And, we don't even need to resort to those ideas to try to explain why there might be an association between ME/CFS and perfectionism and depression. Because the data is all over the place. There's no good evidence that people with ME/CFS are more depressed than people with other chronic illnesses, certainly once you take into account differences in family and financial support. There's no good evidence that people with ME/CFS are more perfectionist than people in general. I think even the BPS literature is now begrudgingly acknowledging this, which is why they try to find subsets, as they have done here.

    If you poke into the questionnaires designed to measure perfectionism and depression, they are a mess of confounding. As this review acknowledges, the studies are just terribly flawed: 'Methodological limitations included sample size justification and selection, psychometric measures, and control of potential confounders.'

    There's really nothing here but a smoke screen - wave words including depression and perfectionism vaguely around in the abstract to help provide justification for the BPS industry (including the part that churns out rubbish studies) to keep fiddling around in ME/CFS.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2020
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  20. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Another version of this might be that of the "driven" person, or just a person who happens to have a demanding job, who gets insufficient sleep, eats on the run, has no time to relax - who then gets hit by some sort of infection. The resulting illness may be more severe do to his depleted condition, and this increased severity may have something to do with the triggering of ME.

    We do know from the Dubbo study that the greater apparent severity of an infection is correlated with an increased likelihood of the onset of ME. This seems somewhat at odds with the development of long-Covid, where the severity of the infection doesn't seem to predict persistence symptoms of the development of new symptoms.

    The type of person @Barry mentions above - one who returns to their pursuits too quickly following illness - could well be the same type of person who sets themselves up for illness in the first place by not looking after themselves in a high pressure environment.

    This need not be due to perfectionism. It may just be due to trying to maintain a job in a highly competitive workplace.
     
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