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Personality and Perfectionism in CFS, 2008, Chalder & Deary - not recommended!

Discussion in 'PsychoSocial ME/CFS News' started by MEMarge, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. MEMarge

    MEMarge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  2. Daisybell

    Daisybell Moderator Staff Member

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    Just to note - this dates from 2008...
     
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  3. Hip

    Hip Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Enteroviruses, one of the main viruses linked to ME/CFS, have recently been associated with tic disorders, and tic disorders themselves often come with comorbid obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or ADHD symptoms.

    Since perfectionism can be considered on the spectrum of OCD, this opens to the possibility that the enterovirus infections found in ME/CFS, as well as causing all the regular ME/CFS symptoms, are also triggering some perfectionist traits.

    Such a viral explanation contrasts sharply to the silly ideas that have been proposed by psychologists that perfectionist traits somehow prevent ME/CFS patients from recovering.
     
  4. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I find it hard to believe that enterovirus would cause perfectionism. When you have that trait, you have it from childhood, it doesn’t suddenly appear out of nowhere, at 30, 40 or 50 years old.

    I fond that odd. OCD, yeah, maybe. This one appears later in life usually.

    Unless they’re saying ME would enhance traits that are already present ? Even them kind of hard to prove. Not the kind of thing I would say in a casual conversation, let’s say.

    My theory is more that perfectionists always do more, they impose more on themselves are are more stressed, and with time passing, their immunity system becomes more and more compromised and inefficient. And then comes a time when exposed to viruses, they just can’t fight anymore, they’ve been exposed to too much stress for too long and their immune system is down.
     
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  5. Hip

    Hip Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The study I linked to found enterovirus infection was linked to tic disorders; so there is no proven direct link between enterovirus and OCD / perfectionism. I am just speculating that there might be a link.

    There is a link between OCD and Streptococcus infection in children.
     
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  6. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Convenience samples (strong selection biases) and equivocal results from similar studies. Hopefully no one will form any conclusions based on this...
     
  7. Lisa108

    Lisa108 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    "The CFS group was significantly more fatigued, anxious and depressed than healthy controls." [italics mine]
    Surprised, anyone? :banghead:


    "Healthy and unhealthy perfectionism were positively correlated in the CFS group, but not in the control group."
    Maybe this is because the CFS group consisted of people who wanted to achieve something through participating? Maybe any group with an interest in an outcome would score higher on perfectionism?


    "A ‘healthy trait’, such as healthy perfectionism, when coupled with evaluative concerns is not necessarily healthy in a fatigued population."
    'Healthy perfectionism' cannot be coupled with evaluative concerns because then it would be 'unhealthy perfectionism' (in any group, ill or not).

    I wonder if 'perfectionism' (the pleasure to strive for excellence) is bad in every disease because you can just not meet expectations (own or other's )...

    I wonder, too, if those questionnaires take into account that patients with CFS may have negative expectations as they experience failing (due to illness) more often?



    To sum it up: Study says, ill people are more ill than healthy people, still they want to achieve their goals which is hard because they are ill.

    The whole idea of attaching personality traits to physical diseases is IMO like generating a horoscope. Sometimes it fits, more often it doesn't.
     
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  8. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  9. Lisa108

    Lisa108 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  10. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  11. Arnie Pye

    Arnie Pye Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @arewenearlythereyet

    I understand the picture and the point you are making, but I really, really, really wish you'd shrink it a bit. I find it painful to look at. :wtf: :yuck:
     
  12. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I would think if there is any correlation between personality type and propensity to (worsening?) ME, it could be people who are strongly driven to "push through" illnesses, especially if not understanding, or are misled about, the dangers of doing so.
     
  13. Lisa108

    Lisa108 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I just accessed the whole study. Just found more tripe, although reading only superficially...

    I learned a new word, though: gregariousness. Sounds cool! CFS patients failed on that, too...

    Now, wait! There ARE true gems in here:
    "It is unsurprising that someone with fatigue would be both less gregarious and less active than someone less fatigued.
    These were the only significant extraversion factors, so perhaps we should look with more caution at studies which implicate introversion in CFS susceptibility as this personality difference, on closer inspection, could equally likely be an illness artefact.

    The neuroticism finding is more robust across most of its sub-dimensions and less easily dismissed as an illness artefact. However it could still be argued that the higher anxiety, depression, hostility and self-consciousness were the consequence rather than the cause of fatigue."

    So the authors are suggesting that their findings could be illness artefacts and consequences rather than the cause...
    We should award them a trophy for common sense... :emoji_trophy:
     
  14. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Retrospective studies like this can only ever be considered suggestive, rather than conclusive evidence suggesting some sort of causation (which requires prospective population studies).

    Even Simon Wessely says that retrospective studies on things like this are junk.
     
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  15. Woolie

    Woolie Committee member

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    I think there is probably selection bias too, in the sense that if takes a lot of hard work to even get an ME/CFS diagnosis (took me three years, and I was very severely ill). Those with less persistence might fall out of the picture because they just gave up with doctors.
     
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  16. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The thing I don’t get about defining predisposition by personality type is the fact that personalities are not set in stone. I am borderline introvert (on that Myers Briggs rubbish thingy) and switch between personality types mainly depending upon how I like my job etc.

    What possible use is this?...are they planning to send out a leaflet to all people who may display perfectionist tendencies at some point in their life warning them that they may get ME?

    Once again it seems like a piece of research that was never designed to go anywhere or do anything....just notch up another BS paper to justify the authors’ existence.
     
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  17. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    All of this.

    I don’t even get why personality in illness studies get funded. How does that even get a reasonable score in funding committee? Does the committee lack sense?!
     
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  18. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    Taking into account that this was published 10 years ago, so the funding and approval probably happened 15 years ago, I guess it's not surprising that it got funded. The scandal would be if such studies were still funded, quoted or carried out now - which they probably are.

    It does remind us that there are a huge number of these junk BPS studies in the journals that can be found, used and quoted and really should be retracted.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
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  19. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm pretty sure that the subtext of searching for "perfectionism" in ME/CFS is really based on the idea that patients are regarding minor limitations in their physical function as "imperfections" that are dwelt on too much - thus preventing the patient from "adapting" to them, rehabilitating and moving on. It would be along the lines of a patient who is only 5% impaired, but who is, by waiting until they feel 100%, effectively limiting themselves to functioning at a 50% level of impairment (for example). It's really close to, if not the same as, the idea behind the deconditioning model, only now with an origin in a personality trait.

    However, that is a dangerous assumption - and not just for the patient. Imagine telling someone who suffers from dizziness/vision problems that they need to resume their normal activities so that they can see that they're not as limited as they think they are.

    That's fine, as long as you're not around when they resumes their normal activities... of driving on the same freeway that you take.
     
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  20. Lidia

    Lidia Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    I hear Virgos tend to be perfectionists. Perhaps more research is needed?
     
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