Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by Sly Saint, Jan 12, 2020.
I haven't listened either but the bare assertion that it's impossible to experience true happiness unless you've also experienced pain and sadness would suggest that Professor Trudie Chalder is either a complete f*wit, or that she had a very unhappy childhood and should probably seek urgent CBT.
What complete and utter 'rubbish'.
It's more of the simplistic, and incorrect, no light without darkness rubbish.
Light bulbs still work when it's not dark.
I could agree that a person might not fully appreciate happiness if they've never experienced sadness, but to suggest you cannot experience happiness is a very different statement, and seems a bit ... disconnected.
Some parts of that are definitely true.
Trying too hard to be happy is unlikely to make you happy. I know if I go to do something thinking "I want to enjoy this" then I am much less likely to actually enjoy it because I'm too hung up on wanting to enjoy it.
And she's quite right to say that telling someone "be more positive" is rarely effective.
The "it's impossible to experience true happiness unless we've also experienced pain and sadness" is weird, but bear in mind that that's the writer saying what he/she personally took away from what TC said, and is not necessarily what TC actually said.
Perhaps she watched inside out over christmas?
How does one gain such a priori knowledge of "happiness"? Is this merely a part of her definition of the term and an indication of the way in which she uses it. If happiness is merely a relative abstract concept, why could it not be compared to some less happy state, rather than sadness?
I've listened to it now and overall it sounds like ACT (Acceptance and Commitment therapy); at the end she briefly mentions how CBT is of use but says it's an umbrella term, and only one way to address problems, then the interview ends.
To someone outiside the ME community I'm sure it all sounds quite reasonable and wise.
"Rather than targeting emotions, we should try to live our lives putting the things that matter first, she said."
Bit rich considering; 'fear, avoidance, unhelpful beliefs, perfectionism' are her targets for CFS treatment.
Whose targetting emotions there eh?
As for 'putting the things that matter first', it's clearly not the wellbeing of her patients.
Personally, my reading between the lines take away is: patients are trying too hard to find happiness by grouping together and vilifying us BPS true believers. They should just chill and accept their lot already and allow us to help in our own little way.
But of course this is just my surmise. I have no evidence of this but I'll think of it as evidentiary none the less.
100% this is verbatim in at least 1K fortune cookies right this moment.
At least we now know her motivation for inflicting so much unhappiness on people with ME. It is pure altruism, so we can be better placed to ultimately ‘experience true happiness’, if it doesn’t kill us first.
It all rather sounds like a very simplistic expression of the Buddhist ‘Four Noble Truths’; suffering, cause of suffering, end of suffering and the noble path to lead from suffering. Without intending to devalue the possible insights arising from understanding the unsatisfactory nature of our mundane reality, it is hardly consistent with objective academic psychology to postulate the existence of some form of transcendence, without any adequate way of empirically defining and measuring it.
Any baby has experienced pain and sadness - colic, momentary sadness about not having a parent close - that's why they cry. It's not as if people manage to make their way to adulthood without pain and sadness - these are things that are experienced regularly by everyone. So, even if it's true that you need to experience pain and sadness to experience happiness, so what? That belief suggests that we are all very well qualified to experience true happiness.
Or is she suggesting that we need regular inoculations of pain and sadness, lest we forget? Or that the more pain and sadness we experience, the more true happiness we will feel? Or that we should be grateful to those who inflict pain and sadness on us, because they are helping us experience true happiness later?
The irony is of course that by her very own hands she wants people with ME to exclusively experience pain and suffering.
In large part because she is completely clueless about the actual experience of ME, or frankly even of illness in general.
This is definitely a person that should speak about the value of experiencing something to understand it. Totally.
This doesn't have to do with ME so I don't know why everyone is getting angry at this (yeah I know who she is). I think the point she's making is in regards to the people that imagine they can be happy non stop or think that experiencing any sadness is a bad thing, neither of are realistic, and hence seems like a pretty reasonable point.
After years of listening to BPS cabal in the media I'm always listening for the subtext. Wait for it . . .
at some point it will become clear why TC is choosing to say this now. OR not. Maybe it's overthinking it.
In my estimation there's always more to it than the obvious.
I hadn't realised that CGTN is China Global Television Network.
Difficult to decide whether it produces propaganda, or attempts to discredit UK academic institutions.
Totally agree. We are not helping our cause by jumping on everything that people like TC say when they are not even talking about ME or MUS. It makes us look like the anti-psychology people that they claim we are. But psychology is all well and good when it is being used in the right context.
While I agree this doesn't have anything to do with ME per se, I think it says much about the mindset of some mental health professionals. Particularly those who are part of the current BPS school of thought i.e. you can selectively ignore the bio bit or equate correlation with causation.
In my, admittedly limited, experience of mental health professionals, they seem to believe their professional role gives them great insight into human nature and a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. in this case fortune cookie philosophy (good description @rvallee!) is cast to us as pearls are cast before swine.
I contend that these same mental health professionals, by virtue of their jobs, have a very skewed outlook on what it means to be human and live alongside our fellow man.
Firstly, there is a strong them and us mentality between patient and professional, more importantly, it is a very unequal relationship with all of the power being in the hands of the professional.
Secondly, the people they tend to see are more likely to be suffering ill mental health, or are in crisis. So while they may be able to help the patient, you can't extrapolate insights into humans as a whole from a subset, who by definition, are not representative.
It's a bit like a wealthy king, or aristocrat, proselytizing on how the homeless and impoverished should look at life.
This over-simplistic, trite philosophy and the lack of self awareness in those spouting it is at the root of 30+ years of our suffering as a patient group. With staggering arrogance and overconfidence in their insight into human behaviour they had an idea that some people just didn't understand that recovering from a fleeting illness might involve a bit of reconditioning and discomfort and that those who didn't recover were likely to be weak, cosseted creatures.
Since then they have been hell bent on trying to prove that theory, despite all evidence to the contrary. They clearly are not capable of objective observation of their own patients' behaviour and suffering, let alone spouting about humanity overall.
While I agree with @Sarah94, the field of psychology itself can do good and we are lucky to know some very good ones on S4ME. However, where mental health professionals forget they are mere mortals like the rest of us and assume a lofty, better than thou stance we get decades of unnecessary suffering for the vulnerable with a fortune cookie on the side.
Edited - to put some text breaks in. Sorry it's a whopper of a post. *climbs off soapbox*
Good psychology is useful. There's just a whole lot of bad psychology out there, most of it in fact. I'm just as biased against bad physics, it's just that there is way less of it because it can't make it through the rigorous process psychology is exempted from as a borderline science. Psychology, and especially clinical psychology, has become more spiritual than scientific, it uses the tools and language of science but only to give it style, not to inform substance.
I was being cheeky but I have no doubt there truly are many fortune cookies with nearly that exact quote out there. It's not profound or meaningful, it's Deepak Chopra level of false profundity. One common trait among the school of thought behind the BPS model is people who clearly think too much of their own opinion despite being as banal and shallow as it gets.
There was a paper recently that introduces the concept of interoceptive affordances. As a generic concept, I am fascinated by affordances, but applying it in the context it was used to explain unexplained illness is just mediocre. This isn't being anti-psychology, it's entirely being against bad science and Chalder herself is a prolific purveyor of pseudoscientific tripe, mistaking hollowness for depth. Also I generally don't like bullies, much less of people who bully sick people for self-interest. Doesn't help.
Shes just gas lighting you be careful.
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