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The Importance of Screening for Suicide Risk in Chronic Invisible Illness (2018)  Pederson

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS news' started by JohnTheJack, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. JohnTheJack

    JohnTheJack Moderator Staff Member

  2. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

    Hampshire, UK
    Full PDF available at the link in the OP.
    spinoza577, alktipping, Hutan and 4 others like this.
  3. OverTheHills

    OverTheHills Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    NZ to UK
    Just read the full paper it's very good.

    However it is a sad commentary on the general standard of academic writing in ME and related fields that a total absence of "wince-making phrases" and "errr not quite hit the mark there bits" is remarkable.

    The author is to be congratulated.
    Amw66, JaimeS, Hutan and 4 others like this.
  4. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

    It's an important topic and the author has done a pretty good job.

    But I felt that there were a few 'err, not quite hit the mark moments'.

    The biggest problem I think was making sweeping unqualified statements based on the findings from one or two studies, studies that are samples, possibly biased samples, of a particular population in a particular place with a particular culture and healthcare system. Here's an example:

    Then there is the equivocation about whether people are physically sick or suffering from psychogenic illnesses.
    Presenting with psychogenic symptoms or presenting with symptoms often interpreted as psychogenic?

    What does being highly educated have to do with having POTS? Is the data really strong enough on this point to include it, when its inclusion can suggest that these young women might have been ok if they hadn't been highly educated?

    The following statistic is appalling and certainly deserves discussion.
    However, by not giving us a context of the percentage of people without CFS/ME dying by suicide in the populations evaluated in the quoted studies, we don't have evidence for the later statement that people with chronic invisible illnesses are at a higher risk of suicide than the general population.

    There was a lot to like. The author seems to understand that the attitude of health professionals can make difficult situations much much harder to deal with. I liked the understanding that pain is a major factor in creating the hopelessness that can lead to suicidal thoughts. The care that the author proposes (where medical professionals validate the patient's experience and proactively identify and treat pain, sleep problems and secondary psychological issues) is worlds away from what is delivered to most people with chronic invisible illnesses. It's good to state what should be. I hope the author will continue to try to inform health care professionals.

    Given that 'thwarted belongingness' and 'loneliness' are identified as significant factors leading to suicide, the author could have mentioned the usefulness of putting people in touch with patient support groups including forums like ours. This paper and a thankfully brief episode of intense physical pain has reminded me how hard things are for so many people in our community and what a difference even small acts of kindness can make.


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