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Who is Simon Wessely?

Discussion in 'PsychoSocial ME/CFS News' started by Dudden, May 4, 2019.

  1. Dudden

    Dudden Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    This post and the following have been moved from this thread.

    Just read this from The Telegraph. Very cynical and depressing. Who is this "Simon Wessely" fellow? Seems to me like the usual discrediter you would find in major findings. And why does the article make the finding seem as it is a topic of controversy? Thoughts anyone?

    Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science...-syndrome-may-picking-symptoms-not-condition/)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2019
  2. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Where do you start? :laugh:
    Unless that was a sarcastic question, you have a lot of catching up to do.
    suggest you start here
    https://me-pedia.org/wiki/Simon_Wessely
    then maybe do a search here on his name.
     
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  3. Dudden

    Dudden Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Well thank you Saint. Since you are living in the UK, I would assume he is not your favourite person, is he (yet another sarcastic question)? My God seems to me that he is known here more than I thought. Who asked for his opinion on the subject anyway? Can any action be taken against this man?
     
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  4. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    He could be condemned to perpetual irrelevance by being made a peer- and being made to wander the corridors and dining facilities of the establishment.
     
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  5. ladycatlover

    ladycatlover Moderator Staff Member

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    While earning £305 a day for attendance and eating and drinking in subsidised restaurants. Grrr.
     
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  6. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In the late 80's he and a few others promoted the belief that CFS is a state of deconditioning and unhelpful illness beliefs. This had a catastrophic effect on patients. It also led to the development of CBT and GET. Nowadays Wessely likes to claim that he's retired from CFS research but he is a director at the Science Media Center that continues to defend these ideas, and also orchestrated a media campaign to smear patients critical of the PACE trial as violent militants.
     
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  7. Dudden

    Dudden Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    You live in the UK @ladycatlover, dont you? Are you familiar with any legal actions that can be taken against this man (perhaps petitions)?

    Hello there @strategist, pleased to meet you. Was this individual the one who invented, or rather, proposed CBT as a treatment in general or was he the one who proposed it to be useful in CFS in particular? What does he benefit from doing this?
     
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  8. EzzieD

    EzzieD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    He is not the inventor of CBT but was a junior psychiatrist in the late 1980s who invented an 'unhelpful illness beliefs' theory of ME/CFS as mentioned above by strategist, and decided that CBT would remove those unhelpful beliefs and thus effect a cure. His benefits were fame (he's very ambitious with a long history of pushing himself forward into the public eye as the 'expert' on ME/CFS and later on Gulf War Syndrome, with many radio and newspaper interviews on those topics), fortune and later a knighthood. A member here made an impressive compilation of quotes from his papers, with references, over the years, if you want a long and interesting read! https://www.s4me.info/threads/simon-wessely-research-related-quotes.1304/
     
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  9. ladycatlover

    ladycatlover Moderator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately Wessely is such an important establishment figure now, with a knighthood and probably soon to get ennobled (for his work on Gulf War Syndrome doubtless). Countess of Mar commented to me years ago that she expected he would get a Lordship rather than a knighthood. While initially she was wrong I'm sure the time for that is not far off now. :mad:
     
  10. Dudden

    Dudden Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes, I came around that thread earlier. Notoriety and fortune, I think that is the main incentive. He is old enough to retire soon though, (he is 64), which would hopefully cease his reign over CFS in the UK.
     
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  11. Dudden

    Dudden Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    His "work"? Pardon my lack of knowledge in that field but, I am not aware of any work he has done in Gulf War Syndrome. Why would he receive nobility for scientific research that, really, many others deserve more than him? This is rubbish.
     
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  12. ladycatlover

    ladycatlover Moderator Staff Member

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    He's good at advertising himself and appearing such a nice, jovial, caring man. :sick: :rofl:

    As to GWS here's a search on Google.
     
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  13. strategist

    strategist Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Check here
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2553945

    I think that initially the motivation behind the psychologization of ME and CFS was to make it easier to deny medical treatment and disability benefits to patients. This is why they insist that there is no organic abnormality and that the illness is reversible with patient effort. Several PACE authors and Wessely have ties to the health insurance industry or are involved in some way in disability benefits assessment.

    Nowadays there is also a CBT/GET industry which has expanded into several other conditions, which it sees as their turf.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  14. Dudden

    Dudden Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    This is utter nonsense. It is absurd to suggest that psychiatry has anything to do with these unexplained symptoms. He is indirectly suggesting, in a very tricky way, that CFS are deluded or even crazy. If this was to be true (that a mans psychology can "trick" them into thinking that they have some unknown disease and are therefore very tired, have post exertional malaise and brain fog after excercise) then more than 90% of the worlds population would have CFS and can, theoretically, snap out of it anytime they wish.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  15. large donner

    large donner Guest

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    Seeing as he had no interest in ever doing this anyway why would he care.
     
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  16. Dudden

    Dudden Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    You dont say. He cares to comment on recent researches, discredit them anyway he can yet offers no solution at all. Instead of coming up with problems, how about coming up with a solution (or at the very least, stay away from topics that dont concern you). And what does he know about biochemistry anyway? He is only a psychiatrist for God´s sake.
     
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  17. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It has to be said that he did come up with a "solution" in 1989, and pursued it for many years thereafter. Its just that it wasn't a solution, and none of us liked it.
     
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  18. Dudden

    Dudden Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Indeed he did and although I dont deny that none of us did like it, it is not an issue of our likings but rather an issue of realization. You see, since then, many studies and researchers proved that CFS is a biological issue yet he never really did retract his claims, nooo. He had to insist on CFS being a psychatric issue and for what? To keep his nobility titles and keep his status? Only look at the following quote and decide for yourself.
    As far as I know, I have never heard of disabilities "arise" from depression or any other psychological issue.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  19. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think it is important to accept that Simon Wessely has a point in cautioning overoptimism about new findings. Wessely did some competent biological research early on - he is not ignorant of immunology, genetics and such things. He found nothing and admitted it. And nothing since has really proved anything because we are still at the stage of having suggestive findings that tend not to get replicated.

    I don't think Wessely would deny we are dealing with a biological issue either - psychiatric illnesses are very biological. Very severe disabilities arise from depression - inability to talk, inability to eat, severe weight loss, and so on.

    Wessely's error has been to champion research that is methodologically inadequate and to give the impression he and his colleagues understand ME/CFS when nobody does.
     
  20. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think the best thing to do with the BPS cabal is to focus on the quality of their research rather than to try and challenge their motivations.

    Michael Sharpe clearly used Twitter to try and bait patients in order to feed his desired narrative. I just think it’s best to let them retire into obscurity rather than give them too much airtime.

    We now have far more interesting things to say...like encouraging and supporting the hunt for a new diagnostic marker and funding for more quality research.

    The more we discuss them the more we give them opportunities to misrepresent what we say.
     
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