Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Professor Simon Wessely: how to differentiate CFS/ME from psychiatric disorders ...

The University of Calgary will host 2 symposia on ME/CFS - 24th October and 7th November 2008

A Message from psychiatrist and ME expert Dr Stein, (you can download her ME Guidelines for psychiatrists here .....):

"Now is the time to ensure that the U of Calgary educational programs on CFS/ME are a huge success.

Attached are two posters:

The CME Flyer is appropriate for health care professionals of all types. Please make copies (black and white copies on brightly colored paper are best) and give them to each health care professional that you deal with eg. family doctor, specialist, massage therapist, physio, home care nurse, pharmacist.

The Public Lecture flyer is appropriate for all. Please make copies and ask permission to post them at places where affected people or family members may notice them eg. health food store, grocery store, library, pharmacy, health clinics, church, health club.

Imagine if your doctor attended the CME course and was able to make helpful suggestions about managing your health. Imagine if your friends and family attended the public lecture and got a better understanding of what you are going through.

With your help this can be possible ... and don't forget to register yourself!"

Dr Ellie Stein, psychiatrist

"After attending, participants will be able to:

* Use the Canadian Consensus Guidelines and check lists to accurately diagnose patients presenting with the signs & symptoms of CFS/ME

* Use the Guidelines’ history, physical examination and laboratory tests to exclude other diseases that can cause chronic fatigue, sleep disorders, pain and cognitive difficulties

* Assess occupational disability in CFS/ME

* Differentiate CFS/ME from psychiatric disorders"

Apart from Dr Stein, there will be other psychiatrists like professor Pierre Flor Henry who is a Clinical Professor and the Director of the Clinical Diagnostics
and Research Centre of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta but he is also the Co-Author of the Canadian Consensus Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of ME/CFS

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ean Procter and ME ...

Some say that Ean was thrown into the swimming pool to drown his disease or his false illness beliefs for that matter. But as he couldn’t move they had to jump into the water and rescue him.

Others say that he was just having Hydrotherapy and that Ean was at no danger whatsoever at any stage.

All we know is that 001/7, our master blaster of espionage with ME, has just mailed ME a picture of the new State of the Art Attack Hydrotherapy room at the Magic CBT Kingdom and as you can see, it is a very safe place indeed ……….

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The invisible illness

By: John H. Greensmith, ME Free For All.Org, Bristol, UK

ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is one of the illnesses included among those for consideration during Invisible Illness Week (September 8-14, 2008). An amazing 96 per cent of all illness is invisible and an equally incredible percentage of people with ME remain hidden, unaccounted for and unrepresented.

Some of the reasons for an illness being invisible are obvious. People, who are too ill to go out, or only on occasion when they feel a little better, remain behind closed doors and, ironically, may contribute to it by staying in to avoid disbelief, ridicule and prejudice from an ignorant population and, sometimes, doctors who prefer to say they must be malingering or attention seeking rather than admit they do not understand it.

No one knows, for sure, how many people have ME but it is likely that it is towards the lower end of the UK Department of Health's estimate of between two and four people in 1,000. The range is probably so large because it also includes all illnesses with chronic fatigue as a symptom. The resulting total not only "hides" the number of ME sufferers within CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)/ME patients but distorts any conclusions from experiments in which they are used.

So, where are they? It is so important to find these missing people for a number of reasons, not least to know that they are not alone. We can't know how many people are in any distinct group until we define its characteristics (blue eyes, Sagittarians, over six feet tall etc.) and exclude those which do not fit (all other colour eyes, zodiac signs, under six feet tall etc).

The bigger the sample of people having the most pure definition, the better picture of what we are dealing with will emerge and the more likely we are to find a common physical cause which should, in turn, suggest effective treatment towards cure.

In the meantime, people with ME need advice about the best treatments available for symptoms such as pain, or to aid sleep and they need support with practical matters, including benefits and the opportunity to meet other people in the same boat.

ME Free For All.Org is among those saying that we should make this Invisible Illness Week the one when we take ME off the list of invisible illnesses because it no longer remains behind closed doors.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Professor Simon Wessely and MOOD disorders in CFS ...

Psychiatrist Professor Simon Wessely advises the prescription of lithium for patients with ME/CFS:

“There is no doubt that at least half of CFS patients have a disorder of mood.
The management of affective disorders is an essential part of the treatment of CFS/ME.

Numerous trials attest to the efficacy of tricyclic antidepressants in the treatment of fatigue states. Patients who fail to respond should be treated along similar lines to those proposed for treatment-resistant depression.

Adding a second antidepressant agent, especially lithium, may be beneficial” (The chronic fatigue syndrome – myalgic encephalomyelitis or postviral fatigue. S Wessely PK Thomas. In: Recent Advances in Clinical Neurology (ed): Christopher Kennard. Churchill Livingstone 1990: pp 85-131).

Now what is lithium used for??? Exactly, Bipolar disorder and it is used to stabilise the mood swings.

But lets go back to the past when Bipolar disorder was still called manic-depressive illness.

And what does Wikipedia say about manic episodes:

“People commonly experience an increase in energy and a decreased need for sleep. A person's speech may be pressured, with thoughts experienced as racing.

Attention span is low and a person in a manic state may be easily distracted.

Judgment may become impaired; sufferers may go on spending sprees or engage in behavior that is quite abnormal for them.

They may indulge in substance abuse, particularly alcohol or other depressants, cocaine or other stimulants, or sleeping pills. Their behavior may become aggressive or intrusive.”

And yes I fully agree with the professor, this is exactly what we suffer from and what being bedridden with ME in particular is all about....

The more I learn about CBT-ism the less I need stand-up comedians. I won’t say more but yeah you wonder about medical training and so …

Or is all the psycho research on CFS and ME actually done on patients with a mental health disorder and "just" Chronic Fatigue ???

Would explain a lot don't you think ....


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