Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Max Pemberton to champion our cause?

Max Pemberton has written a second article about M.E.. 


From some of the comments readers have left, I think I am rather glad that I missed his original article. He describes how he received torrents of hate mail following his original article. But since he starts this article by making the extremely uneducated statement that because XMRV and pMLV have been ruled out as causing M.E. that there is no biological agent, he is obviously inviting such hate mail again.

Funnily, reading the comments readers have left, he hasn't actually received the hate mail that he seems to be seeking. I've not seen one single comment supporting either him or his article, no M.E. haters, just a lot of people explaining to him how uneducated he is and providing some fabulous information on M.E.. The comments are not moderated; my own comment appeared on the site the second I posted it, so it isn't as if any M.E. hate is being hidden. I'm quite impressed by this.

He is a supporter of the 'M.E. is psychological' argument. His evidence seems to be the hate mail both he and Dr Wessely received. It seems to be a pattern of such thinkers that they completely ignore all the studies showing physiological evidence that M.E. is a neurological condition.

He is right in that people with M.E. are scared of M.E. being pegged as a psychological illness. He seems to think that this is because of the stigmatism psychological illnesses have though, when in fact it is because we can feel that it is physical. This just goes to show his own thinking on psychological illnesses, and that he's arrogant enough to presume that over 250,000 people think the same way that he does. Personally, I have absolutely no problem with admitting I have psychological problems. I've had severe depression and a breakdown in the past, am coming out of a depression again now. I have anxiety and PTSD, elements of OCD. It's no problem for me to say this. I do have a problem saying that M.E. is psychological though. I do not believe it is. I can feel the difference.

Doctor Shephard is the perfect example of a convert. He was a believer that M.E. was psychological, until he became ill with it. He has described the transformation to his life and his thinking in various places online.

Max does actually point out further into his article that the hate mail he received was perpetrated by only about 200 people, many of whom didn't even seem to be in the UK. I believe he placed this far into the article on purpose, as people who just read the first couple of paragraphs will miss it; their overall impression will be that all biological agents have been eliminated as possible causes of M.E.. He doesn't explain that there are over 250,000 M.E. sufferers, 200 is a minuscule portion of these. He's used the behaviour of these 200 people as evidence that we are all mentally ill. This is not particularly rational behaviour in itself.

I find it amusing that at the end of the article he says he "has a deep sympathy for sufferers of M.E.", that he'd "happily champion their cause" but that because of his experience he doesn't wish to be involved. (So, no, he wouldn't happily champion the cause). After writing one hateful article on M.E., and this one smiting many M.E. sufferers, it seems strangely ironic that he would make this hollow offer. It would be amusing for someone of his vein of thinking to champion the cause of M.E. though. Assuming such a role would mean working with M.E. sufferers, meeting with people regularly, seeing what we live with and go through on a daily basis. I don't think it would be long before he changed his mind about it being psychological.

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