Thoughts on the Mental Health and ME misconception.
One of the most common misconceptions regarding ME is the idea that it is psychosomatic. This assumption stems in part from the fact that there is as yet no universally reliable diagnostic test, so it is often diagnosed on the basis of self-reported symptoms following the exclusion of other possible explanations. The problem is compounded by a large and very vocal group of psychiatrists who dismiss biomedical evidence of a physical cause of ME in favour of bio-psychosocial theories, claiming that ME is a form of personality disorder characterised by depression, exercise phobia and false illness beliefs.
Despite official recognition that ME is a neurological disease, the treatments sanctioned on the NHS (anti-depressants, graded exercise and behavioural therapies) have a primarily psychiatric focus, thereby reinforcing the perception that ME symptoms must be ‘all in the mind’. What little money the government spends on research into ME (far less than for…
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