Some, but by no means all, psychiatrists think they know what M.E. is.  “All in the head” though they mean Mind;  “Hysterical Conversion Syndrome ” where the womb wanders around the body in self-induced punishment for all those presumed guilt feelings you didn’t know you had; “Atypical depression”  depression that doesn’t fit the definition of Depression…instead of feeling  listless, apathetic &/or suicidal, your body fatigues easily & you feel aches & pains and it’s being stuck in bed instead of outside enjoying the lovely weather that gets you down; and half a hundred other neuroses.  Or they say it doesn’t actually exists and call it Chronic Fatigue Syndromes, which they remind us also doesn’t exist.  Not outside of the patient’s mind anyhow.

There’s  a lot of money to be made looking down your nose at poor unfortunate physically ill people and telling them to change their thinking…then blaming them for not trying hard enough when it doesn’t cure them, or stubbornly refusing to listen to the all-seeing all-knowing god who has only their best interests at heart (at a price, of course).  So much money, in fact, many psychiatrists have become millionaires, basking in the media limelight,  as they propound inappropriate (some dangerous) treatments and prescribe a vast array of mind altering drugs, and advise governments on how to save money by spending it on further mistreatment of their victims.

But even within the “profession” there are quite a few psychiatrists who don’t subscribe to the neurotic mis-diagnosis.  They KNOW what M.E. is…or rather, what it isn’t.  It isn’t a psychiatric illness, isn’t a form of depression or hysteria or any other neurotic mental condition.  This mob may never get to be millionaires but they do have the respect of their patients.  Even if they mean CFS when they say M.E. and often don’t undersand the difference.


Between shrinks and between shrinks and real doctors there is a lot of confusion about the disease, and all sorts of rubbish emanates from both.

The quickest way to tell if your doctor or shrink hasn’t got a clue?  They will hand you a prescription for anti-depressants.  This won’t cure your problem but it will make the “expert” feel better….and contribute to his/her wealth fund.


About M.E. In The 21st Century

At time of writing, I live in Oz, am a 61 y o grandmother, have had M.E. for about 33 years along with Fibromyalgia and Bilateral Tenosynovitis, among other health problems. The blog isn't really about me. Sure some of it will be, but mostly it's about M.E. and how it affects people who have it, and the ways M.E. patients are treated (or not treated) by the medical profession, allied health industry, disability groups, and their families & friends. There will be other subjects commented upon too. I really cannot, refuse to, concentrate on just one area of interest to the exclusion of everything else. I intend to update this info later.

4 responses »

  1. Hi there MEinthe21stCentury.

    Re: the anti-depressants.

    Ask your doctor what they are saying the anti-depressants are for. If they are offering them for M.E. they mightn’t have a clue about this M.E. thing that we both seem to have.

    However, they may be treating a ‘secondary’ ailment – depression. After having a chronic illness for a couple of years or so: having bouts of depression is very understandable.

    Keep on with the posts.


  2. You make a good point, illthink.
    Anti-depressants can (though not always) be effective in stabilising Clinical Depression. Particularly if prescribed in conjunction with other treatments…like counselling, vitamin suplements, anti-inflammatory.). This is more about adjusting serotonin levels in the brain…getting the chemical balance right…this is overshadowed by it’s own controversy, espcially when the anti-depressants are used as the ONLY treatment. Some schools of thought swear by them, others raise valid doubts over their effectiveness and side-effects, recently some groups of immunologists have found Clinical Depression is linked to imflammation and are saying anti-inflammatories work much better…even curing the Depression..which anti-D’s don’t do.
    Reactive Depression is a different story and this is what most people with debilitating illnesses tend to suffer from…ie: it’s a beautiful day and everyone else is out there enjoying it and you’re stuck in bed miserable hurting alone. Of course you’re going to feel down. Anti-depressants aren’t going to cure this problem either…only flatten your mood so you don’t feel quite so unhappy… they may well help for a while but unless there also decent support and some counselling then sooner or later the tablets are not going to much help. In fact, because they’ve flattened your emotions (neither joy nor despair) it’s like a dam wall holding back too much water with no release to ease the pressure and the whole things bursts wide open. It might take weeks, months or years but sooner or later the explosion will come.
    So yeah, they have their uses, but also their dangers.


  3. I came across some stuff about anti-depressants and the brain’s chemical imbalance they are claimed to sort out.
    Apparantly, psychiatrists use this description as a metaphor … they don’t really know what causes depressive illnesses…there is no evidence at all of any chemical imbalance. It cannot be measured or tested for; no way of proving if the metaphor has any basis in reality or not. Nor do they really know how anti-d’s work or even what effect, if any, they actually have on the illness…apart from the sedating effect and in this respect many kinds of sedative can do the same job treating depression.
    Originally anti-d’s were used to treat psychosis, esp in schizophrenics, and still are part of the regime for this.
    They don’t cure either schizophrenia nor depressive illness. And they certainly DO NOT cure, or treat physical illnesses like M.E. or Fibromyalgia nor any other physical illness.


    • But yeah, if you find anti-d’s helpful and consider the dangers outweigh the benefit you get from them that’s great. Go for it.

      You know what works for you far better than I could ever hope to know.

      It’s certainly not my place to judge you; nor to dictate what to do.

      There is a place for low-dose anti-d’s in treating the sleep problems many with ME experience. Sinequin (aka doxipine) at the lowest dose has helped a lot of people re-establish a regular sleep pattern. Too low a dose to have any effect on depression, but a good night’s sleep does wonders for reducing all sorts of ME symptoms. I found it still flattened my emotions & moods and I still struggled to get out of bed in the mornings yet, with good pain relief found it less difficult to get through the day…I was still raising my daughter then…but eventually it stopped working and increasing the dose didn’t help
      So I agree anti-d’s have a role to play…just not as a first (and often only) treatment as if ME were some sort of neurosis or depressive illness.


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