Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Cognitive behaviour therapy for adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome: randomised controlled trial

BMJ 2004; 330 doi: (Published 30 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;330:14

Rapid Response:

Have Psychologizers ever ONCE apologized?

Have psychologizers ever once apologized for the damage they have done? Did psychologizers ever say to an AIDS patient "I'm sorry I blamed your illness on you because of your lifestyle"? To a woman with PMS "I'm sorry I said you were a hysterical female"? Someone with ulcers from H - Pylori, "I'm sorry I kept telling you it was stress when it was really a bacterial infection"? Tuberculosis; "I'm sorry I told you that you brought this illness upon yourself by having a nervous disposition"? Thyroid; "I'm sorry that I said your weight problem was from a lack of discipline in your diet"? ADD/ADHD: "I'm sorry that I told you that this was from your bad choice of sugar laden foods"? Autism; "I'm sorry that I slapped your child and tried to shake him out of it"? SIDS/Cot Death; "I'm sorrry that I accused you of killing your own child"? Munchausen: "I'm sorry that I wrongly took your children away forever"?

What do psychologizers plan to say to CFS/MS sufferers when psychologizers finally realize that they were wrong again and that CFS/ME is exactly what sufferers say it is?

Is there any illness in history that didn't have psychologizers standing in the way of sick people seeking medical help by saying "They don't need that kind of help. They just need to change their attitude". When the etiology of any illness was finally found to be "Not Psychological", did psychologizers ever make the slightest attempt to undo the damage they created? Did psychologizers ever try to restore the credibility they stole from those they falsely told "It's All In Your Head"? Or did they scamper off to concentrate their "help" on the next "unexplained medical illness" they could find? How many more examples of this process do we need to go through before society prevents psychologizers from pronouncing their victims "Guilty! - until proven innocent of mental illness?

-Erik Johnson

Competing interests: None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 January 2005
Erik R Johnson
Incline Village NV 89450