In een overheidspublikatie (de auteur liet me weten dat haar baas daar niet blij mee was ...)
bekritiseert Rhona Johnston, hoogleraar in de Psychologie van de Universiteit van Hull,
de psychologische aanpak (CBT/GET) en pleit zij voor biologische diagnose/behandeling.
In my local health authority area,
individuals with a long-term fatigue problem used to be sent to the immunology department
at the regional hospital for diagnosis and treatment,
but now they are referred to a psychiatrist.
If their condition is a physical illness,
they will not receive suitable treatment and so will not make a full recovery.
The psychiatric view of what they term chronic fatigue syndrome
(the term fatigue clearly trivialises the severity of this illness)
has gained considerable ground in the UK in recent years,
aided by the supposed lack of evidence of physical causes of the condition.
Thus CBT may, for a subset of individuals,
ameliorate some of the tiredness resulting from a concomitant depression,
while not addressing the underlying fatiguing disorder.
A mitochondrial problem?
A recent study has found that
70 out of 71 individuals suffering from chronic fatigue had abnormally low mitochondrial function.
Mitochondria are organelles within cells and are the main producers of cellular energy.
Mitochondria have to have an intact inner membrane to produce energy,
via a process called the electron transport chain.
There is evidence that a wide range of chemicals impair mitochondrial function,
including pesticides, herbicides, PCBs, solvents, toxic metals (such as dental amalgam), plastics, and fluoride.
At the moment, many individuals are offered expensive but harmless CBT.
This technique is now widely used for so many illnesses, including cancer, that it can even be purchased online.
They are also offered potentially damaging graded exercise regimes.
Exercise can be very beneficial, but not if misinformed practitioners believe
their patients to be depressed and persuade them to exercise beyond their reserves of cellular energy.