From: MAR, Countess
Sent: 12 December 2012 10:36
To: 'Wessely, Simon'
Subject: My letter of 5 December 2012
Dear Professor Wessely
I am sure you will appreciate the importance of my letter of 5 December 2012. Please will you answer the central question: do you still believe that ME/CFS is “perpetuated predominantly by dysfunctional beliefs and coping behaviours”?
The rancour that persists seems to result from the incompatible and, seemingly, irreconcilable views about why patients with ME/CFS continue to experience exercise intolerance, fatigue, pain and other incapacitating symptoms for long periods following a viral infection or other environmental exposure.
The psychological model, which you first proposed, argues that these symptoms result predominantly from physical deconditioning secondary to fear of activity. Almost without exception, this model is not consistent with the experience of patients with a diagnosis of CFS/ME; nor is it consistent with the data from the FINE and PACE trials, as well as a significant bio-medical evidence base, which all suggest that the patients are correct.
It is my hope that we can find a way out of the current impasse; that we clarify where we agree and disagree, and that we find the means to advance the science of ME/CFS to the benefit of millions of patients worldwide who are now living their lives in the shadows of despair.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.