Undermining the Suffering of the Chronically Ill Through Psychiatry

Since being developed in the 1800’s, psychiatry has been used as the “branch of medicine aimed to focus on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders” (What Is Psychiatry, n.d.). More specifically, a psychiatrist is “a medical doctor (an M.D. or D.O.) who specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders” (What Is Psychiatry, n.d.). There are many steps one must take, if they wish to become a registered psychiatrist.

To become a psychiatrist, “a person must complete medical school and take a written examination for a state license to practice medicine, and then complete four years of psychiatry residency” (What Is Psychiatry, n.d.). That said, why do so many medical professionals (who are not qualified), constantly label people who have chronic illness with psychiatric conditions?

There are two answers to this question.  Firstly, when current Westernized serological testing fails to identify any mainstream findings, they are told that it must be in the victim’s head. Second, the “professionals” who publish data on chronic illness hold patents as well as several other conflicts of interest that benefit those who are conducting the studies.

For years, health care professionals who hold government status have been committing research fraud by manipulating scientific studies on disease and then implementing fake science into university curriculums. When it comes to people with chronic conditions like Chronic Lyme Disease (CLD), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and Gulf War Illness (GWI) who’s diagnosis challenge these fraudulent studies; government officials from agencies like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) go outside their field of expertise and use psychiatric diagnosis’s to undermine how sick these patients really are.

What many people don’t know is that by using psychiatry to belittle the severity of chronically ill sick patients, the CDC is actually committing a crime that falls under the deprivation of rights under the color of law.

Since the crimes perpetuated by the CDC were done on U.S soil, the abuse and misuse of psychiatry falls under Section, 242 under “color of law” in the United States criminal code (Color of Law, n.d). In brief, acts under the Color of Law (n.d.) include:

acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. (p.1). Like using psychiatric diagnosis under the guise of a medical professional.

There are many types of government officials that fall within the meaning of this statute. Such as, prison guards, police officers, as well as other law enforcement officials, such as judges, public officials, and in the case of this blog series, providers in public health facilities  (Color of Law, n.d.). Therefore, the key purpose of this paper is to extrapolate on how the CDC has spent more than two decades both overtly and covertly using psychiatry to cover up real mechanisms that link CLD, ME, CFS, and GWI: Neuro-immune disorders

Overt abuse 

Chronic Lyme Disease

When it comes to CLD victims, psychiatry has been used as weapon since the early 1990’s. What these victims experience is barbaric and inhumane. Too make matters worse, the ones who are sickest and immunosuppressed are unable to test positive due to the current fraudulent testing that surrounds Lyme Disease. Even those who do test positive, get told that they are cured after thirty days antibiotics.

For those who are seronegative and/or have been treated with thirty days antibiotics, the nightmare begins. If the tick bite victim shows symptoms after 30 days antibiotics, they are often diagnosed as being psychosomatic (Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome)  or some other form of mental illness by practitioners whom many have not specialized in psychiatry.

Consequently, these CLD victims then get forced on psychotropic medications that cause further damage to their immune systems. What is really a neurological disease that affects the immune system, is dismissed by non-qualified professionals as mental illness. In the next section, we will explore how CLD victims have long been exposed to overt psychiatric abuse on behalf of people who are supposed to be leaders in the medical field.

Since officers of the CDC publish misleading and false information about Lyme Disease to Universities all over the world, many M.D’s take this information and further use psychiatry to abuse chronic disease patients.

For instance, in his blog, Peter A. Lipson, MD, a practicing internist and teaching physician in Southeast Michigan wrote a blog about CLD and how “there really isn’t any such thing” (Lipson, 2008, p. 3). Lipson (2008) concluded that sick people and the only doctors helping them are quacks who “have encouraged their pigeons to form advocacy groups–cults, really–that reinforce their false beliefs, encourage a sense of persecution, and continue to feed the coffers of crooked and misguided practitioners” (p.5) Sadly, this is what many “professionals” are taught through the misinformation that the CDC provides nationally to universities about CLD.

Once the trials of the LYMErix vaccine were underway in the 90’s, members of the CDC who hold patents on the vaccine and testing kits began to use psychiatry to overtly slander and dehumanize CLD victims.

One of the “professionals”  who overtly use psychiatry to abuse CLD victims is  Dr. Edward McSweegan, a microbiologist with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) in the United States. Although they have been removed from the internet, Way Back Machine, an internet archive website, was able to track one of McSweegan’s blog sites where he overtly used derogatory language to belittle someone who is trying to rid themselves of this wretched disease.

On October 25, 2015,  McSweegan (2015) took a picture of someone’s medication and said “Below is a comment and photo from some poor crazy person who thinks she has Lyme disease” (p.4). Furthermore, Mcsweegan went on to say that “she has something—like drug toxicity and serious emotional problems—but it has nothing to do with a tick bite. McSweegan went on to say Christ, I feel ill just looking at her drug collection” (McSweegan, 2015, p.4). Not only is McSweegan using psychiatry as a weapon, he is also a so called professional that is contributing to the mental health stigma that affects millions all around the world today.

On his website Quackwatch, McSweegan attacks activists who are sick and trying to help sick children, women and men who are suffering with the debilitating symptoms of CLD. McSweegan accuses activists who fight for answers for their lingering symptoms claiming “These groups and their ardent followers have used the Internet and other media to barrage politicians and the general public with misinformation, dire personal stories, rumors, and exaggerated claims about thousands of people being maimed, killed and bankrupted each year by Lyme disease” (Lyme Disease: Questionable Diagnosis, 2017). Unfortunately, McSweegan is not the only ‘professional’ that has overtly use psychiatry to undermine the suffering of CLD sufferers.

Many other doctors without psychiatric training (who hold patents and profit from Lyme Disease vaccines and testing kits) have even gone so far to stigmatize women using psychiatric labels for their physical diseases to avoid being charged for their crimes against humanity.

For instance, in the Journal of Women’s Health, Eugene Shapiro and Gary Wormser  published a study titled Implications of Gender in Chronic Lyme Disease whereby they contended that CFS, CLD and depression in females, in particular, may really be one and the same (Shapiro & Wormser, 2009). Not only are they going outside their field of expertise, the are also using sexist assumptions to belittle the suffering of women who struggle with serious chronic conditions.

Once the LYMErix trials were under way, CDC officers Alan Barbour and Durand Fish began trashing severely ill CLD sufferers.  In their article titled The biological and social phenomenon of Lyme disease Barbour & Fish (1993) claim that “factors such as premorbid personality and a tendency to somatization may determine the length of convalescence and the response to postinfection fatigue and joint aches (p.1613). In the same study, they stated that “even if the original diagnosis of Lyme disease is undisputed, lingering or recurrent symptoms, many of which are characteristic of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, may not be attributable to persistent infection  (Barbour & Fish, 1993, p. 1613). At this time, these same CDC officers claimed that Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) were also diseases that were psychosomatic by nature.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Like other abused groups, the CDC has been trying to change the definition of ME to exclude the neuro-immune outcomes of the disease.

Prior to 1994, it was well documented that ME and CFS belonged to a class of neuro-immune diseases. Since the 90’s, there have been thousands of research papers on ME/CFS documenting multiple physiological abnormalities in patients with ME/CFS.

Most notably, “the most consistent among these abnormalities is immune system dysfunction” (What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. n.d., p.1). For example. Fletcher et al (1990), from the Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center, in Florida, found that in ME/CFS patients there was “a significant decrease in the suppressor inducer subset of CD4+ CD45RA+ cells” (p.1403). However, the definition of ME/CFS changed in 1994 (same year the Lyme definition changed) to also wash down the fact that ME is a neurological disease that affects the immune system.

Since 1994 (same year as Dearborn) the CDC has slowly tried to water down the severity of the disease by using psychiatry as a weapon.

In 1994, the Fukuda definition of  ME/CFS was legislated and now portrayed what was once a neuro-immune disease as a condition that was somatic by nature. A group called MEadvocacy, (a project of May12.org, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation whose mission is to raise global awareness and education for complex immunological and neurological diseases), believes that the Fukuda definition implies that ME is “is not a disease but a symptom of fatigue rather than an acquired disease with immune abnormalities” (Systemic Bias, 2016). However, since the Fukuda definition was legislated, the severity of the disease has been largely undermined.

As a result of the Fukuda definition, ME and CFS became a dichotomy whereby “psychologists/psychiatrists can now diagnose those with depression and somatoform disorders as CFS (Systemic Bias, 2016).  Consequently, many patients who do not have a severe neuro-immune condition (ME) are now being classified as having CFS.

The Fukuda criteria was created purposely “so that those with somatoform disorders would fit under the CFS Fukuda criteria and be diagnosed as CFS” (Systemic Bias, 2016). As you can see, the ME/CFS cohort has been muddied down “resulting in confusing and unreliable research under the name CFS” (Systemic Bias, 2016). Because of these changes, ME and CFS patients all over the world have been the target of overt psychiatric abuse.

On September 12, 2012, Michael Hanlon of Dailymail.com, published an article titled “ME is possibly a mental illness not an infection after all – but that does not mean that it is not real”. In his article, Hanlon (2012) opens by stating “Tin hats on. A story about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis has emerged and, save animal experimentation, I cannot think of another area of science of medicine that arouses such passion.  Indeed ‘passion’ may not be the word – ‘hysteria’ may be a better term” (p. 1).  Clearly Hanlon had not done any research on the definition of ME prior to Fukuda.

In this article,  Hanlon (2012) ignored the immunological aspects ME and went on to say that the recanting of the viral theory “appears to have been driven home (p.2). Not only does Hanlon publish false information on a well known media outlet, he also failed to do any unbiased research on the history of ME/CFS.

Leading up to the Fukuda definition, many children who suffered from severe and disabling cases of ME had fallen victim to unwarranted psychiatric abuse at the hands of  British psychiatrist, Simon Wessley.

In 1986, a young British boy named Ean Proctor became ill after a trip to Wales (Keep on mind that there was an outbreak at this time). By 1988, “12-year-old Ean was confined to a wheelchair and could no longer speak” (Hard Cell, 2010). In what could be seen as a cowardly move, Ean’s Neurologist referred him to Wessley (whom Ean’s Parents had no idea was a psychiatrist) (Hard Cell, 2010).  In their first meeting, “Wessely pinched his skin a bit and looked at him from the foot of his bed” (Hard Cell, 2010, p. 2). After observing Ean, Wessley demeaner changed.

Next, Wesley took Mr. and Mrs. Proctor into another room claiming that Ean did not have ME  (Hard Cell, 2010). As a result, Wessley placed Ean in a mental institution. Wessley explained to Eans parents the reason why they placed him in a psychiatric unit: “notwithstanding the absence of severe depression or psychoses, Ean has a primary psychological illness causing him to become mute and immobile” (Hard Cell, 2010). Despite ardently protesting against Wessley’s irrational decision, Mr. and Mrs. Proctor could only watch as their sick child was locked away in a psychiatric unit for several months.

The pseudo-science that has been published on ME by Wessley was clearly to deceive journalists and scientists as to what is really happening in the field of ME. Wessley and his school of psychosomatic psychiatry ignored years of scientific biomedical research into the possible organic causes of ME which has been successfully blocked for over twenty years now through pseudo-science and propaganda.

Gulf War Illness

For years, GWI victims have received experimental vaccines without informed consent. Some of these vaccines were not approved for use by the FDA, and have since been shown to cause potentially dangerous side effects.

Take for example the anthrax vaccine, which was only approved for “veterinarians and workers handling potentially infected animals or their products, and for laboratory workers researching anthrax (Nass & Nicolson, 2002, p. 277). There are several reasons the anthrax vaccine was not approved.

In a published journal, researchers concluded that  because “prophylaxis against biological warfare (inhalation anthrax) is not an FDA-approved indication for the vaccine, such use both during the Gulf War, and afterward, should only have been conducted using an Investigational New Drug (IND) protocol” (Nass & Nicolson, 2002, p. 277).  Like many other military vaccines, the anthrax vaccine’s “production has bypassed civilian standards for inspections, consistency, good manufacturing practices, and expiration dates” (Nass & Nicolson, 2002, p. 287). Like most military vaccines, potency is uncertain, and adverse reactions have been ignored, despite the fact that the vaccine has engendered very high rates of adverse event reports” (Nass & Nicolson, 2002, p. 277).  Instead of admitting that these vaccines are damaging the immune systems of GWI vets, the troops immunized for the Gulf became government guinea pigs. To make matters worse, GWI has been brushed aside and passed off as a disease of the mind.

For years, governments have used pseudo science to portray GWI as a psychiatric illness.

In 2006, a study titled “Military Deployment to the Gulf War as a Risk Factor for Psychiatric Illness Among US Troops” was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Researchers in the study concluded that, “Gulf War veterans had a significantly higher prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses, with twice the prevalence of anxiety disorders and depression” (Fiedler, N., Hallman, Ozakinci & Wartenberg, 2006, p. 453). The study ignored any organic causes of why GWI vets became ill and determined that “deployment to the Gulf War is associated with a range of mental health outcomes more than 10 years after deployment” (Fiedler, N., Hallman, Ozakinci & Wartenberg, 2006, p. 453). Similarity to children with ME, Dr. Simon Wessley is one of the key “professionals” that has long labeled sick GWI vets as suffering from psychosomatic conditions.

In the BMJ journal, Wessley co-authored a study titled  “Role of vaccinations as risk factors for ill health in veterans of the Gulf war: Cross sectional study”. In this study, David et al (2000) claimed that “among veterans of the Gulf war there is a specific relation between multiple vaccinations given during deployment and later ill health” (p. 1363). Researchers in this study claim that “multiple vaccinations in themselves do not seem to be harmful but combined with the “stress” of deployment they may be associated with adverse health outcomes” (David et al, 2000, p. 1367). In the end, researchers concluded that “these results imply that every effort should be made to maintain routine vaccines during peacetime” (David et al, 2000, p. 1367). This was almost the opposite of what Wessley went on to say about GWI.

Ultimately, conflicts of interest are the driving force behind Wessley’s pseudo-scientific claims that the etiology of GWI is psychiatric by nature. Sadly, because of pseudo-science published by people like Simon Wessley, the media continues to use propaganda to belittle the suffering of GWI sufferers around the world.

In 2009,  Cydney Gillis, an editor from Street News Service, wrote an article titled “We’re not crazy”: Gulf War illness is real — deal with it, veterans tell national panel. In this article, Gillis elaborates on the frustrations and abuse GWI victims face.

Gillis tell the story of a man named Mark Nieves, who was “a soldier in a unit assigned to destroying munitions dumps” (Gillis, 2012). In his 20’s, “Nieves began to notice that he couldn’t exercise without becoming unusually winded” (Gillis, 2012). Gillis explained how “he became drowsy and lethargic, saw blood in his stool and, after exercising, he started breaking out in head-to-foot hives the size of dollar bills — a condition for which he sought help early on from the Seattle veterans hospital, only to regret it” (Gillis, 2012). Nieves explained that “because no welts were visible during his first visit, “one resident doctor became irritated with him, yelled at him and kicked him out of the treatment area. Nieves was humiliated in front of everyone, explained Gillis. As his symptoms persisted, Nieves was forced to return to see a doctor, where he was simply given a common anti-allergy medication. As a result, Nieves said he then gave up because doctors were treating him like it’s all in his head.

Towards the end of the article, Gillis told the story of a Navy veteran named Becky Wilson. After serving aboard ships as a data processor, Wilson began suffering from a mysterious shaking disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and a bone disease in her back (Gillis, 2009). Gillis explains how the last time Wilson tried to get help from the Veterans Association (VA), they sat her down with “yet another phycological test” (Gillis, 2009). Sadly, these psychological tests are “a common response that has led VA doctors to put many Gulf War veterans on anti-psychotic medication” Gillis, 2009). Although the VA was trying to make Wilson look like her illness was a psychiatric condition, she told the panel “but I’m not crazy, I do have these problems” (Gillis, 2009). Like the other neuro-immune disease groups, brave soldiers who serve our countries are being told that physical illness they acquired from time they served defended their countries are merely conditions of the the mind.

In conclusion, the overt abuse that neuro-immune disease groups face is an infringement of the human rights of children, women, and men who suffer from these disabling  conditions. Professionals who aren’t even qualified to give psychiatric diagnosis are either knowingly or unknowingly contributing to crimes under Section 242, Color of Law, in the U.S criminal code.

When it comes to CLD, sufferers are laughed at, and publicly humiliated by the pseudo scientists who falsified the case definition to omit neuro-immune outcomes of Lyme Disease. Next, ME and CFS sufferers have faced public humiliation at the hands of the CDC who also changed the definition to exclude the immunological aspects of the disease. Finally, it seems that the U.S government would rather protect their profits off of vaccines instead of helping those who served the country recover from a neuro-immune disease that was caused from exposure to toxins (while being deployed) in the first place.

Conflicts of interest, patents, and profits seem to be the dominating factor that keeps this common neuro-immune outcome shared by CLD, ME, CFS, and GWI the largest hidden medical genocide in recorded history. Millions upon millions all over the world are being left to suffer and die, while suffering from overt psychiatric abuse on the hands of media, medical journals, and pseudo – scientists who would face life in prison if their crimes are exposed. 

References

Fiedler, N., Hallman, W., Ozakinci, G., & Wartenberg, D. (2006). Military deployment to the      Gulf War as a risk factor for psychiatric illness among US troops. British Journal of Psychiatry, 188(5), 145-146. Retrieved September 12, 2018, from https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/military-deployment-to-the-gulf-war-as-a-risk-factor-for-psychiatric-illness-among-us-troops/3C954AD259329E435245EA1A690BFBA0.

Gillis, C. (2012, December 18). “We’re not crazy”: Gulf War illness is real – deal with it, veterans tell national panel. Retrieved September 12, 2018, from https://news.streetroots.org/2009/02/19/were-not-crazy-gulf-war-illness-real-deal-it-veterans-tell-national-panel

Barbour, A., & Fish, D. (1993). The biological and social phenomenon of Lyme disease. Science, 260(5114), 1610-1616. doi:10.1126/science.8503006

Color of Law. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Color of Law

David, A., Hotopf, M., Hull, L., Ismail, K., Unwin, C., & Wessley, S. (2000). Role of vaccinations as risk factors for ill health in veterans of the Gulf war: Cross sectional study. Bmj, 320(7246), 1363-1367. doi:10.1136/bmj.320.7246.1363

Fletcher, M., Klimas, N., Morgan, R., & Salvato, F. (1990, June). Immunologic Abnormalities in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 28(6), 1403-1410. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2166084.

Hanlon, M. (2012, September 12). ME is possibly a mental illness not an infection after all – but that does not mean that it is not real. Retrieved September 9, 2018, from http://hanlonblog.dailymail.co.uk/2012/09/me-is-probably-a-mental-illness-after-all-but-that-does-not-mean-that-it-is-not-real.html

Hard Cell. (2010, June 21). Retrieved from http://www.cfscentral.com/2010/06/hard-cell.html

Lipson, P. (2008, October 13). Fake diseases, false compassion. Retrieved September 7, 2018, from https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/fake-diseases-false-compassion/

Lyme Disease: Questionable Diagnosis and Treatment. (2017, June 28). Retrieved September 7, 2018, from https://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/lyme.html

Maartensz, M. (2010, March 9). ME: On the postmodern falsifications in Wessely & McClures BMJ-editorial. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from https://maartens.home.xs4all.nl/log/2010/NL100309a.htm

McSweegan, E. (2015, October 16). Relative Risk. Retrieved September 7, 2018, from https://web.archive.org/web/20151021080915/http://rel-risk.blogspot.com/

Nass, M., & Nicolson, G. L. (2002). The Anthrax Vaccine: Historical Review and Current Controversies. Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine, 12(4), 277-286. doi:10.1080/1359084021000036765

Shapiro, E., & Wormser, G. (2009). Implications of Gender in Chronic Lyme Disease. Journal of Womens Health, 18(6), 831-834. doi:10.1089/jwh.2008.1193

Systemic Bias Continues at NIH. (2016, November 6). Retrieved from https://www.meadvocacy.org/systemic_bias_continues_at_nih

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Myalgic Encephalomyelitis? (n.d.). Retrieved September 9, 2018, from https://www.prohealth.com/library/evergreen_pages/what-is-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-myalgic-encephalomyelitis

What Is Psychiatry? (n.d.). Retrieved August 27, 2018, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-psychiatry

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