The Scandal of ME/CFS Treatment – A Portent of What Is To Come?

A Guardian staff writer has produced a brilliant critique of the treatment of ME/CFS. Thanks to Tom Hepburn for alerting me to this. Tom makes the point that it would be great if there were a similar lucid analysis of routine mental health services. Communicating in such a way as to give people a ‘light bulb moment’ is no easy task. 


Perhaps he might consider that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are like pirates capturing despairing parents and their children.

A teenager, X, I recently assessed was captured at the age of 12. She had a very supportive Mum. It was apparent that X had developed an eating disorder. But they failed to identify that she also suffered from generalised anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.  Treatment was entirely focussed on her anorexia. She was hospitalised but X received no personalised treatment, rather she was tasked with helping other patients eat. X did undergo Dialectical Behaviour Therapy but found it too upsetting. She said what she needed to say, to get out of hospital. Regular CAMHS sessions continued for years. Therapists insisted that her estranged, transgender father was a major factor in her debility, despite her assertion to the contrary. Four years on her BMI was 21, (a BMI less than 17 usually indicates moderate/severe thinness), Mum considered that she had done very well with regards to the anorexia. Inspection of her records revealed that there were no signs of the GAD or SAD being identified, much less treated. X considered that these were at least as important as her eating disorder.

CAMHS appears a monumental failure, there ought to at least be independent audit of child and adult services. Spending £2billion a year on services without accountability is scandalous. 

Dr Mike Scott