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Who is Simon Wessely?

Discussion in 'Psychosomatic news - ME/CFS and Long Covid' started by Sly Saint, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Braganca

    Braganca Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    135
    There are a few quotes. I thought them v ironic.
    —-

    “Not all experts think that wounded veterans are best served by pushing themselves to their limits. “The general ‘higher, faster, stronger’ Olympic ethos, mixed with the ‘crack on’ philosophy so beloved of our military…works for a lot of those with serious physical injuries, but not for everyone,” said Simon Wessely, a professor of psychiatry at King’s College London, who founded the Centre for Military Health Research at the university. Not all crises can be overcome through willpower alone. There is a danger that those who will fail lambast themselves for lack of effort.

    Physical exertion may not help the severely wounded. According to Wessely, the “very strenuous regimes promoted by Invictus and other similar schemes” could actually “cause longer-term cardiovascular problems, or at least an acceleration of existing issues” to bodies that have already been vastly stressed by the loss of two or more limbs. “

    —-
    “Wessely, the psychiatrist from King’s College London, argues that sport as therapy could contribute to a notion that “mental health disorders are really failures of willpower or character, which is what the Victorians thought.” In his closing speech, Prince Harry mentioned the most fundamental challenge faced by veterans: getting a job and holding it down.”
     
    bobbler, Hutan, MEMarge and 6 others like this.
  2. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    :speechless:
     
    livinglighter, Hutan, MEMarge and 8 others like this.
  3. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    So, did they refuse to make him a member of the board?
     
    livinglighter and MEMarge like this.
  4. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    It definitely is what Victorians thought. It's also what Simon Wessely said many times, insisted even, actually got awarded for crushing a patient movement protesting against his ideological nonsense. It's basically exactly how he framed it countless times. But it sure is what Victorians thought.

    Says a lot about how Simon Wessely thinks, that his ideas are firmly grounded in Victorian-era belief systems. Says even more that he is entirely oblivious to it and what it means. But, hey, he's a celebrity-physician and I'm sure he would have made it big in the Victorian era, he is truly a man of this time, or at least with its ideas. And in the end, it is all that matters to Simon Wessely.
     
    Sean, alktipping, MEMarge and 4 others like this.
  5. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Simon Wessely appointed interim executive dean at KCL. Notice that the announcement doesn't contain a single mention of the work he was awarded and knighted for, not a single mention of the things he is most famous for.

    That's how you know those are real accomplishments to be proud of, when you never mention any of it, even when asked to list your own accomplishments, on the merit of which you are appointed to important positions. Instead it's a generic list of things he is absolutely not known for.

    https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/new-interim-executive-dean-for-the-ioppn

    Even the biography page doesn't mention anything specific, it's all generic stuff. You know you did good when your accomplishments can only be vaguely hinted at. Like a political platform made of slogans, and not a single policy statement.
     
  6. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    He's not interim Dean of Kings, just of the psychiatry etc. department he works in. Not a big deal.
     
  7. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don't know, feels like a discredited scientist should not continue to have unearned promotions and titles. But that's just me, weird person who thinks pseudoscience is bad and charlatans should not be rewarded just because the pseudoscience he still promotes is popular.

    I will gladly hold an opposite position on this as KCL. I'm generally not fond of people who fail upwards.
     
  8. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Amw66, FMMM1, alktipping and 9 others like this.
  9. EzzieD

    EzzieD Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    From the article:
    How ironic coming from someone who was so vocally against strengthening patient rights to influence their care and treatment and to choose who supports them, when it came to ME/CFS...
     
    geminiqry, Amw66, Kirsten and 18 others like this.
  10. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I highlighted the same part. He doesn't even believe those words, has literally spent much of his career fighting us over this. Hollow man with empty words, playing unelected politician.
     
  11. bobbler

    bobbler Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    even worse when you think that she probably believes it
     
  12. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    https://twitter.com/user/status/1523758512580759553


    He actually replied... :facepalm: Good reply to him, though. I guess he must have an alert for misspellings of his name.

    I think he put it best when he went to the radio program where he was asked about his accomplishments and I don't remember the other thing but he only mentioned 2 things and the other was that at first they thought it was depression, but couldn't prove it. So his "accomplishments" include being wrong but somehow this is what the profession kept going. He is likely aware that this is what most physicians believe, insist to a degree of hostility, making this extra clueless.
     
  13. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Why is a psychiatrist in charge of a multi-symptom chronic illness..??
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/why_is_a_psychiatrist_in_charge

    Dear Ministry of Defence,

    Gulf War Syndrome & Prof Sir Simon Wessely.

    It has been shown time and again that Professor Sir Simon’s published assertions about disorders such as ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, Gulf War Syndrome, the Camelford drinking water poisoning, and interstitial cystitis are simply wrong. Merely stating so is likely to result in yet more claims by him of “harassment” and “attack” upon him but, in the words of Professor Martin Bland, one of the UK’s leading medical statisticians, it is important that false information should not remain on the record to be quoted uncritically by others: “Potentially incorrect conclusions, based on faulty analysis, should not be allowed to remain in the literature to be cited uncritically by others” (Fatigue and psychological distress. BMJ: 19th February 2000:320:515-516). Wessely’s “incorrect conclusions”, however, remain in the literature to be cited uncritically by others and therefore may result in iatrogenic harm.

    Simon Wessely was knighted in the 2013 New Year Honours List for his work on “military health”; he is civilian psychiatric advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence where, despite his having no case definition of Gulf War Syndrome (GWS), he has consistently denied its existence, ascribing it to “stress of combat” and to a “belief” of exposure to a chemical attack (Lancet: 16th January 1999:353:169-178).

    ...

    Thus convincing evidence exists that proves Wessely is wrong in asserting that Gulf War Syndrome does not exist and that veterans’ ill-health is merely the result of their own misperceptions.

    Yours faithfully,

    Kevin Doughty
    Ill Gulf War Veteran.
     
    Lou B Lou, EzzieD, Sly Saint and 15 others like this.
  14. SNT Gatchaman

    SNT Gatchaman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The official response being: "I can confirm that the Ministry of Defence holds no recorded information that would provide an answer to the issues you have raised in your letter."
     
  15. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    GLOMAR. Figures.

    Would be useful to revisit this, in light of the official line having been (possibly) debunked. What matters anyway is that it was just an official lie.
     
  16. bobbler

    bobbler Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    560

    Interesting that his statement makes a point that interim 'isn't like being a locum' and that he intends to 'continue progress...' vs the presidents' statement about him taking the reigns whilst they use the year to do an 'international search' for someone.

    I'm guessing that for some reason there wasn't succession planning ie the leaving was a surprise. It takes a year given notice periods and time to recruit so the year is normal.

    Sounds like Wessely wants this one. He is listing positions of responsibility/standing I guess over research because of the nature of what the role entails - leadership. Executive Dean vs Dean is always an interesting difference in title to note.
     
    alktipping and Peter Trewhitt like this.
  17. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    Linking Sarah's post here about SW's involvement in the PACE trial
    More discussion of SW's involvement in CFS research here:
    United Kingdom: Science Media Centre (including Fiona Fox)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
  18. Amw66

    Amw66 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    5,209
    With MOD/ armed services you need to go to the extent of a Notice of disclosure being raised to get anything out of them

    eta edited to disclosure not non disclosure
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
  19. Lou B Lou

    Lou B Lou Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Back in October 2017:


    'Letter to the Prime Minister – reconsider of the appointment of Professor Simon Wessely

    Today over 65 Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations, campaigns and mental health professionals sent the following letter to the Prime Minister. Dear Prime Minister, We are writing to urge a reconsideration of the decision to appoint Professor Simon Wessely to lead the independent review of the Mental Health Act as announced at the Conservative Party […]



    Posted: 18 October 2017

    Today over 65 Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations, campaigns and mental health professionals sent the following letter to the Prime Minister.




    Dear Prime Minister,

    We are writing to urge a reconsideration of the decision to appoint Professor Simon Wessely to lead the independent review of the Mental Health Act as announced at the Conservative Party on 4 October 2017.

    A review is needed to address mental health injustice, yet Wessely’s body of work on ME (or “chronic fatigue syndrome”) demonstrates his lack of honesty, care and compassion for patients. His unsubstantiated claim that ME is driven by “false illness beliefs” has led to patients being labelled as hypochondriacs, treated with contempt by some in the medical profession and stigmatised by society. His recommended treatment regime of Graded Exercise Therapy caused deterioration in function for nearly 50% of ME patients surveyed, yet he dismisses their evidence as unreliable and labels all critics of this work as irrational and extremist.

    He continues to defend the notorious PACE trial, a study into treatment for ME/CFS part-funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and widely condemned by academics for misuse of statistical methods in order to produce positive-looking results.

    Wessely’s work on ME led him to play an active role, alongside insurance industry professionals, in devising the theories of “malingering and illness deception” which underpinned the Work Capability Assessment. The WCA has had a catastrophic impact on the lives of disabled people. Wessely is resoundingly unfit to lead an inquiry into mental health injustice.

    The appointment of Wessely underlines our fears that under the wrong leadership, the review and any subsequent changes to the Mental Health Act will worsen rather than alleviate the current mental health crisis.

    We urge you to rethink this decision.

    Yours sincerely,

    65 signatures (on the link)


    https://www.inclusionlondon.org.uk/...consider-appointment-professor-simon-wessely/
     
  20. Adam pwme

    Adam pwme Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Adding a reference to Simon Wessely being a founder member of the Science Media Centre. It was on his CV from 2014 uploading for safe keeping

    EXPERIENCE IN PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT AND UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE

    Throughout my career I have been active in public engagement activities to improve public understanding, and hence support for, medicine, psychiatry and research. I wrote over 50 columns for the Times on science/medicine, have continued to contribute columns and pieces to the Guardian, Independent, Observer and others, main and continue to appear frequently in various media outlets. I am a founder member of the Science and Media Centre, which brings together scientists and journalists, and a Trustee of Sense About Science. I was King’s Media Personality of the Year for 2010 and in 2012 was awarded the first John Maddox Prize for “Standing up for Science”. In the last 12 months alone I have appeared on All in the Mind, Battle of Ideas, BFBS. Broadcasting House, C4, CBS, Cheltenham Science, Debating Matters, Hay Literary Festival, How The Light Gets In, ITN, NBC, Nightwaves, NYT, One Show, Pint of Science, PM. Royal Institution Discourses, Sky, Science Museum (Lates), Skoll World Forum, Start the Week, Today (x4) and other radio and TV programmes.


    http://simonwessely.com/Downloads/Other/PROFESSOR SIMON CHARLES WESSELY_CV.docx
     

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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2022

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