For those who didn't get a chance to see the show ....
They only gave it about 10 minutes. Started with the Yuppie Flu/Shirker Syndrome accusations, but then admitted that CDC has now acknowledged how devestating it can be, with theories of genetic pre-disposition and toxic origin. A telephone survey showed 1-in-40 adults may have CFS.
The guests were Shanley Crutchfield, a 21 y/o girl; Brian Bernard, a 13 y/o boy, and his mom Dr. Donnica Moore; and Dr. Mark Siegel of NYU Medical School.
The girl described it as "utter exhaustion". The boy asked his mother "do I have cancer or AIDS?" because he thought he was going to die. Dr. Siegel says (as I do) that it's both under- and over-diagnosed (i.e., people who have it get misdiagnoses of something else, and people who have something else get misdiagnosed as CFS), and stressed that early intervention makes a difference. Unfortunately -- like CDC's website -- he didn't say what intervention. (The only early intervention I was offered was anti-depressants, which are known to be totally useless.)
It worked out that in the audience was Kathy Rabin, who was a lawyer at Massachusetts General Hospital when she was struck in 1990; as a result she had access to top specialists. Juliet observes "You went to Harvard and Yale; you're not lazy."
Being a doctor herself, Dr. Moore had access to all 3 of the top CFS specialists for her son. The only one she mentioned by name was David Bell. As she was asking him the question, the answer dawned on her, that the reason this is most diagnosed in overachievers is that "only overachievers have the credibility" to be taken seriously that they are not lazy. (Though this requires the doctor to either know the patient previously or believe she's an overachiever -- most doctors didn't inquire into my history, just assumed that I don't like to work because the stereotypical woman gets married to be a housewife and I don't want to exercise because women don't like to get sweaty.)
Dr. Siegel did bring up the problem of symptom overlap with depression, as well as depression caused by the limitations imposed.
I think we all need to go to the MandJShow website and thank them for making the point that it's real and not just an excuse. [email protected]
Next: we inundate Oprah and Dr. Phil's websites with requests for a full-hour show with Bell, Peterson, Cheney, Klimas, Jason and Komaroff talking about the science behind it.