Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hillary Johnson on Stephen Straus

"There may never have been a more paranoid scientist in the government's employ. Though he was accorded the status of national "expert" in the disease, Straus stayed away from every medical conference devoted to "cfs" throughout his entire career out of a stated fear of being attacked, verbally and even physically, by patients. Paul Cheney, who once said Straus practiced science at the "engineering level," predicted that one day people would "dance on the graves" of Straus and his ilk—the flat-earthers."
"for several years he presented grand rounds in American and European hospitals on the disease, providing thousands of doctors with the "official" U.S. government line on the disease: "cfs" was a psychiatric disorder of over-ambitious, under-achieving women."
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Which, of course, fails to explain the number of men and children with CFS, but Straus was always good at sweeping under the rug any information that didn't support his theory.
I will, however, say that Straus' fear of being attacked by patients was probably a valid fear.  I know what I would've done to him if I'd ever been in the same room.  Although he was touted as a leading expert in the field of CFS, he did more disservice to patients, with his ridiculous notions that we (including the men and children) were just depressed-and-menopausal, or depressed because we were menopausal, or depressed because we were someday going to be menopausal.  I was 28 when I got the virus and 29 when I was diagnosed; nowhere near menopause. 
And the only reason I'm an under-achiever is because of this Damn Disease.  I was on track to accomplish my goals when I got sick and had to cut back everything except the barest essentials required to survive.  I struggled with a full-time job because I had rent to pay, but had to eliminate clubs, church, even casual socializing because I needed all my energy to work.

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