Brian Walitt’s Radical Bias: Disorders of Subjective Perception, ME/CFS as Normal Life Experience?

Another powerful doctor whose misogynistic, condescending psycho-babble carries far too much weight. If one of my undergraduate students had offered such unsabstantiated waffle I would have politely but firmly asked them to apply themselves more to their subject matter and return to my seminar room when they are (not feel or believe to be) better equipped to participate in research-based debate. The type of interview I have just listened to is detrimental to people’s lives and adds further to the general hatred and abuse severely ill patients are subjected to. The abuse is not merely personal and a bit hurtful, it cuts to the very core of people’s existences, e.g. when doctors refuse to write sick notes, when insurance companies refuse to pay, when housing benefits are withheld on the basis of someone not suffering a ‘real’ illness. So, yes, this sounds like hate speech to me, as it is a thinly veiled invitation to further neglect and ridicule of human beings who are desperately ill. As I type this introduction to a brilliant blog post by Jeannette Burmeister, I cannot swallow or speak due to a severe secondary bacterial infection. I do not believe I am in a delicate nervous state or that my feverish, frail (yet impressively strong?) mind dictates I experience a raging throat for the fifth week and counting. It is objectively there, there is absolutely nothing I can tell myself that will let me transcend my horrendous infection and float away into the sunset. Neither did I dream up intestinal bleeding or any other of the unsavoury and painful symptoms that are directly linked to ME and that I do not imagine I experience (or some such convoluted hocus-pocus). Please do not just stand there and tell people to ‘witness’ it, as Jeannette has also pointed out in her post. I do not cling to my hospital experiences  of the past, they were horrendous yet life saving, in short, medically necessary interventions for my survival that seems to offend certain doctors so much. I am, like hundreds of thousands of others, ill. Why are some doctors deeply insulted by this pretty straightforward fact? I expect science to deliver valid findings, not patriarchal gibberish. Or is it  my frail little woman mind that believes itself to be angry and hurt now, entirely without a reason? Judge for yourselves.

Thoughts About M.E.

NIH has tapped Dr. Brian Walitt as the lead clinical investigator for its intramural study “Post-Infectious Myalgic Encephalomyopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” (For terminology, please see the end of the post.)


Walitt_PictureOnly a few months ago—in September 2015—Dr. Walitt gave an interview at a rheumatology conference about his conference presentation on fibromyalgia: “Tilting at Windmills (a rational approach to fibromyalgia).” Rarely have I seen anything less rational than Dr. Walitt’s interview. You simply must watch it because those nine minutes will make you wonder if you mixed up your thyroid meds with some left-over Quaaludes. There is not even a pretense of scientific thinking. The interview illustrates what NIH has in store for us. Watch it, really let it sink it and then tell me that it doesn’t scare the pants off of you. Share it!

Walitt’s claims lack even an inkling of science. In the demeanor of a hokey cult leader…

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2 thoughts on “Brian Walitt’s Radical Bias: Disorders of Subjective Perception, ME/CFS as Normal Life Experience?

  1. Kim

    It is frightening as a patient with FM . To have read such garbage. He clearly is baised. Us with FM only want better medical treatment and better understanding . He makes sound like we are just a bunch of whiney brats look for attention . And after all the hard work to have it legitimized. Here comes someone how can through as all back in the dark ages

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Utting Wolff Post author

      Dr. Mary Schweitzer has written an open letter to the NIH today. I think you can find it here. I think it’s an excellent response to this tone deafness. Years and years of medical abuse and the establishment expects of us to simply trust them, and more, be grateful to them for doing ‘anything’ at all. I don’t think that is reasonable nor fair. This said, I think there is hope for us, but we would also like to see some considerable help. After all is said and done, we’re still where we’ve been for three decades. Sick and disabled, many of us merely existing. All the best to you, Kim.



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