The Hypochondria Webpage ©

Many modern authors appear to be embarrassed by the fact that I proved that the old ideas about hypochondria being imaginary illness were wrong. One of their methods is to hide their errors in jargon by using a new set of labels which include "Somatoform autonomic dysfunction' (SAD), Medically unexplainable symptoms" (MUPS), and Innappropriate illness behaviour" (e.g. see my report here). It is also human nature that they are willing to describe the patients as being wrong, misguided, irrational, or mentally ill.

My readers need to know that I didn't set out to embarrass anyone or prove them wrong, but metely establish the facts, and develop effective methods of diagnosing and treatng my own health problems which were poorly understood, and poorly treated in the past.

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People only study and try to solve their own health problems when modern treatments don't result in cures, because they are intelligent, and don't want to waste their lives away waiting for somebody else to do it for them. It is not because they are "preoccupied with trivial ailments", "afraid of disease", "obsessively and compulsively interested in minor cuts and bruises", or "mentally ill".

 

For more information see my 1000 page book called The Posture Theory, with the original subtitle of
"The physical basis for hypochondria", and now available as an eBook with the subtitle of "The physical cause of undetectable illness" here.

 

The literal meaning of the word is derived from : Gk - hypo = below, and Gk - chondros = cartilage, in particular: the cartilages of the ribs. i.e. disease occurring below the cartilages of the ribls.

It originally referred to a set of symptoms or illnesses which were produced by an abnormality in the fluids of the upper abdomen.

The only correct modern definition of the word: Hypochondria: Any symptom or illness for which there is no detectable cause by the diagnostic technology which is available at the current time.

 

 

Regions of the human abdomen
The human body is divided in to sections in much the same way as cities are divided into suburbs as follows . . .

RH = right hypochondriac, EG = epigastric, LH = left hypochondriac
RL = right lumbar, U = umbilical, LL = left lumbar
RI = right inguinal, HG = hypogastric, LI = left inguinal

Anatomy
Li = liver, GB = gall bladder, St = stomach, Sp = spleen, B = bladder.

Diagram reference: H. Gray (1858) Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical, p.598
Original Artist - H.V. Carter. Reprinted 1991 by The Promotional Reprint Co. Ltd., U.K. 

 

hypoAnatomy

 

The scientific formula for hypochondria

H = 1/T

The number of diseases diagnosed as imaginary decreases as the number of diagnostic instruments developed by technology increases and finds more real physical causes. See more here

 

The victim blaming methods of history

 

The real reason why doctors use the word hypochondria but will never tell you

Doctors are trained to ask questions, use blood tests, x-rays and other tests to diagnose health problems, and then apply treatments. Throughout any one day they may see fifty or more patients and successfully resolve most of the problems within a few minutes.

However, many patients have ailments which are not detectable, and don't respond to treatments, so if a doctor had to explain all of the complicated and confusing aspects involved they would spend too much time on them, which could be more productively spent on illnesses which they could diagnose and treat effectively.

They therefore recognise the advantage of telling the patient that it is hypochondria, or more commonly, just implying that it is "all in the mind", and ending the discussion immediately, so that they can move onto the next patient.

 

The unpopular truth that all patients need to know

See my report on the three main ways that patients respond to the "all in the mind" argument here.

There is a very strong tendency related to undetectable illnesses, to blame the victim, and for nobody to be particularly concerned about it until they are personally affected by such a problem themselves, by which time it is too late to do anything about it.

Healthy people will be tempted to believe that it will never happen to them, and doctors would rather believe that they did not exist so that they don't get blamed for the failure of diagnosis or treatment, and psychologists would rather accept the idea that the symptoms were due to the mind, and make money from the fees they charge for psychotherapy. Some organisations would prefer to see them as a cash crop where they can make money from the ailments indefinitely, and large companies in the pharmaceutical industry would be one.

Further more employers don't like providing sick leave, and insurance companies would rather not make compensation payments. Consequently they would like to fund research projects to find a cure so that the problem goes away, but would not want to fund research which finds a real incurable cause.

If evidence of a real physical basis is ever found they would rather try to deny that it ever existed or pay researchers to hide the evidence by deleting it from publications, or never mentioning it in their current reports, and by changing the labels, and using very obscure jargon to hide the trail of evidence. They also prefer to pay psychologists to write psychiatric theories which present the idea that the problem is all in the mind, or is related to aspects of the individuals personality, rather than the employment environment.

If patients don't recognise that aspect they will be likely to believe what they are told, and to doubt themselves, and to be swindled out of any genuine entitlements..

From my observations most patients are ordinary people who don't have any medical knowledge and are very easily deceived. My objective is to change that, but their is an extreme imbalance of power that needs to be taken into consideration.

Hundreds of millions of people around the world have chronic undetectable symptoms and ailments which include back pains, abdominal pains, and fatigue. The idea that they are all imagining things is utterly ridiculous. Equally, the suggestion that they are all due to mental, rather than physical factors is absurd, as is the suggestion that they are caused by anxiety, depression or other psychological factors, because they fail to learn from the mistakes of history.

 

The Hypochondria Webpage Index
An essay on Postural Hypochondria can be seen here

Hypochondria Anatomy Other Opinions from the twentieth century
The Posture Theory Diagram The History Of Hypochondria, Somatization disorder, somatoform disorder, and cycerchondria
The Posture Theory and Hypochondria Why most patients don't study their own disease
My research methods Response to Criticism of this webpage (16-5-06)

Why it was necessary for me to develop my own ideas

When I had serious health problems at the age of 25 my doctors were not able to explain them, and none of the treatments that I had been offered for the previous few years had even the slightest effect of relieving my symptoms, so I had no choice whatsoever, but to study medicine myself.

I found that there was no effective treatment available anywhere in the world, and since then every word I wrote has been an improvement in the understanding of the symptoms, and every idea I had which relieved the symptoms has been an improvement on anything that existed before.

It took me five years of detailed observation to determine the cause of all of the symptoms, and gain some reasonable ability to control them, and between 1993 and 2000 I produced a 1000 book of evidence of the physical basis of the symtoms of undetectable illness.

In the meantime, countless numbers of people have copied my ideas and treatment methods and not acknowledged me as the source.

There are also people who criticise me, and put on a big act, as if they know more than me, and as if their ideas are better than mine. That is offensive and absolutely impossible, because if they knew what they were talking about when I was 25, I would have never bothered to start, and would have simply led an ordinary life.

 

The Posture Theory solves a 2000 year old mystery: How do symptoms occur when there is no evidence of disease???

Postural Hypochondria

A set of symptoms caused by postural pressure on the internal anatomy beneath the cartilages of the ribs and sternum. (From Latin - positura = position, Gk, - hypo = below, and Gk - chondro = cartilage, in particular; the cartilages of the ribs and breastbone. reference: The Posture Theory.

The ancient Greeks who provided the term Hypochondria believed that the condition was due to a disorder of the upper abdomen, or midriff.

The six primary symptoms are chest pains, palpitations, breathlessness, fatigue, faintness, and upper abdominal pain.

These symptoms occur in the absence of any evidence of disease, and because of the similarity to those of heart disease, have previously been attributed to anxiety, in particular, to the fear of imagined disease.

The reason for the actual cause being obscure is because the link between posture and symptoms is subtle and delayed, and because other factors contribute to the pressure, such as a stooped spine, a thin physique, a long narrow or flat chest, tight belts, and sedentary activity (leaning toward desks).

Note that the orignal meaning of the word hypochondria referred to real physical symptoms - it did not refer to symptom or disease phobia which is an entirely different subject.

The modern definitions have been altered where hypochonria is mistakenly defined as the unwarrented fear or preoccupation with non-existant or trivial illness, and "nosophobia" is the new definition for symptom phobia. They have inappropriate derogatory inferrences.

 

What is a fringy kook

When I was young I was aware of two basic groups of people. The first wanted scientific facts, evidence and proof of everything before accepting what was said, and the second tended to believe what they were told.

For example, If a person said that they could predict the future by looking at the pattern of tea leaves in the bottom of a tea cup, then one group of people would believe it, and another would not.

I was the type of person who would not believe such things, and had often put some of them to the test and proved that they were falsie.

For example, I would ask them to predict the winner of the Melbourne Cup and most of the time they would guess wrong.

I would also check the scientific literature on such topics and learn the basis for their tricks and illusions and why some people were fooled by such statements.

In other words I had strict scientific standards as the basis for my conclusions, and was aware that many people didn't.

When I began studying a course called Group Work at the South Australian Institute of Technology, it was primarily about group psychology, and while I learnt a lot of useful information, I also learnt that many of the ideas being taught for the past 100 years had already been proven wrong.

I therefore had a strictly scientific attitude toward that subject as well.

I was also aware that psychology was a relatively new study and that early in the twentieth century it was regarded by doctors as fringy kookery.

One of the main arguments was that aches and pains which don't show up on x-rays can't be physical, and must therefore be all in the mind.

I was always skeptical of those ideas because there are probably thousands of other possible causes (besides the mind), and because a large number of diseases which had formerly been called imaginary have already been proven real.

Essentially the fringy kooks are people who say that undetectable pain can't have a physical basis and must be all in the mind, and are simpletons who don't understand the principle of logic that says

"The absence of evidence does not equate with the absence of existence".

 

Hypochondria and human rights

For many centuries the word hypochondria has been used to label symptoms where there was no evidence of a physical basis at that time. The assumption was made that because a cause could not be found, there was no physical cause, and the symptoms were deemed to be imaginary. However there were also some much more elaborate and quite bizarre ways of accounting for the absence of evidence, and they involved a countless number of psychiatric explanations which attributed to symptoms to anxiety, depression, or mental illness.

Nevertheless as the years went by, and with advances in diagnostic technology, the microscope came into use and showed the microbes which were causing the problem, and then stethoscopes, x-rays, and CAT scans were developed which showed the evidence of the real physical causes of countless numbers of ailments which had previously been classified as having an imaginary or psychological cause.

Consequently, the old assumptions have been proven wrong over, and over again, and the only correct statement that has ever been made is the plain, and objective fact that . . .

 

"Hypochondria involves a set of symptoms where the physical basis is not evident on the diagnostic instruments which are available at any given point in history."

 

The assumption of imaginary illness has been proven wrong over and over again, and the suggestions of simple, or highly elaborate and complicated psychological cause have been proven wrong, countless numbers of times. However nobody has officially admitted that they were wrong, or apologised to the hundreds of millions of patients who were defamed by such explanations which have been proven wrong, and the same types of explanations, with even more elaborate additions are being used today, without regard of the fact that they have been proven wrong in the past, and will continue to be proven wrong in the future.

Another more serious problem exists where the physicians have deemed the symptoms to be imaginary, and have therefore made no attempt whatsoever to cure the problem, and have blamed the victim, and left them to a life of hopeless suffering. Any question of the authority of the doctor has been silenced, and if the normal patient attempts to study or cure their own ailment, which is the only practical and sensible thing to do, then they have been branded as being mentally ill people who were trying to cure a disease which did not exist. Those ideas have also been proven wrong over, and over again.

 

I therefore recommend that the definition of hypochondria has only one correct meaning:

"Any set of physical symptoms or illnesses where diagnostic methods cannot detect a cause."

Nobody should be able to alter that definition or mix it in with any psychiatric explanations at all.

Many people with undetectable illnesses are not afraid of disease so it is wrong to argue that it is a disease phobia, and any attempt to cure the problem is justified, and it is wrong to say that it involves an unnecessary interest in health, and many of the patients have stable personalities, and are perfectly "normal" as compared to anyone else in the community, and it has been proven that their illnesses were physical and not mental, over and over again throughout history.

 

I declare that patients with undetectable illnesses have a right for their condition to be considered physical until they are provided with a 100% cure, and not before.

I would like that right to be officially accepted, without reservations, by human rights organisations.

 

100 normal people with undetectable illness

If 100 "normal" people walked into a clinic, and the cause of illness was detected, they would be diagnosed as "normal". However, if 100 "normal" people walked into a clinic and the cause of their illness was undetectable, then within a few months most of them would be given the diagnosis of hypochondria and their symptoms would be attributed to countless numbers of different mental illnesses.

However, the only actual difference between the two groups is that in one group their illness was detectable, and the other wasn't.

If the group was examined twenty years later, after new diagnostic devises were invented, a large number of the illnesses would be detectable, and the previous diagnoses would have been proven wrong, and the remainder would have illnesses which were still not detectable, and would still be wrongly attributed to imaginary, or psychological causes.

Any health care professional who argues that all undetectable illnesses are caused by emotional or mental factors should be struck of government health care registries, and barred from practicing medicine on the grounds of ignorance, negligence, incompetence, or professional misconduct.

By law all patients with undetectable illness should have an unalienable right to be treated with the same general rights as those with detectable illness. i.e. with the same courtesy and respect that applies to everyone else.

 

The psychomorphisation of physical symptoms

The only known fact about undetectable illness is that it is undetectable. However, some people will add the interpretation that it is imaginary, or that the cause is psychological, and when there is absolutely no signs of psychological problems in the patient, they will start making more extreme and unlikely assumptions that there must be something subconscious or mysterious causing the ailment. In such cases psychiatric labels are likely to be devised to explain it, and where those assessments or labels are wrong the process is the psychomorphisation of undetectable physical illness.

 

The shame factor deliberately written into labels

Most doctors know that patients with undetectable illness are genuine, but they are afraid of the possibility of being deceived by people who fake illness to get financial compensation or sickness benefits. They therefore prefer to write psychiatric labels for such patients to shame them into silence. Unfortunately, while it does deter fakers, it also results in insurance companies using the labels to swindle genuine patients out of the legal entitlements. The psychiatric labels also makes the patients doubt themselves, and drives them to insanity and suicide.

 

The most common outcome

The most common outcome for patients with undetectable illness is that they are swindled out of their entitlements to financial benefits and spend their entire lives in poverty. They also have no cure for their illness, and have to live with the ailment, and the limitations or disabilities which go with it, permanently. They will be discouraged from trying to study and cure the problem themselves, because they will then be likely to learn that the current understanding of the illness is poor, and the explanations are wrong. They are also likely to be driven to insanity and suicide by the failure to get a diagnosis, the failure of treatment, the victim blaming concepts, and a bevy of psychiatric labels which are all wrong.

 

 

How people with undetectable illness have been driven insane by various types of psychiatric labels and diagnosis

Throughout history hundreds of millions of people with undetectable illness have been diagnosed as having a wide range of psychological or mental problems, but if they were to be examined by modern diagnostic techniques it would be confirmed that they were normal individuals with real physical problems.

However, in the meantime, the following list has a small number of examples of ideas which have been wrongly used to explain their symptoms, and have ruined their entire lives, and many times to harass them and drive them to insanity and suicide.

1. They have been told that there is nothing physically wrong with them, and that they are just imagining things, and have been diagnosed as neurotics, hysterics, and psychotics.

2. They have been told that they were liars who were faking illness to get sympathy or financial compensation for illnesses and disabilities which they didn't have, so that they could leave lives of luxury by doing nothing.

3. They have been told that they are not liars or deliberately malingering due to laziness, but that they are mentally ill, and their mind is turning psychological pain into physical pain.

4.They have been told that their symptoms are just normal, or trivial, and that are the sort of thing that normal people wouldn't even bother to mention.

5. They have been told that their minds are just faking pain to get a large compensation payment from insurance companies, and that if they can't be given a payout because if they were the pain would disappear and they would immediately go on a luxurious holiday.

6. They have been told that their symptoms are due to fear, coward ics, and anxieties of all sorts, and when the patient says that they are not anxious, that they have nothing to be anxious about, and that the symptoms are clearly aggravated by physical factors which have absolutely nothing to do with anxiety, then they will be told that the anxieties are so horrible, that their conscious mind does not want to face them, so they are buried so far in the subconscious mind that they can't recognise something which is "supposedly" obvious to observers.

7. They have been told that the symptoms are due to anxieties which they can't see, because those anxieties related to psychological traumas which occurred so long ago in their early childhood that they have been forgotten, or were due to such horrible experiences that they have been buried in the sub-conscious mind to hide them from the subconscious mind.

 

The only important thing to remember is the obvious fact that for hundreds of millions of people all of those ideas have already been proven wrong, but their is never any mention of that fact in the general literature, and the same ideas are still being presented to hundreds of millions of people today, as if they are credible scientific concepts that have never been proven wrong.

 

If you was a perfectly normal man

If you was normal in every way, and the leader of a great nation, or a world famous author of popular books, or a leading librarian or educator today, and began to experience severe disabling pain tomorrow, which did not show on x-rays, then, within a short time, you would be diagnosed as having a mental, rather than physical illness, and no matter how much money, fame, influence or power you had in society, there would be absolutely nothing you could do about it.

The time to do something to prevent that is NOW, not tomorrow, when your confidence in yourself will be smashed, and

you learn the hard way, that you are too late, and that you was too stupid to learn from history, and too stupid to defend yourself when it was possible..

 

An example of some of the bizarre and elaborate ideas in Wikipedia

An example of the wide range of such ideas can be seen in a recent edition on Wikipedia, in the context of endorsement with international officialdom, as if they can be taken seriously. There is no mention of the massive evidence from history which proves that those ideas have no more value than lies and guesswork, and that they are still wrong, and are still being used to swindle genuine patients out of the legal entitlements to compensation, and that they are still a major cause of insanity and suicide in perfectly normal people who had the misfortune of getting an undetectable illness, instead of a detectable one.

 

There is not mention that the only factual statement that can be made is that the cause is not known by modern technology, and there is no mention of the fact that many of those cases will be proven to have a physical basis immediately after a new diagnostic methods is developed in the next week, year, decade, or century.

There is also no mention of much more honest and sensible explanations for the cause of undetectable illness.

 

There is also no mention of the fact that there are modern organisations who are telling lies or hiding the truth about real causes, to avoid massive compensation payout's for such things as industrial scale pollution of the environment etc. or the fact that those organisations pay psychologists a lot of money to invent the type of ideas which can be used to blame the victim and swindle them out of their entitlements to medical expenses and compensation.

An example of a recent version of a Wikipedia article about hypochondria, which they call hypochondriasis, can be seen here.

My main critic in Wikipedia: deleted sense and logic and replaced it with the most ridiculous and offensive ideas. While I was in Wikipedia adding useful information I had the displeasure of being criticised by an extremely arrogant editor who has an extremely cruel attitude towards patients with undetectable illnesses. She knows that they have genuine illnesses, and that my theory presents a perfectly sensible and logical explanations for undetectable ailments, and puts them in the proper perspective, but she was quite happy to see some very stupid editors delete it, and used their stupidity as an excuse to describe my ideas as the sort of thing that "respectable" editors were rejecting. She was also quite happy to tell lies by describing my ideas as non-notable and worthless, and delete them herself.

She has recently made a minor edit on the page about hypochondriasis, and she knows that all of the ideas on that page would be rejected by patients, and that the opinion of medical consumers has been deliberately excluded by the small gang of editors who control the content of that page.

She also knows that if my ideas were placed on that page then it would add sense, logic, truth, and accuracy to the topic, and that it would bring all of the other ideas into doubt.

She doesn't give a dam about how misleading that page is to the readers and the public, or how much truth has been deleted, and how much extreme bias is involved, and how much horrenous cruelty is inflicted on the hundreds of millions of people who have undetectable illness.

She actually takes pride in her ability to tell lies and get away with it, and in her ability to deceive other editors and administrators.

From Witchcraft to now - things change but nothing changes

What the dumb and gullible masses are expected to believe

Primitive man: The local witchdoctor would say - I can't see any disease with my eyes therefore it is caused by evil spirits.

17th century: The doctor would say - I can't see it with my eyes therefore it is imaginary.

19th century: The doctor would say - I can't see it with my microscope therefore it is imaginary or caused by the mind.

20th century: The doctor would say - I can't see it on x-rays or CAT scans therefore it is imaginary or due to mental illness.

21st century: The doctor would say - I can't see it on the most highly sophisticated, scientific, modern, up-to-date diagnostic machines that have been developed by the greatest scientists on earth, therefore it is imaginary or caused by highly complicated and mysterious psychological factors.

The default diagnosis is the most unreliable and unscientific method ever used by humans and has been proven wrong hundreds of millions of times, but some doctors will still argue it, and some extremely ignorant, uneducated, and very gullible people who are not intelligent enough to learn from the massive mistakes of history, will continue to believe it, and there appears to be absolutely nothing that an intelligent person like myself can do change it.

Postural Hypochondria: A type of hypochondria
A set of symptome which occur where there is no evidence of disease, and can be attributed to poor posture.
The word hypochondria is derived  from the ancient Greek word hypo, which means beneath, and chondros, which means cartilage, and it refers to diseases which had their origins beneath the cartilage's of the ribs, which would nowadays be known as the midriff or upper abdomen, and which contain the liver, stomach, and spleen.
The Greeks, and the later physicians of The Dark Ages had a theory that the body contained four fluids, namely, blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile, and that when these were in proper balance the  patient was healthy, but if they changed in any way they would cause disease.
For example, if a physician felt the right side of the midriff and the liver was hot (due to infection), they thought that the  black bile was cooking, and becoming toxic, and if it was very hot, that it was boiling and producing a vapour or spirit (similar to alcohol being a liquid spirit), which was a finer toxin, and presumably accounts for the term “evil spirit” because it caused disease.
They also wanted to be able to explain how disease in one part of the body could cause symptoms in multiple other parts.
Therefore, for example, they proposed that the black bile boiled in the stomach to cause abdominal pain, and then entered the blood stream to cause symptoms wherever it travelled or settled, such as going up to the heart to cause palpitations, and the lungs to cause breathlessness, and the chest to cause chest pains, and then soreness in the throat and the eyes, and ultimately headache, sullen moods, and anger or rage.
These ideas were recorded by 17th century writer Robert Burton who studied the subject in an attempt to find a cause and cure for his own ailments. He was a scholar with several university degrees who could read many languages, and he travelled to the great libraries of England, Europe, and Arabia, in search for the knowledge. Most of those libraries have since been destroyed by fires, floods, or wars, so his study provides a valuable legacy which is not readily available from other sources today.
He wrote one of the most popular and best selling books of his era, and according to Sir William Osler it was “the greatest medical treatise written by a layman”. His book “The Anatomy of Melancholy” was published in 5 editions during his lifetime, and several editions since, and nowadays the title in modern language would read “The Systematic Study of Black Bile” with a subtitle “and it’s effect on physical and mental health”.
By the nineteenth century it became popular to believe that the symptoms were trivial or imaginary, as they rarely resulted in death, and with the advent of psychology, it was thought that they must be caused by mental states such as anxiety or depression. In fact the old ideas were sometimes cited as evidence of the new, but that due to a misinterpretation of changed or dual meaings of words. i.e. the new idea was that hypochondria - imaginary symptoms, was caused by melancholy - sadness or depression, but the old idea was that hypochondria - a multiple symtom disorder was caused by melancholy - black bile.
By the twentieth century the name hypochondria became associated with the idea that some people complained about chest pains because they thought they had heart disease, or they thought that every headache was caused by a brain tumor, when no such diseases existed. However those interpretations are not consistent with the original meanings of the word and could be more relevently referred to as disease phobias.
The general meaning of the word came to refer to anyone who complained a lot about trivial illness. For example, it was thought that a person who complained about a cut finger, or who went to bed with a cold, was just a whinging, sympathy seeking hypochondriac.

The actual cause of hypochondria remained a mystery for 2000 years until the publication of an essay entitled “The Matter of Framework” in 1980, which described how leaning forward with a stooped spine compressed the chest and abdomen resulting in chest and stomach pains, palpitations and  breathlessness. Also pressure on the air and blood vessels in the chest impaired blood flow between the feet and brain, causing fatigue and faintness.
The cause remained a mystery because there was no immediate link between cause and effect and because not everyone with poor posture developed such symptoms. That is because many other factors contribute to the problem such as a stooped spine, a thin physique, and a long, flat, or narrow chest, sedentary work (which involves leaning toward a desk), and tight corsets or belts which reduce the chest and abdominal space, and add to the effects of postural stooping. It was also because there are subtleties and delays between the the causative activities and the symptoms, as there are with many other ailments.
That essay has since been referred to as The Posture Theory, which developed as an attempt to determine the cause of those symptoms, hence the term “Postural Hypochondria”, which is self evident from a view of “The Posture Theory Diagram” on The Posture Theory website.

 

The Posture Theory And Hypochondria
The word hypochondria is derived from the ancient Greek terms hypo, which means below, and chondros, which means cartilage, and it refers to a set of symptoms which were thought to have been caused by a disorder of the anatomical organs beneath the cartilages of the ribs. This included disorders of the liver and spleen, but there is also some indication that it referred to a disorder originating beneath the cartilage tip at the base of the breastbone. This area includes the base of the heart, and the junction of the foodpipe and the stomach, and it is crossed by the diaphragm which is the main muscle responsible for breathing. The solar plexus which supplies nerves to every part of the chest and abdomen, is also below the tip of the breastbone. The symptoms of hypochondria include backache, neckache, upper abdominal pain, palpitations, breathlessness, faintness, fatigue, pain in the lower left and right side of the chest, kidney pain, and a variety of others which all have undetectable causes.
The cause of hypochondria had remained a mystery until the publication of an essay entitled "The Matter Of Framework" in 1980.This essay proposed that poor posture strained the spine and compressed the chest and abdomen to cause a multitude of varied and alternating symptoms.
This concept was devised between 1975 and 1979 and has since been referred to as The Posture Theory.
This theory was improved between 1994 and 1999 to show that the ailment is more common in people who have a stooped spinal deformity and who also have a flat chest.
This is because the combination of those features results in the torso buckling when the person slouches forward, and in this movement the midriff acts as a hinge. Consequently the midriff moves backwards, and the chest rotates forwards and downwards, toward the abdomen which rotates forwards and upwards. This produces mechanical forces along that axis which directly compresses the lower chest, diaphragm, stomach, liver, and spleen, and secondarily compresses the heart, lungs, colon, and kidneys, and drives the lower tip of the breastbone inward towards the solar plexus.

 

The axis of hypochondria runs through the area of (1) left-sided chest pain, (2) upper-abdominal pain, and (3) right-sided chest pain.

 

Flat chest slouch where the torso buckles (left)

Deep chest slouch where the torso retains its shape (right)

 

Leaning forward repeatedly with a stooped spine and a flat chest stabs the lower tip of the breastbone into the stomach and is one of the main factors contributing to undetectable abdominal pain according to The Posture Theory.

 

The Undetectables

"Tens of millions of patients suffer from ailments which cannot be detected by the most advanced diagnostic methods available today, and must therefore have a psychological cause . . . "

Such a statement has been made in the name of medical science in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and is still being argued by some doctors today, without due regard for the fact that, in the interim, microscopes have been invented to reveal thousands of types of bacteria and viruses, previously not detectable. Then a sequence of inventions such as X-rays, CAT scans, and MRI's, revealed previously undetectable lesions, lumps, splits, cracks, or breaks which have been responsible for thousands of previously undetectable ailments.

People who don't learn from the mistakes of history, will repeat the mistakes of history. M.B.

 

There are people who spend a lot of time trying to convince the gullible public that undetectable illnesses are imaginary. Those people are unethical liars. Whenever a new device, such as a CAT scan is invented to reveal the real physical cause, they never apologise for being wrong, and are never punished for being proven liars. They often just change the labels, and hide the history of their mistakes, and continue to tell lies indefinitely.

 

Introduction

When the cause of symptoms or diseases do not show up on medical tests or x-rays the only sensible and correct conclusion that honest and intelligent people can make is that the cause is not known.

However, in my observation, people have pride in their abilities and competence and don't want to admit that they don't know, and can't find the cause.

Some such individuals will devise, invent, or drag up the most intricate and never ending circle of bizarre explanations which sound plausible, but which they will never ever be able to prove one way or the other, and will almost invariably involve concepts which cruelly, mercilessly, and heartlessly blame the victim.

At the basic level they will start by accusing the person of being a liar, or that they are imagining things, or faking to get sympathy or money. However, if there is proof that the problem has a physical cause they will try to deny it, or hide the evidence, or say it isn't good enough.

If they are forced by overwhelming facts, to admit that the symptoms are real, then they will start 'getting elaborate' with their arguments and say that the physical symptoms are caused by the mind, and hence argue that they are psychosomatic.

The most popular argument is that the symptoms are caused by anxiety, but if evidence is provided that anxiety could not be, and was not the cause, they will move onto other psychological possibilities. They will continue with 'depression' as the cause, and then 'mysterious aspects of the mind', and they will go onto the suggestion that they are authorities on the 'sub-conscious' mind which the patient is not even aware of, and they will relate it to presumed traumas from five, ten, or twenty years ago. The Golden Rule for patients is that if the person has not been able to give a sensible and believable explanation for physical symptoms, and has not been able to relieve them within a few months, then he doesn't have a clue what he is talking about and his suggestions have no more value than useless nonsense.

The person who does not understand your problems and cannot cure them, will, if he is stupid, proceed to convince you that he is the custodian of some sort of superior wisdom which he doesn't have, and which nobody in the world has ever had.

***

This webpage is about the physical causes of many of the symptoms and illnesses which have previously been considered imaginary or psychological because of the lack of scientific evidence of their reality.

For example, the symptoms of Da Costa's syndrome were once regarded as imaginary, but since then the invention of x-rays, blood tests, and other diagnostic methods has found them to be real.

Also, according to my theory, one of the possible causes is poor posture. However, I am not the only person to draw that conclusion. That possibility was also considered by Paul Wood, who was one of the worlds top authorities on the subject in 1956. e.g. see here and here and here and here and here.

See also here

Some people resent me for proving them wrong

and seek revenge

For more than 100 years it has been widely believed that any illness which cannot be seen with the eyes, or doesn't show up on x-rays or blood tests must involve the imaginary symptoms of hypochondria.

In 1975 I had dozens of such symptoms which were not being relieved by any form of treatment, so I decided to study the problem myself.

Within five years I was able to conclude that the cause was poor posture which placed the weight of the head and shoulders forward of the spine to put strain on the back muscles and dispose to a variety of backaches. It also put downward pressure on the chest and abdomen and disposed to chest pains, breathlessness, fatigue, and abdominal pains.

Since then I have occasionally discussed the idea with members of the public, friends, and acquaintances, some of whom have been university students, graduates, lecturers. professors, and research scientists. Most commonly they say that it is a perfectly reasonable, sensible, and logical idea, and some have considered it to be so obvious that they say "so what".

However, on rarer occasions I have met people who seem to hate me, as if they believe the ideas of imaginary cause, and think that I was trying to embarrass them by proving them wrong, which I wasn't.

I joined Wikipedia in 2007 and started collaborating with a woman who gave herself the ID of PaulaIsRight and was presenting a page about my theory, and from what i can recall, I asked her to add the word "hypochondria" to the text. Soon afterward six editors set up a discussion to get the page removed with comments such as delete, delete, speedy delete, delete, delete, speedy delete, delete, and within a week it was deleted. here

I then began searching through other pages to find any one of hundreds of other topics to add useful information to, when I found one about Da Costa's syndrome, which is what I had been studying, so I added some text and included some comments about my own theory.

Two editors then started a discussion page and spent the next twelve months inventing reasons for deleting every word I added.

At one stage an editor named SmokeyJoe said that I was making useful contributions, and my main critic, who calls herself WhatamIdoing, responded in the following manner . . . 'Look at this, delete, delete, delete, delete, almost every word he has added to more than six topic has been deleted, would you now call him a valuable editor?' See my reports here and here.

She failed to get me blocked, but then my other critic, Gordonofcartoon, set up another page and accused me of breaking more than fifteen rules, such as disruptive editing, tendentious editing, failing to assume good faith, original research, neutral point of view, wikilawyering, WP:SOUP etc. here

During that discussion two uninvolved editors suggested that the argument about producing a page which represented a neutral point of view could be solved if each editor wrote a separate essay and let 'neutral editors' decide which information to include.

When I finished the essay WhatamIdoing cut and pasted a copy onto her own subpage and added criticism to more than eighty statements in the text, with words such as 'citation needed', 'unreliable source', 'verification needed', ' unimportant detail', 'formatting wrong',' out-of-date', and 'neutrality disputed', etc. etc. here, and See my report on the 'reliability' of my reference here, and the 'neutral point of view' issues here

She eventually persuaded an administrator to 'ignore all the rules' and ban me. See here.

All evidence that I had been in Wikipedia is now gone, and almost every word I wrote has been deleted or attributed to someone else, and can't be found by anyone except those who are experts as tracing the history of edits.

 

There are obviously some people who hate me for proving that their ideas were wrong, but they have invented other reasons for getting me and my ideas out of Wikipedia. It is a case of 'character assassination'.

 

What do you think?

What do you think? Are my ideas reasonable, logical. and sensible, or worthless fringy nonsense?

In my opinion they are just plain statements of fact that came from five years of detailed observation and study.

The modern meaning of the word has been changed

Hypochondria is also nowadays referred to as hypochondriasis, somatoform disorder, and somatization disorder, and since the advent of the internet, with people surfing the web for health information, it has also been called cyberchondria. The meaning has changed, or been mixed or confused with other problems, and is generally accompanied by the opinion that the symptoms are trivial, imaginary, or due the the fear of disease, or have some other psychological cause.

It is also commonly used as a default diagnosis, not because the cause has any evidence of psychological basis, but because the physical cause can't be found by current diagnostic technology.

 

I studied those problems scientifically, objectively, and with verification of information, to find a physical cause of those problems.

In the past other authors have argued that there are too many symptoms in too many parts of the body for them to be explained by one disease, and that the only thing connecting all of those unrelated and remote parts of the body was the nervous system, and that it was controlled by the brain, which was influenced by the mind. Hence it was argued that the cause must involve a fault in the mind.

However, I was able to identify another factor that connected all of those unrelated and remote parts together, and it is the human frame, the skeleton, and if it is properly aligned there will be no pressure, and no effect on health, but if it has a fault which alters the bodies centre of gravity, then there will be abnormal pressures everywhere which can cause a large array of health problems.

Preoccupation with health, or justifiable necessity

There have been arguments that if patients with undetectable symptoms had 'real' or 'serious' illness they would know the difference and stop complaining, however, many such patients have actually had serious problems such as heart disease or cancer, and they do know the difference. Some of the major life-threatening cancers etc are often curable and the worst of chemotherapy is only used for a period of months, after which health can return to it's previous state. By contrast undetectable illness goes undiagnosed and untreated so the symptoms persist. While some patients develop a sense of hopelessness in those circumstances, others will, out of sheer necessity, occasionally or repeatedly make attempts to understand and treat their own symptoms. it is immoral and professionally unethical to refer to their attempts to relieve the symptoms as some sort of irrational preoccupation with health. A doctor who cannot diagnose or guarantee a cure has no right whatsoever to do that.

If a researcher pays close attention to the smallest of details and assesses the most confusing complexities and contradictions he is likely to be regarded as a great scientist. If a patient did exactly the same thing he would be diagnosed s having a morbid preoccupation with trivia.

Measurement of pain

There is no scientific way of measuring the severity of pain, so any assessment is based purely on 'opinion' or 'guess work' or 'prejudice' where it is popularly argued that the pain isn't detectable by x-rays, or MRI's therefore it must be trivial, It is also argued that it hasn't left a scar, therefore it must be unimportant, and that it is not having any effect on health, There are various arguments that tolerating or aggravating the pain isn't significant because it hasn't done any apparent injury, and therefore can't make any real injury worse.

However the same arguments have been used throughout history. For example, in the nineteenth century it was argued 'we can't see germs therefore they don't exist', and 'it isn't possible for something so tiny that it can't be seen to make a large human sick'. Nevertheless, since then the microscope has been invented and applied to medical use, and the existance of germs, and their major affect on human health has been verified. More recently it has been argued that stomach ulcers can't be caused by a microbe because it is impossible for microbes to live in stomach acid. Since then acid resistant microorganisms have been found and proven that assumption wrong.

The only truly objective, scientific, logical, and evidence based statement that can be made is that there is no difference between symptoms and ailments that show up on x-rays, and those which don't, other than the fact that some are detectable and some are not. It is also not necessary for there to be a difference between the psychological or mental state of patients whose illnesses show up on diagnostic machines, and those who don't. No difference at all.

The objective assessment of history would suggest that 90% of undetectable pain is real, 5% is psychosomatic, and 5% is malingering, but the general 'opinion' is that 90% is psychological, and 10% may or may not be psychological.

The plain facts are not popular - undetectable pain is undetectable, nothing more, and nothing less.

The principle of "Do no harm"

There have been arguments that it is best not to tell the patient about undetectable illnesses which can't be cured, because the existence of an incurable ailment may make the patient anxious, and also make the doctor responsible for something that he can't do anything about.

However there is also the general principle which is accepted by most doctors - namely - "Do no harm" - In particular, regardless of what you do, don't make the patients problems worse.

it assumes that telling the patient that they just have anxiety, or nerves, is not doing them any harm, but, in fact it can, and often does make the problem much worse.

First of all 'fear of the unknown' is one of the worst fears of all, so telling the patient that you can't find a physical cause adds to any anxiety. Secondly, most patients with real pain won't believe it is 'imaginary' or due to 'anxiety' so they will lose confidence in the doctors judgemental, and the doctor, patient relationship will be damaged. Thirdly, any label of 'mental illness' can harm some patients self-esteem, and make them doubt their own sanity without good reason, and it can attract prejudice from others. Fourthly, it can enable such organisations as insurance companies to shame and discourage them from making claims, or employ teams of lawyers to harass them with psychiatric labels in courtrooms, and apply the argument that the pain is imaginary, or mental, and not real and physical etc. and then use those ideas to swindle the person out of their entitlements to insurance payouts, or compensation etc. It can also give such companies the incentive to fund psychological research, and essentially induce psychologists and psychiatrists to write psychiatric explanations and labels which make the concepts seem believable.

The consequence of not getting financial entitlements is that poverty is added to the patients problem of illness.

Consequently, if the principle of "Do no harm" is to be used, then those 'harmful' effects on the patients well-being need to be considered.

The extremes to which some doctors will go to hide the limitations of diagnostic technology

The plain fact is that many real physical illnesses are undetectable, but many doctors are like the Fonz, in the TV show "Happy Days". The Fonz humorously has difficulty admitting that he has been wrong, or has failed at something, so his voice falters when he tries to say the word Wwwwrrrooooong . . . Woa.

Some doctors don't want to admit to themselves or the patient, or the public that the reason they can't detect disease is because their diagnostic methods are not good enough. They therefore kid themselves, or delude themselves into believing that the patient isn't sick, he only thinks he is, and they go to great lengths to convince the general public that the patient isn't sick.

They even go to great lengths to glorify their diagnostic machines to God like status by saying things like this . . . "We have put the patient through a bevy of tests with the most modern, sophisticated, scientific procedures that are available, and despite finding no signs of disease whatsoever, and giving our most sincere reassurances, the patient still says he is sick.

In there further extreme attempts to convince the public that the problem is not due to the failure of their instruments to detect the 'real' illness, they will go to elaborate lengths to invent the most bizarre psychological disorders in the patient. They will argue that the patient has 'imaginary' illness, or that he is 'faking' to get sympathy, or that he is subconsciously malingering, or is suffering from the fear of nonexistent illness, even though the patient shows no signs of fear, or that the symptoms are due to depression, even though the patient is not depressed, or that the patient is suffering from any one of 100 different and bizarre mental illnesses, even though the person has a perfectly sound mind, and they will argue that the sub-conscious mind is turning some sort of mental problem into a physical symptom, even though that idea sounds like pure fiction, and does not have, and never will have any scientific evidence or credibility.

Some doctors will go to all of those extremes to convince themselves and the public that they are perfect, and that their diagnostic instruments are infallible, when neither is believable.

From "all in the mind" to "it's real" 1975-2011

In the recent past it has been argued by psychiatrists that many illnesses and injuries have been trivial, imaginary, and "not real", and "all in the mind", in relation to such problems as "repetitive strain injuries", "whiplash injuries", "chronic abdominal pain", and "back aches" etc.

The ideas have been based on the absence of x-ray evidence of illness, and, as a common example chronic fatigue has been described as "just tiredness", or "tired all the time syndrome", and that the patients were just hypochondriacs who were imagining things and complaining about the sort of "normal tiredness" that ordinary people accept without fuss.

It has been particularly common for patients who claim insurance or workers compensation for such ailments to be referred to psychiatrists who will diagnose that they are "all in the mind", and therefore that the pain is not caused by the accident or work and so the patient is not entitled to compensation etc. Those patients have been systematically and routinely portrayed as being lazy, seeking sympathy, and as being greedy and faking illness to get money, or as being mental cases.

Hundreds of millions of patients have been defamed, and denied payments, and forced to live in poverty by the use of that "all in the mind" scam.

As a result, many patients have, with full justification, come to distrust doctors and especially psychiatrists, and have developed an interest in medicine to establish the scientific facts for themselves, and to inform the public, so that it becomes impossible to continue with such malicious and false arguments.

However, in a recent article Simon Wessley is claiming that he and his colleagues now know that these problems are physical and real, and he is arguing that they have always known that?, and is complaining about criticism from patients who misunderstand him, or don't trust him.

I can understand his plight if he is genuinely trying to help people, but he can't change the fact that he is the member of a profession which has a history of arguing that illnesses are "all in the mind", and of causing a great deal of harm to people, and that he will find it extremely difficult, for very good reasons, to get people to forget that.

These are some quotes from his article called "Mind the gap", which was published in an online publication called "Coffee House" - "The Spectator blog" on Tuesday, 30th August 2011 at 4:15 pm. . . .

"In 1987, I went to work as a trainee psychiatrist at the National Hospital for Neurology in Queen’s Square in London. One of my jobs was to see a group of patients who were not popular with the neurologists who ran the place. The patients had symptoms that might have had a neurological explanation — muscle pain, inability to walk, being unable to think clearly, feeling exhausted after the most minimal physical or mental exertion — yet the neurologists thought that they were at best suffering from depression or at worst swinging the lead" . . .

Over the next two decades, we developed two different approaches to rehabilitating CFS patients, based on the idea that even if we didn't know what caused the illness, we could still help patients manage their symptoms and regain control of their lives. Our two approaches were named Graded Exercise Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. The evidence soon showed that they worked. In 2007, some 20 years after we started, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence approved both treatments as safe and effective.

I am proud of what we achieved. We set up what was the first and is now probably the largest NHS service for CFS sufferers. We have now seen over 3,000 patients, and the majority of them are very grateful for the treatment they have received. Trawl the internet, however, and you will find some who claim that I and other professionals are the architects of a vast conspiracy to cover up the real nature of the illness, that we portray CFS sufferers as malingering neurotics. They say we are denying its sufferers their treatment and benefits by falsely claiming that the condition is ‘all in the mind’, i.e. nonexistent— which has never been our view. The evidence is that, like most illnesses, CFS is a mixture of the physical and the psychological."

"A few years ago, I attended a US conference in which a scientist proposed that what was needed in CFS was more brain imaging. If we could identify the problem with the brain, we could tell patients it’s not all in their heads,’ he said‘, without apparent irony."

"The World Health Organisation, which runs something known as the International Classification of Diseases, a Sisyphean attempt to bring order to diagnostic chaos, is now working on yet another revision. They should think seriously about following the MRC lead and merging psychiatry and neurology into one category. This would rid us of the ‘all in the mind’ slur, and let us get on with our jobs — improving the treatment of patients and their illnesses." (end of quotes) See here http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/7202658/mind-the-gap.thtml

 

Here is a quote from another article about the same topic by Robin McKie entitled "Chronic fatigue syndrome researchers face death threats from militants". It was published in the online website guardian.co.uk "The Observer" on 21st August 2011

"The full extent of the campaign of intimidation, attacks and death threats made against scientists by activists who claim researchers are suppressing the real cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is revealed today by the Observer. According to the police, the militants are now considered to be as dangerous and uncompromising as animal rights extremists" . . . and . . . "None of the scientists contacted by the Observer believed chronic fatigue syndrome was purely psychological. All thought external causes were involved. "There is an element that is heritable," said Dr Esther Crawley, a consultant paediatrician at Bristol University. "We also know that in children it is often triggered by a virus infection, while in adults it is associated with social deprivation. Stress and adversity is involved. To call this yuppie flu – as people have done – is a complete misnomer."

Crawley has spent years trying to unravel the causes, but her refusal to accept that the condition is a result only of organic external factors has resulted in her being deluged with hate mail from extremists." here http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/aug/21/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-myalgic-encephalomyelitis?CMP=twt_gu

 

My comment: First of all I developed a method of testing and treating chronic fatigue patients with an exercise programme, between 1975 and 1982, five years before Wessely in 1987, and it was designed as a physical treatment for a physical problem. Hence, I should be acknowledged as the originator, or, if both ideas were developed independently, the preceder of that method. However, my programme identified the need to train within physical limitations, not continuously improvement (graded exercise), but there are similarities in the method.

Secondly: The idea that this problem is either psychological or neurological has never been proven, and they are not the only two options which need to be considered in research as other possibilities exist.

Thirdly: If they want to avoid the "all in the mind" slur (a deliberate insult), it would be better to stop treating such patients in mental hospitals, and set up "chronic fatigue clinics" run by 'chronic fatigue specialists - not psychiatrists. If any psychological factors are a part of the cause, or the consequences of having the ailment, then the can be treated as a separate issue in much the same way as they are treated as separate issues with any other ailment.

 

The differences between myself and Wessley

My motive for studying this problem was to explain the cause of my own symptoms, and to develop effective methods of managing them, which no-one else was able to do at that time, and I was publishing my findings at my own expense so that 200 million other patients could have access to the same knowledge. Nowadays, thirty years later, the same methods (of exercise and CFS) are being reported as being the most effective mainstream treatments. However, in the meantime I have been maligned and dismissed as being an ignorant unqualified fool with fringy ideas, and received the most offensive and hostile criticism, including inferences about my mental state.

I have also been critical of the way many patients have been told that their ailments were "all in the mind", when there has actually been evidence of physical cause, and have been critical of the amount of damage such arguments have done to those individuals, and of how those ideas have been used to swindle genuine patients out of their entitlements to insurance and compensation.

By comparison Wessely started as a trainee psychiatrist and was trying to improve the attitude and treatment of CFS patients, and recognised that the situation at the time he started was inappropriate and unacceptable.

It is difficult to criticise someone who is useful to patients, but he has to acknowledge that much of the criticism against his profession has been justified, and that the ideas and practices of the past, of attributing physical symptoms to being "all in the mind" just because they don't show up on X-rays, need to be recognised as a scam, and have to cease. signed by Max Banfield 3-9-11.

 

Heated arguments have been a part of chronic fatigue research history for 100 years

The arguments have been about whether chronic fatigue is . . .

"real" or "imaginary"

"genuine or malingering"

"physical or "psychological"

"normal tiredness" or "completely different"

"trivial"or "disabling"

However, there is a vast history of scientific research which proves that the symptoms are real, and that the best treatment is mild exercise within the individuals limits, and a quiet and mild lifestyle.

References . . .

1.Paul O (1987). "Da Costa's syndrome or neurocirculatory asthenia". Br Heart J 58 (4): 306­15. PMID 3314950. See here

2.Wheeler E.O. (1950), Neurocirculatory Asthenia et.al. - A Twenty Year Follow-Up Study of One Hundred and Seventy-Three Patients., Journal of the American Medical Association, 25th March 1950, p.870-889 (Contributors to the study: Edwin O.Wheeler, M.D., Paul Dudley White, M.D., Eleanor W.Reed, and Mandel E.Cohen, M.D.)

 

What would you do if this was you?

What would you do if you had been told that your symptoms were trivial, imaginary, or all in the mind, if they included. . . "feeling exhausted after the most minimal physical or mental exertion?"

 

See my exercise research findings here

and the type of criticism I had to deal with here

and my explanation for many unexplainable symptoms here

and unexplainable abdominal pains here

The Posture Theory controversy, and why my theory has not become widely known and accepted?

The Posture Theory provides an explanations for symptoms where the cause has not previously been known, so it should be objectively described as a theory for "Multiple Unexplainable Symptoms".

However, in the past, in the absence of an explanation, the symptoms were generally regarded as imaginary, or psychological in origin, and have been called Hypochondria.

Scientific proof for the physical basis has been established by advances in diagnostic technology in the twentieth century..

 

 

ricketsSkeleton

There are obviously some doctors and psychiatrists who would like the public to believe that all of the aches and pains of a man with this stature are due to imaginary or psychological factors. They do not want to admit that I am correct in attributing the cause to poor posture because they see it as being evidence that their own theories of the past 100 years were wrong. They would rather ignore me and hope that the theory is forgotten, and introduce the factual information to the medical literature in a way that avoids having to admit that it came from me. They would also prefer to defame me as a fringy kook with a foolish idea.

I set out to find the cause of my own health problems and was successful. I did not set out to prove anyone else wrong or to embarrass anyone, but if I did not study the history of the subject, and that included the history of hypochondria, I would not have had all of the clues to the real cause, and I needed as many as possible.

There would now be many millions of people who benefit from my ideas, but hardly anyone knows me. I tried to remain anonymous for most of the past 30 years to avoid the prejudices that were created by the old ideas, and that probably caused more psychological problems for patients than the ailments themselves.

As they say - if you tell someone that their pains are imaginary or psychological often enough they will believe you, and if other people treat you as a mental patient you will probably become one.

I was able to avoid the consequences of that.

(Compare that with a pale negro who presents himself as a white man in a suit and he will be treated with respect, but if he presents himself as a scruffily dressed black man he will be treated with contempt and disdain, and will probably respond in an antisocial way that reinforces the prejudice.)

 

The theft and uses of my ideas Apart from the fact that many patients will now be benefiting from my ideas, there will be health professionals of all sorts who will gain financially by using my methods of treatment, and some psychiatrists will be misrepresenting my physical methods as "exercise psychotherapy" or "behavioural psychotherapy".

.

It takes many years to develop good ideas, but only a few minutes to read and steal them, and say "that is simple - we already knew that", but if that was so, why was I told 30 years ago that none of the symptoms were evident on any of the medical tests or x-rays, and that it was impossible for there to be a single cause for such a large number and diversity of ailments.

The cures?

There are also many claims made by some individuals to be able to 'cure' the sort of postural problems shown in the diagram, but that simply isn't possible, nor is it possible to 'cure' many of the ailments that result, but it is possible to prevent, eliminate, minimise, or manage the symptoms.

There are, therefore, arguments about the importance of reassurance, but to some extent false reassurance is worse than nothing because it results in a lifetime of disappointment, instead of adjustment and acceptance.

Victim blaming

Finally, there is the practice of victim blaming. Some of the treatments will only be temporarily beneficial, and some practitioners will take advantage of the fluctuating nature of some of the symptoms, and see the circumstance as a way of creating the illusion that their form of treatment was responsible for a 'cure'. They will also know that the relapse of symptoms will inevitably follow, and will see that as an opportunity of 'blaming the victim'. by arguing that the patient did not want to get better, or did not continue following the instructions etc.

Only medically educated patients can properly protect themselves from such scams.

Wikipedia

While I was involved with Wikipedia I spent several weeks assisting another editor to prepare an accurate summary of my thousand page book called The Posture Theory. I started corresponding with her by email probably early September 2007, and she had prepared the first draft by the 14th. Some changes were made, and she had some difficulty uploading it to Wikipedia but was successful about ten days later. The process of adding the article and learning the various requirements proceeded smoothly enough but then suddenly, on 28th November 2007, within six hours seven editors came rushing in to have the page deleted. This is the events in the discussion . . .

"The Posture theory
Theory of health promulgated by one author in one book. Not recognised by health scientists in general. Limited support from authoritative sources (no results on PubMed beyond the 1980 paper. Delete. JFW | T@lk, 21.!3, 28th November 2007 (UTC)
Speedy delete as a copyright violation. Simple refactoring of this page. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 21:35, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Delete as original research edited by single-purpose account. Speedy if copyvio is confirmed. --Blanchardb-MeMyEarsMyMouth-timed 21:40, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Speedy delete as copyvio per Hoekstra, so tagged. Ten Pound Hammer • (Broken clamshells•Otter chirps) 21:46, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Delete Speedy or slow. Non-notable in any case. Tim Ross·talk 22:47, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Delete per nom, WP:FRINGE, WP:OR. Bearian (talk) 00:38, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Delete as one guy's theory. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:13, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Delete per nomination. Masterpiece2000 (talk) 04:50, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

(end of quotes)

 

The rapid response and cacaphony of diverse criticism looked to me as if a fox had been thrown into a shed full of chooks. I then spent about a week providing answers to their questions, and to the level of requirements which far exceed many other articles in Wikipedia, but it was deleted anyway. See here.

 

I cannot recall the details but my email records show that I prepared a draft for another article on 7th October 2007, and posted it on 28th November 2007. I am not sure if it was successfully sent or not, but this is the text . . .

Postural Hypochondria: A type of hypochondria
A set of symptom which occur where there is no evidence of disease, and can be attributed to poor posture.
The word hypochondria is derived from the ancient Greek word hypo, which means beneath, and chondros, which means cartilage, and it refers to diseases which had their origins beneath the cartilage's of the ribs, which would nowadays be known as the midriff or upper abdomen, and which contain the liver, stomach, and spleen.
The Greeks, and the later physicians of The Dark Ages had a theory that the body contained four fluids, namely, blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile, and that when these were in proper balance the patient was healthy, but if they changed in any way they would cause disease.
For example, if a physician felt the right side of the midriff and the liver was hot (due to infection), they thought that the black bile was cooking, and becoming toxic, and if it was very hot, that it was boiling and producing a vapour or spirit (similar to alcohol being a liquid spirit), which was a finer toxin, and presumably accounts for the term “evil spirit” because it caused disease.
They also wanted to be able to explain how disease in one part of the body could cause symptoms in multiple other parts.
Therefore, for example, they proposed that the black bile boiled in the stomach to cause abdominal pain, and then entered the blood stream to cause symptoms wherever it traveled or settled, such as going up to the heart to cause palpitations, and the lungs to cause breathlessness, and the chest to cause chest pains, and then soreness in the throat and the eyes, and ultimately headache, sullen moods, and anger or rage.
These ideas were recorded by 17th century writer Robert Burton who studied the subject in an attempt to find a cause and cure for his own ailments. He was a scholar with several university degrees who could read many languages, and he traveled to the great libraries of England, Europe, and Arabia, in search for the knowledge. Most of those libraries have since been destroyed by fires, floods, or wars, so his study provides a valuable legacy which is not readily available from other sources today.
He wrote one of the most popular and best selling books of his era, and according to Sir William Osler it was “the greatest medical treatise written by a layman”. His book “The Anatomy of Melancholy” was published in 5 editions during his lifetime, and several editions since, and nowadays the title in modern language would read “The Systematic Study of Black Bile” with a subtitle “and it’s effect on physical and mental health”.
By the nineteenth century it became popular to believe that the symptoms were trivial or imaginary, as they rarely resulted in death, and with the advent of psychology, it was thought that they must be caused by mental states such as anxiety or depression. In fact the old ideas were sometimes cited as evidence of the new, but that due to a misinterpretation of changed or dual meanings of words. i.e. the new idea was that hypochondria - imaginary symptoms, was caused by melancholy - sadness or depression, but the old idea was that hypochondria - a multiple symptom disorder was caused by melancholy - black bile.
By the twentieth century the name hypochondria became associated with the idea that some people complained about chest pains because they thought they had heart disease, or they thought that every headache was caused by a brain tumor, when no such diseases existed. However those interpretations are not consistent with the original meanings of the word and could be more relevantly referred to as disease phobias.
The general meaning of the word came to refer to anyone who complained a lot about trivial illness. For example, it was thought that a person who complained about a cut finger, or who went to bed with a cold, was just a whinging, sympathy seeking hypochondriac.

The actual cause of hypochondria remained a mystery for 2000 years until the publication of an essay entitled “The Matter of Framework” in 1980, which described how leaning forward with a stooped spine compressed the chest and abdomen resulting in chest and stomach pains, palpitations and breathlessness. Also pressure on the air and blood vessels in the chest impaired blood flow between the feet and brain, causing fatigue and faintness.
The cause remained a mystery because there was no immediate link between cause and effect and because not everyone with poor posture developed such symptoms. That is because many other factors contribute to the problem such as a stooped spine, a thin physique, and a long, flat, or narrow chest, sedentary work (which involves leaning toward a desk), and tight corsets or belts which reduce the chest and abdominal space, and add to the effects of postural stooping. It was also because there are subtleties and delays between the the causative activities and the symptoms, as there are with many other ailments.
That essay has since been referred to as The Posture Theory, which developed as an attempt to determine the cause of those symptoms, hence the term “Postural Hypochondria”, which is self evident from a view of “The Posture Theory Diagram”.

The deletion of everything else I sent to Wikipedia

Soon after that, on 9-12-2007, I found another article called Da Costa's syndrome and started writing about it, but was then confronted by two individuals who hounded and harassed me for twelve months and made sure that virtually everything I added, regardless, of it's independence and quality, was deleted, and they continued to lie and cheat, and harass me until they finally used their 'ignore all their own rules' policy to get me banned. e.g. See here and here

Wikipedia editors stole everything I wrote, by transferring the same information to other pages in Wikipedia

My report on how they rewrote my contributions and transferred them to other pages in Wikipedia can be seen here

It is also apparent to me that a lot of information that I provided to Wikipedia, and which has been moved to other pages has also made it's way onto other websites - some of it put there by Wikipedia editors.

There are also many websites which appear to have looked through my book, and my website of summaries of many long forgotten items from history, and my unique interpretations and conclusions, and then rewritten them in a better style to make them more readable and popular.

It is a situation where I did all the difficult research and I put a lot of thought into the logical conclusions, and a lot of other people get the credit because of their writing skills.

Such is life.

 

 

THE HISTORY OF THE WORD HYPOCHONDRIA AND ITS VARIOUS USES

The word hypochondria is derived from the ancient Greek word HYPO, which means beneath, and CHONDROS, which means cartilage, and it refers to diseases which had their origins beneath the cartilage's of the ribs, which would nowadays be known as the midriff or upper abdomen, and which contain the liver, stomach, and spleen.
The Greeks, and the later physicians of The Dark Ages had a theory that the body contained four fluids, namely, blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile, and that when these were in proper balance the patient was healthy, but if they changed in any way they would cause disease.
For example, if a physician felt the right side of the midriff and the liver was hot (due to infection), they thought that the black bile was cooking, and becoming toxic, and if it was very hot, that it was boiling and producing a vapour or spirit (similar to alcohol being a liquid spirit), which was a finer toxin, and presumably accounts for the term "evil spirit" because it caused disease. They could also feel heat or cold over such areas as the diaphram, stomach, or spleen and attributed some of it to obstruction of those parts or to obstruction of the veins of the liver, stomach or mesentery, or to the suppression of haemorrhoids.
They also wanted to be able to explain how disease in one part of the body could cause symptoms in multiple other parts.
Therefore, for example, they proposed that the black bile boiled in the stomach to cause abdominal pain, and then entered the blood stream to cause symptoms wherever it traveled or settled, such as going up to the heart to cause palpitations, and the lungs to cause breathlessness, and the chest to cause chest pains, and then soreness in the throat and the eyes, and ultimately headache, sullen moods, and anger or rage.
These ideas were recorded by 17th century writer Robert Burton who studied the subject in an attempt to find a cause and cure for his own ailments. He could read many languages, and he traveled to the great libraries of England, Europe, and Arabia, in search for the knowledge. Most of those libraries have since been destroyed by fires, floods, or wars, so his study provides a valuable legacy which is not readily available from other sources today.
He wrote one of the most popular and best selling books of his era, and according to Sir William Osler it was "the greatest medical treatise written by a layman". His book "The Anatomy of Melancholy" was published in 5 editions during his lifetime, and several editions since, and had a section dealing with a group of disorders called hypochondriacal melancholy
By the nineteenth century it became popular to believe that the symptoms were trivial or imaginary, as they rarely resulted in death, and with the advent of psychology, it was thought that they must be caused by mental states such as anxiety or depression.
By the twentieth century the name hypochondria became associated with the idea that some people complained about chest pains because they thought they had heart disease, or they thought that every headache was caused by a brain tumor, when no such diseases existed. However those interpretations are not consistent with the original meanings of the word and could be more relevantly referred to as disease phobias.
The general meaning of the word came to refer to anyone who complained a lot about trivial illness. For example, it was thought that a person who complained about a cut finger, or who went to bed with a cold, was just a whinging, sympathy seeking hypochondriac.

The actual cause of hypochondria remained a mystery for 2000 years until the publication of an essay entitled "The Matter of Framework" in 1980, which described how leaning forward with a stooped spine compressed the chest and abdomen resulting in chest and stomach pains, palpitations and breathlessness. Also pressure on the air and blood vessels in the chest impaired blood flow between the feet and brain, causing fatigue and faintness.
The cause remained a mystery because there was no immediate link between cause and effect and because not everyone with poor posture developed such symptoms. That is because many other factors contribute to the problem such as a stooped spine, a thin physique, and a long, flat, or narrow chest, sedentary work (which involves leaning toward a desk), and tight corsets or belts which reduce the chest and abdominal space, and add to the effects of postural stooping. It was also because there are subtleties and delays between the the causative activities and the symptoms, as there are with many other ailments.
That essay has since been referred to as The Posture Theory, which developed as an attempt to determine the cause of those symptoms, hence the term "Postural Hypochondria", which is self evident from a view of "The Posture Theory Diagram".

 

Other opinions about
the nature of hypochondria in the 20th century 


"HYPOCHONDRIASIS - The hypochondriac usually fancies himself the subject of all the ills that flesh is heir to . . . and . . . seems to be the correlative in the male sex of that which, in the female we call hysteria . . . Most frequently there is functional derangement of some part, generally of the stomach, though sometimes there is real alteration in structure . . There is . . . generally a most obstinate indigestion and if that be cured the patient is usually in a fair way to be relieved of his mental symptoms . . . and hypochondriases . . . seldom occurs in those who lead an active, healthy life in the open air."
The Doctor at Home and Nurses Guide Book, 1910


"HYPOCHONDRIAC - used of complaints that appear to lack a physical recognizable basis."
Ruddock's Homoeopathic Vade Mecum, 1914


"HYPOCHONDRIASIS - the term used for the condition in which people get pleasure out of ill health."
Illustrated Medical and Health Encyclopedia, 1957


"HYPOCHONDRIA - neurotic reaction characterised by habitual preoccupation with physical health and unwarranted concern with an imagined or negligible defect."
The Colombia Encyclopedia, 2nd Edition, 1960


"HYPOCHONDRIA - [NL,fr.LL, pl., upper abdomen (formerly regarded as the seat of the hypochondria)] - extreme depression of mind or spirits often centred on imaginary physical ailments."
Webster's 7th New Collegiate Dictionary, 1972


"HYPOCHONDRIACS - constantly imagine they are ill. Serious hypochondria is a form of neurosis."
The Australian Family Health Encyclopedia, 1986


"HYPOCHONDRIA - is characterised by excessive concern about one's health in the absence of actual physical disease or disorder . . . The patient is capable of developing successive sets of symptoms of alleged new illnesses . . . catalogues of aches and pains
. . . or he may become fixated on a single illness. This disorder is observed more often among women than among men."
The Encyclopedia Americana, International Edition, 1990

"Hypochondria . . . (is now also called) cyberchondria (when patients search the Web for information about their symptoms) . . . (but) . . .we have no good explanation for them . . . it's a disorder of thought, not of the body . . . (now called) heightened illness concern".
Time Magazine (South Pacific edition) October 6th 2003 Comments on the Time Magazine article

 

 

The scientific formula for hypochondria

H = 1/T
H = hypochondria - the number of illnesses diagnosed as imaginary

1 = one

T = technology - the number of diagnostic devices developed by advances in technology.

The association is an axiom, not a mathematical equation.

 

The further backward you can look, the further forward you can see: Winston Churchill.
The disoveries of history prove it.

 

Throughout history, as the number of diagnostic devices and tests increased, the number of illnesses that were deemed to be imaginary decreased.

i.e. the number of patients diagnosed with hypochondria is inversely proportional to the number of diagnostic tests available.

 

In plainer English - as more and more diagnostic instruments are invented, the number of diseases diagnosed as imaginary becomes less and less.

Also, most of the ailments which were diagnosed as imaginary in the nineteenth century have already been scientifically proven to be real, and most of those which are diagnosed as imaginary today, will most likely be proven real in the future.

 

 

 Hypochondria in the 17th century
Diseases which could not be seen with the eyes or any other form of detection at the time.

Hypochondria

(the default diagnosis)

 

A large number of undetectable illnesses which were deemed to be imaginary ailments and to have a psychological cause

 Hypochondria in the 20th century

 

Diseases which could not be seen with they eyes and,
Could not be seen with microscopes
Could not be seen with x-rays
Could not be seen with cat scans
Could not be seen with magnetic resonance imaging machines
Could not be seen with other modern diagnostic equipment

 

Hypochondria

A smaller number of

undetectable illnesses which were deemed to be imaginary ailments and to have a psychological cause

 Hypochondria in the 21st century
Diseases which could not be seen with the eyes
Could not be seen with microscopes
Could not be seen with x-rays
Could not be seen with cat scans
Could not be seen with magnetic resonance imaging machines
Could not be seen with other modern diagnostic equipment

Diseases which will be seen with yet to be developed 21st century diagnostic equipment

 Hypochondria

A much smaller number of undetectable illnesses which were deemed to be imaginary ailments and to have a psychological cause

 The history of hypochondria chart © 10-5-2002

 This chart is subject to copyright but may be reproduced for review purposes on condition that the source is acknowledged as The Posture Theory, with reference to this webpage.

 

The Incorrect modern definitions of hypochondria

The definition of hypochondria has changed throughout history in ways that have absolutely nothing to do with the actual or literal meaning of the word, as seen in the examples below

 The modern definitions that the condition is caused by.

 The facts

That the symptoms are imaginary 

 The real physical cause of the symptoms has been found

The patients suffer from trivial ailments

 The symptoms are in the same category and level as any other ailment

 The patients suffer from a fear of illness

 The fear of an illness is called disease phobia, and has nothing to do with hypochondria, unless the patient has a fear of illness, in which case he has hypochondria AND disease phobia

 The patients are preoccupied with their illness.

 All patients with all disease are preoccupied with their illness and will seek a cure.

In cases where the doctors cannot provide a cure the interest in curing the ailment is normal and the patient has two choices, either continue to take ineffective advice and treatment, or develop methods of treating the problem themselves

Most patients have other preferred interests but have to spend time dealing with health problems to make everything else possible.

 The condition is called depression

  Depression is an entirely different disorder involving a mood of sadness that may or may not be associated with the physical symptoms

 The condition responds to reassurance

 The condition is chronic and reassurance will not effect them, although it may be of some benefit to patients who worry about them.

 The symptoms can be cured by plascebos because the patients are gullible.

The patients are no more or less gullible than anyone else in the community, and placebos don't have any effect on the long term outcome because they have no effect on the symptoms

 

The patients resent their doctors

 Patients do not have any general dislike of their doctors in relation to othere illnesses which are properly understood and treated.

If they decide to become medical critics they are no different to any other type of critic.

 The patients would not be able to deal with serious illness such s heart disease or cancer.

 Patients with any type of chronic illness may actually have acquired the knowledge, experience, and skills to be better at dealing with ailments such as heart disease and cancer than a previosly healthy person.

 The cause of the symptoms are undetectable and are therefore not real.

 The lack of detectability does not make them less real than detectable illness. The causes are generally detectable

(the absence of evidence does not equate with absence of existance)

Doctors can label anybody as anxious, depressed, or fearful of illness - but they cannot make the person something they are not, just by giving them a label.

It would be like telling someone that their symptoms were due to a fear of exercise. You could never convince a sportsman of that.

You can judge another man, but most people are sensible enough to know that you don't volunteer to walk in their shoes.

Robert Darwin was a respected doctor. His son, Charles Darwin, was a genius who wrote the theory of evolution. He also suffered from chronic fatigue, and has often been described as a hypochondriac. He tried to cure his fatigue and failed. To describe him as an ignorant and gullible person with poor breeding, and poor character development, and a personality disorder which involved a fear of exercise and adventure, - is just not believable - everything is relative.

 

The Posture Theory has been around for more than 20 years and has changed the way people think about many medical conditions. If you agree with The Posture Theory and think that it important for the general public to know about it, please ask everyone in your email address book to view this webpage.

Attempts to discredit me and my ideas are futile, because nobody can change facts.

The main symptoms of hypochondria and their real cause, including the symptoms of

Da Costa's syndrome

Are not imaginary

 There is a condition called Da Costa's syndrome which involves palpitations, left-sided chest pains, breathlessness and fatigue.

It was named after J.M. Da Costa who defined it in 1871 to distinguish it from heart disease which has similar symptoms.

At that time there were no such things as cardiographs so most doctors did not know the difference and often mistook it for heart disease, and many patients made the same mistake.

The objective of Da Costa's article was to start research into determining the cause of the symptoms.

Many doctors argued that the patients were imagining things, or that their fear of heart disease caused their subconscious minds to imagine the symptoms etc., and therefore regarded it as the typical or classic type of hypochondria - imaginary illness.

However others studied the physical aspects and found that the left-sided chest pains could be relieved by injecting an analgesic (pain killing drug) into the site of tenderness between the ribs, which proved that the symptom was real, and physically based.

The breathlessness was found to be caused by spasm of the breathing muscles, and was therefore real.

The fatigue was related to the abnormal pooling of blood in the abdominal and leg veins, which reduced the blood supply to the brain to cause abnormal tiredness, and reduced the blood flow to the heart during exercise which reduced the capacity for exertion so the two types of fatigue symptoms were real.

The palpitations was probably related to small chest size where the heart beat was more easily noticed.

The label of Da Costa's syndrome is rarely used nowadays (2009), but the main theory of imaginary illness has been disproven.

Despite that the idea of imaginary illness is still popular, and still widely believed and accepted - but no-one is being told that the main original idea of imaginary symptoms has been scientifically proven wrong. M.B.

 

This is a quote from the top authority on Da Costa's syndrome in Britain in 1941. "There are three good reasons why the pain is not imaginary: its character and behaviour are too uniform; medical colleagues who have suffered from it are good witnesses of its reality; and although it may be abolished by certain injections, presently to be described, I have never succeeded in having any effect upon it by injections through the same skin puncture but into the wrong structure." (end of quote) See The British Medical Journal, 1941, May 24, 1 (4194), page 770. here.

Costochondritis
Some people get occasional sharp stabbing pains in the lower left side of the chest, and it is the only symptom they have, but in other patients it can be accompanied by severe muscle cramps in various parts of the chest, and with a variety of other symptoms.

However, I have suggested that the left sided chest pain is due to poor posture, particularly when they person repeatedly leans forward as happens with sedentary workers who lean forward to read or write all day for many years.

The repeated strain causes tenderness in the muscles between the ribs, and is occasionally accompanied by sudden sharp stabbing or darting pains which are similar to hitting a nerve.

The medical name for that is "Costo-chondritis" which means inflammation of the cartilages of the ribs.

The older name was hypochondria which is derived from the words hypo, which means below, and chondros, which referred to 'the cartilages of the ribs".

Many different ideas have been written about the cause.

 

Notes and essays about the topic of hypochondria

TYPES OF DIAGNOSIS FOR HYPOCHONDRIA

THE DOCTORS METHOD OF DEALING WITH UNDETECTABLE ILLNESS

 THE TREATMENTS OFFERED
The honest diagnosis   The doctor admits that he doesn't know the cause of the symptoms  The doctor admits that there is no known treatment that has been found to be effective.
The dishonest or deceitful diagnosis  The doctor has some way of blaming the victim for the symptoms by argung that the symptoms are imaginary, or due to fear of disease, etc. and will keep adding more than 100 arguments and psychiatric labels until one of them seems to fit the particular patient, or until the patient stops consulting the doctor after concluding that it is a complete waste of time and money.

 The doctor prescribes an endless number of pills, all with a different name and color in the hope of convincing the patient that something wlll cure the problem, when it is known that none will have any real value.

The doctor will try to convince that patient that the symptoms are due to psychological factors by using a series of more than 100 psychitatric labels - starting with it is imaginary, and then it is due to anxiety, and then subconscious anxiety ad infinitum.

THE SPIN DOCTOR

When a doctor tries to find the cause of a symptom he studies it in great detail and calls it the scientific method.

When a patient tries to find the cause of a symptom he studies it in great detail, and the doctor calls it hypochondriasis.

That process is called "SPIN"

When the doctor applies that process to everyone of 100 different arguments between a doctor and a patient he is called a "SPIN DOCTOR".

When a doctor gives psychiatric explanations or labels to physical symptoms the process is called the PSYCHOMORPHISING of physical conditions. For example, when a person carries a heavy weight for 10 miles until he feels faint with exhaustion and has to stop and rest he is described as having a mental breakdown, and if the person then has a reduced capacity for exercise they call it a mental illness, and when the patient learns to effectively control their symptoms by restricting their activity to moderate exercise, the doctor calls it a behavioural disorder, and they call an exercise programme sports therapy. When there are persistant attempts at giving psychiatric spin to entire groups of patients with physical conditions the process is called SOCIAL ENGINEERING. When the process uses terminology that the general public doesn't understand, the language is called JARGON. Doctors justify the use of complex terminology as a means of understanding complex health problems, however the deliberate use of jargon in public forums is designed to hide the weaknesses in their arguments from public scrutiny and criticism. The modern jargon for hypochondria is "Somatoform Autonomic Dysfunction". There is no scientific proof of the theory behind that label, and no effective treatment, and it is called SCIENTIFIC OPINION. Members of the public who comment on health are called Medical consumers or MEDICAL CRITICS who are not intimidated or confused by jargon, and translate it into plain English.

 


The Good and the Bad interpretations
of undetectable illnesses

Their is a lot of knowledge and mystique about the study of medicine which provides those who understand it considerable social power. That knowledge includes a collection of ideas or opinions that can be interpreted for good or bad, and in every group or organisation there are the good and the bad, so there are good and bad doctors. As they say there is a grain of truth in everything which can be made to make people believe all sorts of 'opinions'.

Without wishing to say anything for good or bad about doctors, I merely state those obvious facts for consideration in relation to the following 'popular' and 'widely used', and 'plausible', but somewhat dubious ideas.

The patient doesn't know his own mind.
They mind can play tricks on a person
The sub-conscious mind can turn psychological problems into physical symptoms
The persons health problems can be due to the sub-conscious mind turning the psychological problems of early childhood into physical symptoms
Hidden, but 'bottled up' emotions can cause physical symptoms to come to the surface.
The persons mind is producing physical symptoms to provide him with a respectable 'excuse' for shamefully evading his responsibilities.
An inadequate persons mind can be inventing symptoms to get the sympathy and attention that he 'seeks'.
The persons mind is 'faking' symptoms to get the secondary 'gain' - a financial gain in the form a large compensation payout, and that as soon as the payment is made the symptoms will magically disappear.
The pills had an apparent benefit because the patient doesn't understand the 'placebo' effect.
The scientific survey was unreliable because it only contained the 'self-reports' of patients
The claim that treatment is effective is just anecdotal
This is a popular question that is asked or implied . . . 'So it's not you that's mad, it's me the expert is it?, or 'So it's not you that's mad, it's the rest of the world is it?

Here are a few things to consider
There may or may not be any scientific proof of a physical cause, but there is also no scientific proof of psychological cause, so some psychiatrists complain that it unfair for them to have to prove a psychological cause because it is impossible.
Many groups or organisations spend a lot of time hiding scientific evidence of physical cause to prevent large groups of people for claiming compensation etc.
When Napoleon was sick, the British doctors, on his enemies side, diagnosed that the was a hypochondriac who was whinging about nothing, and the French doctors, on his own side, diagnosed that his abdominal pains were due to gastric ulcers.

There would be some doctors who would be giving psychiatric labels to win any argument against any patient who disputed their diagnoses, and to any and every medical critic, and they would keep writing hundreds of them until they were satisfied that they had one or more labels that the public would believe.

In a similar manner, it is easy to argue that 'jargon' is necessary for someone to understand very complicated illnesses, but it is also a very convenient way of excluding patients and the public for discussions.

 

 

Hypochondriacs

The word hypochondriac is a derogatory term that defames the character of medical consumers whose symptoms don't show up on conventional medical tests, and often, those who study the medical literature to find the cause of their illness after all other investigative methods have failed.

The label implies that the patients symptoms are imaginary, or trivial, or are due to a mental illness, and that the anyone who tries to cure their own ailment after the medical tests have failed is mad.

It leaves the patient in a situation where they have to accept the situation and suffer without complaining or trying to do something about it for themselves.

Not everyone is going to let labels interfere with solving their problems.

Anyone who studies the cause of their own ailment is put in the invidious situation of arguing with the medical profession.

There should be some middle ground.

 

Somatoform - just a modern name for hypochondria

Ask a silly question for unexplained, and uncured illness, and get some silly answers

It is quite likely that most patients with undetectable illnesses simply want a satisfactory and believable explanation, and more importantly relief from their symptoms.

If there isn't an explanation, or a cure the patient will have a lifelong ailment, so they will simply keep consulting doctors, especially during flare ups of their symptoms. The uncured ailment may continue to cause patients problems for the rest of their life, so they are quite likely to be branded as "excessively preoccupied with their health", and "worried about it ".

However, just doing the normal things that all normal people do - just asking the questions is likely to have the doctor assume that the patient is worried or anxious about them.

By contrast, if a doctor admitted that a proper explanation needed to be found, and studied it, his "interest" in the topic would have him described as "intelligent", "responsible", and "dedicated".

Also doctors never criticise the limitations of diagnostic machines such as x-rays, but continue to argue that the patient is unreasonable, or mad, for not being "convinced" that their problems are minor just because the "current" technology fails to detect something.

This is the Wikipedia definition which is commonly applied to patients with chronic unexplained and uncured symptoms.

 

"Hypochondriasis or hypochondria (sometimes referred to as health phobia or health anxiety) refers to excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness.[1] An individual suffering from hypochondriasis is known as a hypochondriac. Hypochondriacs become unduly alarmed about any physical symptoms they detect, no matter how minor the symptoms may be, they are convinced that they have or are about to have a serious illness.[2] Often, hypochondria persists even after a physician has evaluated a person and reassured them that their concerns about symptoms do not have an underlying medical basis or, if there is a medical illness, their concerns are far in excess of what is appropriate for the level of disease. Many hypochondriacs focus on a particular symptom as the catalyst of their worrying, such as gastro-intestinal problems, palpitations, or muscle fatigue. The duration of these symptoms and preoccupation is 6 months or longer.[3]
The DSM-IV-TR defines this disorder, "Hypochondriasis," as a somatoform disorder[4] and one study has shown it to affect about 3% of the visitors to primary care settings." (end of quote)

See here http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hypochondriasis&diff=417718338&oldid=417717306

 

Such a definition is clearly based on a "doctors" view, and does not objectively represent the simple fact that the illness is not detectable by modern instrumentation, and is not curable by modern treatments. Many patients would dispute the suggestion that they are "worried" about their illness, and just want relief from their ailment. Regarding it being minor or severe, there is no way of measuring pain, so that interpretation is just "unconfirmable", and "judgemental" "opinion".

See also here

 

Hypochondria is not Symptom Phobia or a preoccupation with imagined illness

Note that the term hypochondria is usually used to diagnose a patient with an undetectable illness. Many of them do not have any fear of disease.

A patient with a fear of symptoms has an entirely different problem called disease phobia., or jargon related to that. Their objective in studying the condition is to determine it's cause and cure, and that wouln't be necessary if it was already cureable.

The easy truth versus the difficult one

When a patient has undetectable ailments it is a lot easier for a doctor to lump him in the category with those who fake pain because he will only have to argue with relatively uneducated patients. However if the doctor branded all of those ailments as real he would find himself being phoned up and harassed by highly paid industrial and government officials who don't like paying compensation and insurance etc.

The only people who are really going to argue properly on behalf of patients with undetectable ailments are the patients themselves because everyone else has a conflict of interest.

The captive audience

When a patient has an ailment that doctors can't cure they have only two choices, do nothing, and suffer the consequences or try to solve the problem for themselves.

The captive audience

When a person attends an entertainment event and the singer is drunk, or the comedian's jokes aren't funny, they have to watch the show anyway, and when a patient attends a doctor, and he can't cure the problem, and he's wrong in his assessment, and no-one else in that profession can cure it, then the patient has to listen to all of the ideas even if they are completely irrelevant and useless nonsense.

The cash crop

There is a joke that I have heard about medicine which is about the fact, that when a patient has a diagnosable and curable illness, you can make money by providing a cure and then he is gone, but if a patient has a chronic illness, you have a customer coming every week or every month for his lifetime. When you have a lot of patients like that you have a constant flow of money from a cash crop.

When a patient has an undetectable illness he doesn't get a cure, he often can't work so he can't make money, and he has to live with the poverty and the insults, whereas the doctor makes money for doing nothing and gets praised for his efforts?

 

A virtual gold mine for the pharmaceutical industry

Patients who have lifelong illnesses will be given prescriptions for a massive number of pills during that time, and are the equivalent of a gold mine for the pharmaceutical industry which benefits financially from the sale of those medications. I have discussed this in some detail, which can be seen by scrolling up and down from the essay here http://users.chariot.net.au/~posture/Da%20Costa'sSyndWikiwebpagel.html#PlateOfPills

 

The good quack, bad quack trick

Dr.Good tells the public . . . "I'm telling you that the patients pain is all in his mind so that he won't worry unnecessarily about his health"

Dr.Bad says to the patient "Too bad sucker, we've convinced everyone else that there is nothing physically wrong with you so you can't get compo.

 

TBS

The modern alternative label for hypochondria "Too bad sucker"

 

When a doctor examines a patient he may measure their temperature and blood pressure and do a blood test or an x-ray. If he can find something such as asthma or diabetes, he labels it and provides the appropriate treatment.

If he can't then the plain unaltered and uninterpreted fact is that he just doesn't know what to do.

However, more often than not, he will suggest that the pain has a psychological basis and refer the patient to a psychiatrist, and that will generally result in the patient being given a psychiatric label.

Medicine claims to be "evidence based", which means that a physical diagnosis will be based on physical evidence, and psychological diagnoses are given on the basis of psychological evidence.

However, with advances in diagnostic technology, many illnesses such as peptic ulcers, which had previously been diagnosed as psychosomatic disorders have since been found to have a non-psychological basis, which means that the claim of evidence of psychological cause were wrong.

It is also evidence that the psychological diagnoses always have been, and continue to be, diagnoses by default. Namely, if the doctor can't find anything he attributes it to 'the mind'. They are also a form of 'victim blaming'. i.e. there is nothing wrong with the doctors diagnostic methods, so there must be something wrong with the patients mind.

The problem is that the labels are wrong, and that they are used to shame people, and to deter them from gaining their entitlements to insurance or pensions etc, and to swindle them out of those entitlements.

The label for some of those ailments was "hypochondria", but nowadays there is a range of labels to cover that same idea with the word "somatoform" etc, and single or multiple symptoms, and supposedly clear, or 'unspecified' types.

This makes the role of the doctor very easy, routine and simple. i.e. the illness is either real or it isn't, and there is absolutely nothing in between.

However. they have clearly been wrong - on a grand scale - in the past, which means that they have been and continue to be subjecting millions of people to inappropriate, and often derogatory branding. Those labels are also being used to swindle genuine patients out of the entitlements, and to leave them with a life of poverty, and utter misery to deal with all on their own. As has sometimes been said - No wonder they are anxious, depressed, go mad, or commit suicide much more often than the general population . . . and . . . if they weren't mad before they consulted their doctor - they soon would be. Unfortunately for the patient it is then very easy for other people to develop the perception that the mental illness caused the symptom and not vice versa.

In some instances it has been said 'see I told you so, the patient with all of those symptoms appeared to have a sound mind for twenty years, but finally his sub-conscious mental state has come to the surface to prove our original diagnosis of psychological cause'.

It is virtually impossible for any patient to do anything about those false arguments, and the false perceptions, and all I can do is write about it.

While I KNOW enough about medicine and psychology to recognised the flaws and emptiness of many of the concepts, and while I can view it all with humour, I am absolutely certain that it creates a life of utter misery for millions of genuine patients.

One of the labels which attempts to address this problem is MUPS - for "multiple unexplained symptoms", which is another alternative modern label for hypochondria, but the word has an element of mockery and might as well be called YUPS, NUPS, or TUPS. Nobody wants to be branded with a label like that, or tell other people that they have MUPS, because it is the social equivalent of branding themselves, and many would not want to read or write about it, which gives everyone else the opportunity to caste "outside judgement" without being challenged.

A more accurate and matter-of-fact label would be TBS - "too bad sucker" you was born in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong disease, and you have no more chance of your disease being properly diagnosed in your lifetime than you have of winning a prize in a raffle.

While I am genuinely trying to help those people, there are others who are writing psychiatric labels at a furious pace, and hiding or deleting scientific evidence of real physical cause, and gloating about their methods of suppressing the truth.

 

I have had many illnesses. Typically, a cold will pass in a week without treatment, a wound can be treated with stitches and heal within a fortnight, an infection can be cured within a few days, appendicitis can be treated with surgery and cured within a week etc. so you can't dispute the value of doctors, but a lifetime of trouble starts when they can't diagnose or cure your disease.

 

Hiding the problem of undetectable illnesses - medical denialism

Denying the existence of undetectable illnesses is similar to denying the existence of the holocaust.

Denying the evidence, or deliberately hiding or deleting scientific evidence of physical or physiological abnormalities is similar to burning the records, films, and photos of the concentration camps.

Putting such patients in the category of mental cases is the equivalent of doing the same to holocaust victims.

It is just that one is a social genocide, and the other is actual genocide i.e. an attempt to make the problem disappear.

Hiding the whole problem in jargon which the public doesn't understand is similar to hiding the concentration camps away from centres of population.

As they say - there has to be another solution, and replacing words like hypochondria with a dozen variations of the word somatoform, or with the mock term MUPS is not the solution.

Accepting and admitting 'without any hint of ambiguity' and in a matter-of-fact, non-judgmental manner, that such problems exist and are common, would be a good start. Establishing a non-psychiatric branch of medicine to replace the psychiatric monopoly would remove that professions conflict of interest, and would be a sign of progress. Studying the harmful social, emotional, and financial effects of the psychiatric branding and dismissal system should be part of that process.

Failing to detect, understand, or cure a patients ailment is one thing, discouraging them from trying to cure it themselves is the crime, and any attempts to do that directly, or by the use of labels, should not be tolerated, and should be formally classified as professional and criminal misconduct.

Hypochondria is one or more symptoms of unknown cause related to the upper abdomen - it is not imaginary, or trivial, or psychosomatic, and the patients are not anxious, depressed, or mentally ill, and studying a disease which the medical profession cannot cure is not an "unwarranted", "obsessional" "preoccupation" with health. it is like any other problem in life - sometimes no-one else can solve it so you have to do it yourself.

Definition - Medical denialism - the denial of the existence of undetectable illness, which usually follows the failure to find evidence of disease by modern scientific methods.

Scientific denialism - the inability to accept that modern scientific instruments, particularly diagnostic technology, can't detect everything.

Victim blaming denialism - Any attempt to divert attention away the failure of scientific technology to detect illness, onto some invented fault in the mental state of the patient.

 

La Maladie du petit papier

When patients take a piece of paper out of their shirt pocket which contains a list of symptoms to help the doctor diagnose the cause of their ailment the are diagnosed as having a mental illness called "La Maladie du petit papier". The malady (illness) of the little piece of paper.

When I was young I didn't know anything at all about illness, and if I became ill, I would naturally consult a doctor for advice, and sometimes get effective treatment or surgery and a cure, and that was the end of it. I just returned to my normal activities..

However, some of my symptoms didn't respond to treatment, and gradually increased in number, until I had many symptoms which persisted and remained , and were interfering with my capacity to engage in my normal daily activities and sports.

It was not unusual for me to consult him, and after a few minutes the talk would be over, and I would get home and remember something that I forgot to tell him that might have been important, so I eventually prepared a list of symptoms to remind me of what to say at the next consultation

During that time I assumed the doctor would go home at night and read the latest medical books to help me.

However, it became increasingly clear to me that he couldn't help, and that I would eventually have to study it myself, but such a task would be difficult, so I didn't rush into it. Nevertheless, by the age of 25 it was obvious that I would have to do something.

I knew at the start that it is highly unlikely for anyone to solve problems within a few minutes or days, and that one of the essential methods is to study them properly in detail.

I also knew that if I described my symptoms in detail that there would be people who would typically say that I was a mentally ill, obsessive compulsive hypochondriac who was morbidly interested in trivial symptoms which are so insignificant that they don't even show up on x-rays.

I therefore had to make the choice to continue or not, and as any sensible and unbiased person can see, the best thing to do was proceed. Of course, I also had to ignore the insults and labels.

I decided to proceed due to necessity, not mental illness.

I had a lot of success in determining the cause of some of those symptoms, but many of them are chronic, so I have had to live with them as best as possible.

During that time i have seen some extraordinary and very bizarre explanations about why patients prepare lists of symptoms to help their doctors, or study medicine to treat their own illness.

One of them was the diagnosis of a mental illness called La Maladie du Petit Papier which means The malady, or illness of patients who write their symptoms on a little piece of paper.

My only comment is this. If doctors knew how to cure my ailments in 1975, I would not have bothered to open page one of a medical book, but everything I did was "Necessary". See how I solved one of the mysteries about the cause of many sympotms in my short youtube video here, and my 1000 page book about posture and undetectable symptoms, which is now available as an ebook here.

 

 

Cyberchondria

Reading medical books and the internet is not necessarily a sign of mental illness, and not everyone who reads them is going to worry about what they learn

 

On 25-9-12, TV host Tracy Grimshaw, of the Channel 9 TV show called "A Current Affair", presented a segment on the topic of "Cyberchondria".

She explained that in previous times some people would read books to find information about their own health, and if they saw something such as a rash on their skin which looked similar to the one which they saw in a book, they could mistake it for a serious disease and worry about it unnecessarily.

However, she also mentioned that nowadays people search the internet for such information, and they are called "cyberchondriacs".

She explained that it is best to consult a doctor rather than diagnose their own illness.

While that may be good advice in some cases she did not present the other side of the story, so I will now give some examples.

1.The biggest cause of disease is ignorance, because if you don't know the cause of disease, or how to prevent or treat it, they you are much more likely to develop those ailments.

2. The most important thing that children should be taught it health education, so that they can develop into healthy adults, and it is possible to present and learn about health objectively by reading books or the internet.

3. Some young medical students start worrying about their own illnesses in first year of medical school, but they usually stop later when they have obtained more information and can tell the difference between minor and serious problems. Hence if you or they don't start you will never learn enough to know the difference, and will always be at a disadvantage.

4. People who don't learn for themselves are likely to develop other problems which are known as 'doctor dependence', and they tend to rely on medically prescribed pills and surgery for their treatment, when in fact other methods such as adjusting their diet may be more effective.

5. It is well known that in the past doctors have preferred patients to be ignorant for several reasons.

(a) They may be genuinely trying to protect the patient from unnecessary worry.

(b) Doctors are only human and they occasionally make mistakes, so they don't want their patients to know enough about medicine to identify that it was their fault and sue them for negligence etc.

(c) Many medically prescribed drugs have side effects and the doctors don't want the patients to find out that serious health problems were due to the prescription of wrong drugs or they might sue the doctor and the drug company.

(e) Doctors often get into arguments with patients and they like to win on the basis of the image that the doctor is always right, and the patient is always ignorant, worried, or mentally ill.

5. Not everybody who reads about illness is going to worry about it. They are sensible people who do what is necessary about any area of knowledge. i.e. you can either guess, or learn the facts.

6. Sometimes a doctor will wrongly assume that the patient is worried about his illness, jut because he asks the question, when in fact, the patient isn't worried, and merely wants advice about the symptoms, and if the doctor doesn't provide the answers then sensible people will look it up themselves.

7. People don't generally read medical books as their first choice. In fact most people never read them for weeks, months, or decades, until they get a disease which doesn't show up on x-rays, and which the doctor can't explain, and which he can't cure. In such cases the patient has no choice but to do nothing and suffer, or try to solve the mystery by reading medical books themselves. Some of them are successful in identifying diseases which their doctors couldn't.

8. Patients who have a chronic illness which doesn't respond to medical treatment are more likely to read medical books than those have temporary illnesses or those that were cured by standard treatment. Those who often read or write about such things are generally described as being constantly anxious, when they are not, and as being preoccupied with their own health, when in fact they are telling the public what they have found so that other people can benefit from the information.

9. Many people, such as the tobacco and junk food industries make profit out of selling their products, so they don't want the public to know about the harmful effects because it will reduce sales and profit. Hence they are motivated to hide the truth.

10. The manufacturers of harmful products will fund scientist to do research which sheds doubt on the harmful effects of their products, and will pay millions, if not billions of dollars each year for advertisements in newspapers, and on radio and TV, and on Wikipedia etc., and while the current television hosts may never have received such payments, many have in the past, and become very rich for their role in deceiving the public about cigarette smoke etc,. They have argued that there is no scientific proof that cigarette smoke cause lung cancer, when in fact it does, and they have argued that everyone has a right to smoke. While there was a grain of truth in those advertising campaigns the fact remains that people have a right to know the truth about the harmful effects. If people then choose to smoke according to their rights, then it is their own risk, but if they choose to smoke without knowing the harmful effects, then it is the tobacco companies fault, and the media's fault that hundreds of millions of people have since died of emphysema, and throat and lung cancer etc.

11. Many people who have since died of lung cancer were the radio and TV hosts who were given millions of dollars, and free packets of cigarettes to endorse or advertise them.

12. In the 1970's and 80's I was a critic of the organisations who told lies to the public about such things, including the tobacco and chemical industries, and the scientists who worked for them. I would present my arguments in newspaper articles and on radio talk back shows, and I would often be described by the scientists as an ignorant trouble maker, More recently I tried to add useful information to Wikipedia where anonymous individuals, who may or may not be getting paid to promote products, described me as a worthless and disgusting troll who needed to be banned.

13. Organisations who profit from harmful products have the motivation to deceive the public, and enough money to pay for advertising campaigns.

14. Nevertheless, in the sum of it all, I still won the arguments. The media and the governments are now doing what I and many others said to do, by regulating the tobacco industry, and putting pictures of cancerous black lungs on the packets of cigarettes so that people who buy them know the full facts before making the decision. The tobacco companies are now trying to promote their products in third world countries where the population has not been educated in such matters.

15. Evidence that I won the argument is also obvious from the fact that I am still alive to write about it whereas countless numbers of millionaires, movie stars, and advertising agents who smoked are now dead. They can't argue with me now, even if they wanted to.

16. My actions have been vindicated because I was trying to educate the public, whereas others were trying to use the newspapers, the TV shows, and the internet to keep them ignorant.

 

My other reports of tobacco etc can be seen here and here.

See my report on the history of hypochondria where diseases which were previously considered to be the imaginary ailments of hypochondria have since been diagnosed as real after the invention of microscopes and x-rays etc. here.

 

It is a feature of history that some people will try to maintain power in society by preventing others from gaining an education. For example in the nineteenth century white men argued that women should not be taught to read and write because the strain might damage their delicate brains. The only way that the imbalance of power was ever going to change was for society to recognise the fallacy of that type of argument.

 

You can't trust everything you see on television either

When looking for information about health it is necessary to consider that no one source can be relied upon, and that an overall view of all knowledge is necessary in order to get a balanced understanding of anything.

For example the TV interview about cyberchondria was biased in the way that it criticised the internet, as if to imply that anyone who wrote there was an unreliable fringy kook, and that anyone who read that information was an ignorant fool who was going to believe everything they saw, and worry about every disease the read about,

However, in fact, I started reading about my own ailments because the usual recommended sources of information were not providing effective treatments.]

In that process I would often listen to the radio or watch television, and it was not unusual for the programs to interview all sorts of kranks as if they were trustworthy experts, and all sorts of highly qualified people who were being paid to tell lies to the public, and many of the hosts of those shows were being told what they could and could not say, and were being given millions of dollars each year to advertise products, and were obviously favoring them.

For example the following ridiculous statements were made in the name of respectable science . . .

that there was no scientific proof that smoking caused lung cancer, that addiction to cigarettes was psychological and not chemical, that Agent orange was safe enough to drink, that Maralinga fallout was harmless, and that silicon breast implants were safe and that women who complained about them were hysterical, and that the chronic fatigue syndrome was just normal tiredness, and that whiplash injuries and RSI were all in the mind etc.

Some of those hosts would also interview people who claimed that they could predict the future by looking at the pattern of stars in the sky, and that the circles in crops were made by flying saucers etc.

 

I don't assume that anyone, including TV hosts are always correct, or always know what they are talking about, or are always telling lies. i judge the facts much more broadly than that.

 

 

 

Invisible illness and Medically unexplained physical symtoms (MUPS)

just new labels for hypochondria

 

See my report on the cause of itching which involved the assessment of the effects of "invisible" grass and tree pollens which float in the air here.

Criticism of This Webpage

This website mostly focuses on the history of the term hypochondria, and how the definition, with examples, has evolved over the years.  According to the site, the term hypochondria was coined by the ancient Greeks [Gk. Hypo = below, Gk. Chondros = cartilage (of the ribs)] because of their conclusion that the set of symptoms originated in the upper abdomen. They also believed that the psychological symptoms, which often accompanied the ailment, were the result of the illness.  The site has a complete diagram of the regions of the human abdomen, which are the hypochondriac regions.  The main thrust of the site is a theory called the Posture Theory, which proposes that poor posture strains the spine and compresses the chest and abdomen to cause a multitude of varied and alternating symptoms, thereby causing hypochondria.  The makers of the website believe in the Posture Theory, and the site is used as an advertisement for a book called, The Posture Theory (11th ed.) by M.A. Banfield. Although this website gives a historical view of hypochondria, it does not provide clinical information about the disorder.  Unless persons with hypochondria believe that their disorder is caused by their posture, this site would be of little usefulness besides entertainment.

reference:http://www.coe.ohio-state.edu/dgranello/Classes/926.01/2003_websites/hypochondriasis_by_Lyndsey_White.htm

Response to the criticism

I wrote this website to be of use to patients or physicians or anyone else who will find it useful, clinically, and in many other ways. I studied the history of the disorder because the modern definition of "imaginary illness" did not make any sense at all in relation to the actual meaning of the word and I wanted to find out why. The information on this webpage is provided for free, and my book was mainly sold to public, school, and university libraries between 1994 and 2000. I sold it to schools, and had many discussions with school librarians, and added information which they requested in later edtions in response to the general observation that good posture was essential to the future health of their students, and yet the importance was often not appreciated by many teachers or had been forgotten.

The site is clinically useful because any symptom which is not evident on medical tests is likely to be branded as imaginary or trivial, yet, in fact, the actual meaning of the word corresponds to DaCosta's syndrome which involves lower left and right sided chest pains, palpitations, suspiritory breathlessness, fatigue, and upper abdominal pain occurring in the absence of evidence of disease. If a doctor sees this set of symptoms he can differentiate them from other complaints and correctly diagnose them, and then check the patients physique which is typically thin, stooped, narrow and flat or sunken chested, and often with sideways curvature of the spine, and the patients face being dejected in response to his large range of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed symptoms which are not being effectively treated. If the physician sees this set of symptoms and physique in his clinic he can draw his own conclusion about cause and effect, or ignore them if he wishes. However the patient would be better advised to improve his posture and physique if possible to relieve the symptoms and prevent them from becoming entrenched and worse.

I wrote this theory on the basis of personal experience with the symptoms and the complete failure of most doctors to properly understand or treat them. Doctors are paid a fee for their advice, and have a responsibility to provide proper information to patients. It is not my fault if they ignore or fail to appreciate the value of what I have written.

The critic who described my website as having little usefulness besides entertainment was being offensive and needs to learn some manners M.B.

The Posture Theory
Controversy
The label of hypochondria is given whenever a patient has a symptom that does not show up on x-rays.

The fact that they don't show up on x-rays has been used to argue that they do not exist, and must therefore be imaginary, and therefore have a psychological rather than a physical cause.

The main symptoms are chest pains, palpitations, breathlessness, fatigue and abdominal pain.

I started studying those problems in 1975, and by 1980 was able to determine that poor posture was putting pressure on the chest to cause chest pain, pressure on the abdomen to cause abdominal pain, and pressure on the lungs and blood vessels to cause breathlessness and fatigue.

I wrote an essay called 'The Matter of Framework" which was published in the Australasian Nurses Journal" and which I have since called "The Posture Theory"

Most people who I have discussed this idea with, including university graduates, academics, and professors have agreed that it is a perfectly logical explanation.

However, the idea that the symptoms are imaginary has been popular for the past 1-200 years, and supporters of that idea don't like to admit it is wrong so they have tried to discredit me by branding me with any one of 500 different psychiatric labels, and describing my theory as stupid nonsense or crap.

The fact that posture related symptoms exist, and real undetectable ailments exist, is independent of whether or not there is any other symptoms which are imaginary. (i.e. some undetectable symptoms may be caused by posture, and some may be imaginary)

Opinions about my ideas should be made by people who have had no previous prejudices.

 

You can read about what happened when I presented some of that information to Wikipedia, when two editors decided to do a hatchet job on me, my ideas, and my knowledge of science, medicine, and history. See here and here.

Objective fact versus prejudiced opinion

A woman had been treated as a hypochondriac for 20 years when an x-ray finally showed a sliding hernia. The injury was repaired by surgery, and she declared how much relief she felt to be free of pain at last, but added, 'the best thing of all was to know that she was not just like all of those other fakers and crazies'. See more here

Clearly, the diagnosis of "undetectable" is fact, and the diagnosis of "imaginary" is opinion.

This webpage contains some 'facts' which explain the cause of undetectable symptoms in people who are not anxious or depressed, and don't have a fear of disease, or any other psychological problems. Other pages on this site provide practical information on how to relieve real physical, but undetectable symptoms e.g. here

 

Things change but nothing changes

In previous centuries doctors would say - we can't see it with our eyes, therefore disease doesn't exist.

Nowadays a doctor will say - we can't see it with our x-rays, therefore disease doesn't exist.

The general interpretation may be steeped in jargon, and sound important, as if the doctor actually knows what he is talking about, but they all mean the same thing - if we can't see it then it must be trivial or imaginary.

Patients who can't do anything about their real pain, are stuck with that problem for life.

 

The labels

For most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the term hypochondria meant 'abnormal worry about trivial or imaginary ailments'. However, every time a new diagnostic device was invented, such as x-ray machines, a whole batch of illnesses, previously deemed to be imaginary, were found to be real. Therefore it is very easy to prove that such a definition was at best highly unreliable, and at worst, completely and utterly wrong.

Since then the new word 'Somatoform' has been used as a substitute for hypochondria, and it has many variations, such as 'Multiple somatoform disorder', Persistnat somatoform pain disorder', Undifferentiated somatoform disorder', Somatoform disorder unspecified, and 'Other somatoform disorder' etc.

Essentially it doesn't matter if the pain is real or not, or if it is one pain or ten, or intermittent or chronic, because if it doesn't show up on x-rays there is a label for it.

Hypochondria - the four categories

I started studying my own ailments because my doctor was unable to explain them or relieve the symptoms, and it soon became apparent that diseases which didn't show up on blood tests or x-rays were put into three general categories.

1. The first was that the patient was imagining the illness, which was diagnosed as hypochondria.

2. The second was that the patient was faking illness to get some sort of financial benefit such as compensation.

3. The third was that some sort of psychological problem was causing the symptoms in the absence of a physical cause.

 

The fourth category

However there was a fourth category which was almost never discussed, and that was that diseases which had been regarded as imaginary or psychological in history, had since been found to be real by the introduction of new diagnostic devices such as microscopes and x-rays.

It is therefore logical that many of the diseases of today which are regarded as imaginary will be found to have a real physical basis when new diagnostic devices are developed in the future.

4. In other words the fourth category is where the symptoms have a real physical basis which is not yet detectable.

 

What to do about it

In the meantime, while other researchers had been studying the nature of illness with such devices, I had been determining the cause and treatment of symptoms on the basis of anatomy, logic and reason, etc., which enabled me to conclude that such things as posture were the cause of many of the "real" but "undetectable" ailments.

 

What happened?

I expected that my conclusions would gain wide support for solving the mysteries. However, while there were examples of that, such as when I was invited to design and organise a project at a research institute, the general reaction was one of indifference, skepticism, or criticism. I therefore sometimes responded in the usual manner. i.e. if they criticised me, I would criticise them.

When I joined Wikipedia 25 years later, the criticism became extreme, where two editors were describing me as a worthless, uneducated, fringy kooks whose ideas are nonsense and rubbish???

Nevertheless, it was also evident then, and has become more obvious since, that they, and other people have also been breeching my copyright and stealing my ideas and claiming them to be their own.

 

What now??

I am currently trying to do something about that, but unless I get some sort of public support I don't know what will happen.

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