…she shouted as she gripped the knife.
“For more than 20 years, scientists have struggled to find the cause [of Chronic fatigue syndrome], with some pointing to physiological reasons, in particular viral infections, while others have argued that psychological problems are involved. It is the latter group that has become the subject of extremists’ attacks. The antagonists hate any suggestion of a psychological component and insist it is due to external causes, in particular viruses.”
A published study set them off:
“It suggested that a psychological technique known as cognitive behavioural therapy could help some sufferers. This produced furious attacks on the scientists involved, including Michael Sharpe, professor of psychological medicine at Oxford University. He had already been stalked by one woman who was subsequently found to be carrying a knife at one of his lectures.”
I know nothing about chronic fatigue syndrome and no more about about medicine than I pick up hearing friends complain of their ailments. But I have a web log, so my guess is chronic fatigue syndrome will turn out to be multiple things with different causes. I don’t doubt some chronic fatigue is caused by an external agent – virus, bacteria, or another of those tiny invisible animals scientists claim to see. It also seems likely that some crazy people would have symptoms of chronic fatigue. What’s surprising is how much energy some sufferers display.
“One researcher told the Observer that a woman protester who had turned up at one of his lectures was found to be carrying a knife. Another scientist had to abandon a collaboration with American doctors after being told she risked being shot, while another was punched in the street. All said they had received death threats and vitriolic abuse.”
Being able to identify a medical researcher out walking, and then punch him, suggests a certain level of initiative, focus, and activity. Maybe fatigue isn’t the sufferer’s most pressing problem.