ME is a neurological disease with real physical symptoms. It is classified as such by the World Health Organization.
Nevertheless, in many countries it is wrongly and repeatedly classified and treated as though it were a mental illness.
Mental illness, and especially depression is a known co-morbidity – that is, it often presents as a symptom along with the physical and neurological symptoms of ME as a result of long-term pain, immobility and lack of hope of progress.
That would be an expected result of a long-term, painful illness.
Instead, many doctors ignore this logic and look at mental illness as a cause rather than a result of ME, whether or not it is even present!
This case in Denmark is only one in a long line of cases where children and young people with ME have been wrongly diagnosed with a psychiatric condition and treated in ways which physically do more damage than good.
The video is well worth watching. It is distressing that so much misery can be caused by authorities interfering in health matters they do not understand, but it is comforting to know that there are lovely, caring doctors such as Dr Speight who are willing to go against the flow and speak out on behalf of the vulnerable and voiceless.
As Dr Speight says, the situation in this country seems to be getting worse. I hope that articles like these will help to raise awareness and turn the tide so that people with ME receive appropriate and helpful treatment in future.
I also certainly hope that justice will be done in this particular case and that Karina Hansen will be released to the care of her family.