I don't want to give Stefanie Marsh's love letter to Simon Wessely last weekend more oxygen than it has already had, but a week later I'm still angry - and incredulous -at such sycophantic nonsense being published. There have been some excellent responses which we will no doubt not actually see published - or if we do, they will be edited versions that very much dilute the criticism aimed at both Marsh and Wessely - so I'm highlighting the 25% ME Group's response and also the European ME Alliance's. Both bang on. My own response will, of course, have been rejected, I imagine it is too tongue-in-cheek. When I wrote it in draft, I had both my nephews at my feet, literally, they were on the floor playing at airports, they have a plastic runway map and toy planes; I explained to them I had something very important to do. I was the air traffic controller and I apologise to them again for taking time out of such an important game to write the email, wasting precious time with them. I just felt so misrepresented - and insulted - I had to do something.
Stefanie Marsh's interview with Professor Simon Wessely ('Doctor's hate mail sent by the people he tried to cure', 6/8/11) would be almost amusing in its bias and hyperbole, were her inaccuracies not so alarming. I was diagnosed with virally-induced myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) in 1984 by a consultant neurologist, so it's fair to say I have an in-depth knowledge of the illness. It's worth noting I'd never heard of ME - and the label CFS had not yet been coined - when I got ill, but I was transformed from a vibrant, straight 'A' undergraduate to a grey and bedridden 20-yr-old. I feel obliged to say that I do not recognise Professor Wessely as 'Britain's foremost authority on ME' and I do not know any ME sufferers - or doctors - who do. I wonder, therefore, if Stefanie Marsh could provide us with a list of these 'health professionals' - in the UK and worldwide - who hold Professor Wessely in such high esteem in relation to my illness? She reports with great confidence on Professor Wessely's credentials and I am genuinely curious to know.
Nasim Marie Jafry, author of 'The State of Me'