World Health Organization (WHO) classification of #fibromyalgia and #ME as “mental and behavioral disorders.” was an inaccurate article posted online

Liberty Voice came out with this article about WHO (World Health Organization) regarding Fibromyalgia classification. Please keep in mind the article has some inaccuracies and I am posting it just in case people have seen it. However do find it interesting in how they discuss the classifications. And the very fact that the stigma with FM and other conditions is so real this sort of thing is a possibility. We see it floated around by more than one researcher and the potential harm to that thinking is pretty serious.  Below you will see a twitter response from WHO regarding the article.



"A draft World Health Organization (WHO) document specifying the new international classification of diseases (ICD), has labeled fibromyalgia and ME/CFS “mental and behavioral disorders.” While these conditions are not specified in the document, bodily distress disorder (BDO) is; and since 2010, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), irritable bowel syndrome, and several other disorders that have some common symptoms, have all been classified as BDO.

While many medical doctors with decades of experience treating patients with these disorders insist they are physical illnesses, there is a contemporary psychiatric school of thought that is equally insistent they are mental disorders. Generally, medical practitioners and physicians regard ME and CFS as the same disease, and distinguish between the others, depending on specific symptoms. Psychiatry calls these disorders “somatoform,” and in terms of the BDO definition, sees them as “physical complaints not attributable to verifiable, conventionally defined diseases.”  ...


Fink, the psychiatrist who heads The Research Clinic for Functional Disorders and Psychosomatics in Aarhus, Denmark, and his co-author Andreas Schröder, maintain they changed the classification because the current approach to “functional somatic symptoms” is fragmented, and therefore “an obstacle for research and a hindrance for effective patient care.”...

It has been announced that Dr. Fink will discuss functional disorders, which he describes in his One single diagnosis paper as representing “body distress” instead of “well-recognized illness.”  Danish physician, Dr. Henrik Isager, who is the author of the recently published Blind Spots: The Failure of Contemporary Medicine to Recognize An Epidemic of Energy Loss and Underlying Environmental Disrupt, will talk about ME. In his book he discusses an “indifferent response” by medics to diseases like MCS, fibromyalgia and ME/CFS, and expresses his opposition to doctors labeling these illnesses “psychosomatic or even fictitious.” His argument is that the medical industry shows a hostile attitude to researching these illnesses because it will require a “paradigm shift in clinical medicine.” Kjeld Parsberg, Hansen’s lawyer, will talk about legal consequences of functional disorder being used as a psychiatric diagnosis.
At this point in time, fibromyalgia and ME/CFS are not officially labeled mental and behavioral disorders by WHO. In the current classification, ME/CFS falls under the category “Diseases of the nervous system,” and sub-categories “Other disorders of the nervous system” and “Postviral fatigue syndrome”, and is listed as “benign myalgic encephalomyelitis” even though the word benign is no longer used. The history is that CFS was originally thought to be a viral illness. While there have been subsequent studies that have linked viruses to the disease, scientists still have no proof of what causes ME/CFS. Fibromyalgia, which is also a mystery disease, is currently classified under “Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue” and sub-categories, “Soft tissue disorders” and “Other soft tissue disorders”, along with fibrositis and myofibrositis.

WHO’s new draft of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems is titled Joint Linearization for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics. Neither of the terms “myalgic encephalomyelitis” or “chronic fatigue syndrome” or the acronyms, “ME” and “CDF” appear in the document. Fibromyalgia is still listed under “soft tissue disorders”, and is described as “a rheumatic disease.” It states that symptoms include chronic diffuse pain, sleep disturbances and intense fatigue that are often associated with depression, anxiety and depression, and may be triggered by either psychological or physical trauma.

In the section on “Bodily distress disorder” under “Mental and behavioral disorders,” the definition includes reference to the most common symptoms, stating that the “single very bothersome symptom” is usually fatigue or pain. There are beta draft caveats to the document, that state it is updated daily and has not yet been approved by WHO. It also states that the coding – which in this case would show fibromyalgia and ME/CFS labeled as psychiatric illnesses – should not be used except in agreed field trials. The new classifications are due to come into effect in 2017."

I am not sure who might have come across this and read it, but it seems to have been removed. WHO has clarified the issue on Twitter:

@WHO
@secretspartacus Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS are not included as Mental & Behavioural Disorders in ICD-10, there is no proposal to do so for ICD-11
@WHO

@secretspartacus #ICD11 beta draft is a web platform for collaborative editing. It’s not final & not approved by WHO http://goo.gl/5FGiKx 
@WHO

@secretspartacus Researchers, health-care providers are invited to comment, make proposals to #ICD11 beta draft http://goo.gl/NCkhRS



I think while the initial article had some inaccuracies it is important to note what changes are going on with WHO. We all know the stigma with FM and how still a lot of researchers continue to focus on it being psychological, which does make one wonder what the burden of evidence a disease or condition needs before it is firmly established it its existence and research directed in the proper direction.
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