28th April 2008
Sophia - A message from her Mother
Today, 9am, sees the launch of a website I have
created in memory of my beautiful daughter who died
of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. It deliberately
coincides with a conference being held by the Royal
Society of Medicine on the subject of ME/CFS to
which many psychiatrists and psychologists have
been invited to speak.
ME is a physical illness but the problem facing most
ME patients is that a psychological causation of their
symptoms is part of the dogma that has been foisted
on them by a very small but highly influential group
of psychiatrists who have established a niche market
in what is a controversial but highly debilitating
In June 2003 a warrant was granted through Brighton
Magistrates Court that resulted in the sectioning of
my daughter, Sophia Mirza, because she would not
accept psychiatric treatment for her physical
condition, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).
Despite our Solicitor being confident that there were
no grounds for a warrant to be issued, a warrant was
granted and my very ill daughter was sectioned
against her will until a Tribunal sanctioned her
release almost two weeks later.
My daughter never recovered from the shock of this
incarceration and died in November 2005. The
coroner's verdict recorded that she died of CFS/ME.
Six doctors and a social worker were among the
people who were involved in Sophia's case.
I have tried, without success, to gain justice from
the GMC and Social Services over the dreadful
treatment my daughter received, but to no avail. I
have written to two Attorney Generals, numerous
MPs and solicitors - again with no result. It seems
that ordinary people like me and my daughter can be
treated in the most appalling way and no-one is
I have therefore decided to publish all letters and
communications appertaining to my daughter's ordeal
at the hands of the authorities, in an effort to ensure
that this should never happen again to someone
suffering from ME.
I hope that the doctors and social workers involved
in my daughter's care will now reflect on what they
did and learn from their mistakes andintransigence.
I hope that other professionals will also learn
lessons from what I have published and that no
other person with ME will be treated so callously.
For more information see www.sophiaandme.org.uk
* * *
This is the point in blogging about CFS, suing doctors for malpractice, etc.: to make doctors think twice about slapping an unwarranted psychiatric label on patients.
To this day, one of my doctors says the whole problem was "nothing you said made sense", i.e., I was not telling him what he expected to hear from someone who was depressed, so my symptoms didn't make sense. In fact, I knew which symptoms would differentiate the two, so I stressed those symptoms, but he'd already made up his mind I was just depressed. If he'd known the first thing about CFS, he would've recognized that I was not describing depression.
With luck, the next patient who comes to him with a prior CFS diagnosis will be told what I should've been, "you'd be better off with another doctor" instead of arrogantly changing her diagnosis and making her worse by treating her for things she doesn't have and then verbally abusing her because the wrong treatment doesn't make her better.
Like Sophia, I will never recover from the bad treatment. I've been told that I will never work full-time again because it took so long to find a doctor willing to give me the right pills instead of platitudes and useless anti-depressants.