12 Year old girl ,with ME ,locked up in a psychiatric ward !


Spain, August 12, 2011

A judge orders a 12-year old girl with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome /Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) to be locked up in a psyquiatric ward of a hospital and forbids her mother to see her. We are calling on everyone to support this family and to help us with the legal costs.


Last Saturday August 5, 2011, two plain-clothes policemen went to the home of V.R., a 46 year-old woman who has severe CFS/ME, MCS and Fibromyalgia, and took her 12 year-old daughter (who also has CFS/ME and MCS) with a judge’s order which stated that the girl had to be hospitalized in the psychiatric ward of the local hospital in Central Spain and to keep the mother from seeing her.


The mother, V.R., who is very ill herself, has been fighting for years the local Social Services. She had been denounced by the School Board for her daughter missing a lot of school, although a judge pronounced himself in favour of the mother and forced the School Board to send a teacher to the girl’s home for schooling there due to her severe CFS/ME and MCS.

Both the mother and the daughter were forced by Social Services to go, once a week, to go to see a psychologist, although the physical effort to go to these appointments made them sicker. Also the homecare that they were entitled to also made them sicker as the home-care workers did not want to respect their need for Enviromental Control and they went to their home wearing perfume and smelling of tobacco.

When the mother complained about this, Social Services, instead of taking into account their special needs, they saw it as “the last straw” and they decided to cancel their home service and they proceeded to accuse the mother of “isolating” her daughter which led to having the girl being taken away.


The fact that V.R. and her daughter have been diagnosed by three of Spain’s leading CFS/ME specialists (and one of them also is an MCS specialist), Dr Jose Alegre, Dr Joaquín Fernandez-Sola and Dr Ana Garcia Quintana, as having severe CFS/ME and MCS with lab tests to prove so, like alteration in their immunological parameters, high RnaseL and viral reactivations, is being ignored by the Social Services of that region of Spain. They say that the medical evaluation is going to be done by the local psychiatrists.


Yesterday, the judge ordered an “indefinite hospitalization of the girl in the psyquiatric ward of the local hospital and forbid the mother to go see her, alleging that any contact with the mother would be bad for the girl’s health”.
Now the girl is in the hands of psychiatrists who are trying to prove that mother and daughter have a Joint Delirious Alteration and Müchhausen Syndrome and that the mother is unfit to look after her daughter.


Faced with this situation, we, three Spanish CFS/ME and MCS associations, have joined efforts from day one to support this girl and her mother at all levels: legal, logistic, medical, etc. But we need financial support. The mother gets a 400 Euro-a-month pension (equivalent to 350 British Pounds or 569 US Dollars) on which her and her daughter try to live on. They don’t have the funds to pay for the lawyers who are now working on their case to try to get the girl out of the hospital, reunite her with her mother and assure that she does not lose her custody battle with the Social Services. We have been footing the bills up to know but our associations don’t have funding.

Right now, because of the delicate work being done by lawyers, we do not want to put direct pressure on the Social Services ourselves and the lawyers say that right now, any public or press pressure on this case might back-fire. But as soon as the lawyers give us the go-ahead, we will start a massive public pressure campaign and we will let you know what you can join in that effort..
For now, we just want to let you know of this unfolding situation and to ask for any possible financial support you can give.


Thank you from all of us.

Clara Valverde
Liga SFC, Spain
formacionsalud@hotmail.com (any messages for mother and daughter in English can be sent to this e-address for translation before passing it on to them)

Francisca Gutierrez

Jose Luis Rivas

For international donations, the bank account number is:

(if you are making a donation from Europe):
ES80 1465 0100 91 1700515969

(if you are making a donation from a country outside Europe):
INGDESMMXXX 1465 0100 91 1700515969

(if you are making a donation from Spain):
1465 0100 91 1700515969


  1. Holy crap. Another one.

    I'm not shocked anymore, but very angry. Thanks for passing this on.

  2. can we donate with paypal?

  3. Yes, can we donate by PayPal ?

  4. Deeply shocking. After the case of Ean Proctor in the UK - diabolical to think that this is still happening at all anywhere in the world
    Ironic to think that Esther Rantzen exposed that story a few years ago now.When O when, will this house of cards ( make it up as you go along psychiatry) fall.

  5. This is the worst example of a gouverment not understanding an illness, and destroys a family that needs help. ME/CFS(chronic fatigue syndrome) puts the family in need of help the same way as cancer and AIDS. It takes all the energy away. A trip to the toilet, or eating a meal is like an expedition, and often have to wait for hours.
    They need a nurse/maid to do cooking, cleaning and others, ME/CFS-patients need treatment, and 2011 appear to be the year many countries start to offer it. And sending the girl to school is like a stupid joke, some teaching at home is more realistic. (ME/CFS-patient 39 years Norway)

  6. I feel the need to say something very very obvious that all these doctors seem to be missing. JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN'T TEST FOR A DISEASE, YET, DOES NOT MEAN IT DOES NOT EXIST. In the 1800s and before we couldn't test for Cancer, Lymes disease, Herpes, Polio, but does that mean they didn't exist until we found the test for them, NO absolutely not!
    It takes quite a while to figure out the science of figuring out how to test for a disease, but that doesn't mean it isn't there, it doesn't mean we are crazy or making it up. And if these doctors could stop being such egotists and whenever they can't figure something out they just say it doesn't exist or you're crazy, when they just simply have to say "At the moment I don't know what you have because I can't test for it." That's all. I'm very angry and frustrated as this almost happened to me when I was first figuring out what I had. This is not OK not one bit. My pain is real, our pain is real.

  7. Psychiatry is based on nothing more than a network of theories about how the human mind and emotions work. It blows _my_ mind that somehow the psychiatric view holds weight, when the hard science proves ME is just as physical as any other disease. You can't actually "prove" psychiatry at all... Not one bit. You can take a set of information, and theorize about it, but the results could change depending on each individual psychiatrist's philosophies and education. I think it is terribly ignorant for social workers in Spain to look at a situation like this, and assume the mother is making her daughter psychologically sick. They need to do their homework, not put the burden on the patient. If they read up on it, the more obvious conclusion is that the mother has a viral infection that transmitted to the daughter, probably before birth. There is more hard scientific evidence leading to that conclusion than the foggy behavioral studies of patients who may not even have ME at all in the first place, based on the shoddy diagnostic criteria. They take depressed people who are tired, label them with CFS, and then use them to "prove" their studies. That is NOT science!
    I am on a welfare income as well, or I would donate some money. I will keep these people in my prayers and encourage others to take notice. I identify with them because even though my struggles haven't been nearly as horrible, I have been waiting for years to get on Social Security, having caregivers whose help makes me sicker, and am often butting heads with social services. Standing up for myself has helped my self esteem, but the stress of these last years has caused me to become more and more housebound. I am positive that my mental health has been negatively impacted more by the social services situation, than by my ME! I'm sure that is the case for many many patients, and we need to stick together and stop it.

  8. Like many of us I'm unable to donate money to help out, but I will stand by to help raise a public outcry when the time is ripe, and meanwhile I'll share this in hopes that some of my friends can donate. We have to remember, we are all just one horrible knock on the door away from a similar situation.

  9. Thank you for letting us know of this horrible situation. I hope someday we will no longer be persecuted. Good luck!

  10. Hi all fellow sufferers - for those who can, please join in praying the Breakthrough Prayer at 9pm tonight for this young Spanish girl and her mother. In fact, for all young people who are most at risk from this kind of dangerous psychiatric intervention and are experiencing the nightmare right now.

    Pauline and I wrote this prayer eleven years ago now -directly in response to a picture of a young girl whose picture was on the front of the local paper.There were so many emotions written on that young girl's face: suffering, anger, grief, longing, disappointment, fear.Her story and her face gripped my heart.I phoned my dear friend Pauline, who died earlier this year,and together we wrote this prayer that has touched many hearts.

    I can read and write only a litle now.But so grateful for you Linda and Greg for your mighty effort with this website that is not afraid to speak out for us all.

    God bless

    Theresa xx


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