24th May 2018

CRPS Network Australia’s Position on Denton’s “Interview’ with Charlie Goldsmith

CRPS Network Australia yesterday issued a statement criticising the words used by Andrew Denton during ‘Interview’ with Charlie Goldsmith, where he described Complex Regional Pain Syndrome as having:

“a large psychological component.”

To his credit Andrew Denton made contact with us today to discuss the issue, as upsetting the CRPS community was not his intention. His knowledge of the condition had come from online research of many reputable websites, however, after some discussion he acknowledged that the psychological component of CRPS is not necessarily ‘large’ for most people.

We understand that many people in the CRPS community have been upset by this in the last couple of days. This is a very emotive issue, given the history of CRPS/RSD, as many doctors believed it was a psychological condition (and some still do) and, given that it is an invisible illness many family members or friends struggle to comprehend what you are dealing with.
We fight discrimination daily.

However there have been mistruths floating around:

What Andrew Denton did NOT say was “CRPS is a psychological condition”. He at no time thought, nor said that CRPS has a psychological cause. At no time did he say CRPS is all in the mind. His EXACT wording was that it has “a large psychological component”, which he explained to me as meaning that the pain could be exacerbated by anxiety, depression etc.

He did put a larger emphasis on the psychological component of our disorder than what someone living with the disease would, a mistake he made while doing his research, and a mistake for which he is prepared to issue an apology. An apology which I believe should be accepted with the grace he is prepared to offer it.