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May 11, 2012 / zzirf

Do you have pre-conceived ideas about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Do you have pre-conceived ideas about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome better known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis?   Sonia Poulton of Mail Online did, based on no personal knowledge whatsoever.  She says that her judgement was gleaned from how the world has portrayed the illness.  She goes on to say that “like millions of others, I have seen M.E. through the eyes of the medical establishment, the Government and the Media. The picture has not been good.

Here is what I have previously understood about M.E. and those who have it.

M.E. sufferers are workshy malingerers. They whine, constantly, about feeling tired. They are annoying sympathy seekers.

Damn it. We’re all tired. Especially those fools like me who work all hours God Sends (and even some he doesn’t) to support the type of people who say they are too tired to work.

Oh, and mostly, importantly, M.E. is ‘all in the head’ and can be overcome with a bit more determination and a little less of the ‘poor me’ attitude.

That, generally, is what I thought about M.E.”

Fortunately Sonia was in a position to be able to conduct some research of her own including interviews with the very people who are suffering from this neuro-immune illness.  The real picture she uncovered was not pretty but I am glad someone is reporting the facts rather than hearsay.

The more she began to delve into the subject the more curious it all became.

She found for example, that there are records pertaining to ME locked away in our national archives in Kew (U.K.) and they have been there for 75 years? The normal period would be 30 years.

75 years, the period generally used for documents of extreme public sensitivity and national security, is excessive.

The reason given, that of data protection, is nonsense as it is perfectly acceptable, and easy, to omit names on official documents.  The excuse, supplied in Parliamentary questions by the Department of Work and Pensions, didn’t wash with me.

“Why, I thought, were they making such an exception?

It got me thinking about what information the files actually do contain. And, seeing as the topic of M.E. is still beset with misunderstanding, we could all benefit from some enlightenment on the subject.

So, to this end – and seeing as it M.E. Awareness Week – here is my personal guide to shattering the myths and blatantly-pedalled untruths about M.E.”

As we celebrate Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12th and Invisible Illness Awareness week around the globe, I’d encourage you to inform yourselves by reading the Ten Myths about M.E. that Sonia has uncovered which is linked to below.

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