This book means well, the author clearly means well, but this book reinforces all the misinformation spread about 'CFS' by people like the CDC etc. Almost all of the medical information here is outdated, incorrect and irrelevant to those with actual M.E. Some desciptions of symptoms (including the author's) related to M.E. but that was about it. Most of the information was about 'CFS' and almost all of the medical information given was about 'CFS.'
The poor quality information in this book was a real lost opportunity to do some good. This type of misinformation and lack of political awareness is a big part of why we have made so very little progress over the last 20 years. I don't understand why some patients still recommend this book to fellow M.E. patients. It's hugely problematic. It is so outdated, and so propaganda supporting.
Not recommended, unless perhaps you just read the comments on coping (and ignore all the medical information) which are quite good in some places.
To be clear, the author is a lovely man and he wrote some great stuff in this book about the disease and the symptoms and coping and so on, really wonderful, it is just that all the medical and political information is wrong and unhelpful.
If you have a 'CFS' (mis)diagnosis, do everything you can to find your correct diagnosis, do not accept 'CFS' ever as an end point to the process of diagnosis. 'CFS' is always a misdiagnosis and 'CFS' is NOT M.E.! That needs to be point one of any activism campaign if we are ever to get anywhere!
You need to know that:
M.E. patients were treated appropriately and correctly diagnosed until around 1988, when there was an increase in the number of M.E. patients and outbreaks in the US. Some medical insurance companies (and others) decided that they would prefer not to lose many millions of dollars on so many new claims and so they created a new vague fictional disease category called 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' to try to confuse the issue of M.E. and to hide M.E. in plain sight.
Under the cover of 'CFS' certain vested interest groups have assiduously attempted to obliterate recorded medical history of M.E.; even though the existing evidence has been published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals around the world and spans over 70 years.
M.E. is a distinct, scientifically verifiable and measurable, acute onset, organic neurological disease. 'CFS' in contrast, is not a distinct disease. 'CFS' doesn't exist. Every diagnosis of CFS - based on any of the CFS definitions - can only ever be a misdiagnosis. A watebasket diagnosis.
The fact that a person qualifies for a diagnosis of 'CFS' (a) does not mean that the patient has M.E., and (b) does not mean that the patient has any other distinct illness named CFS.' M.E. and 'CFS' are not the same.
Far fewer than 0.5% of the population has the distinct neurological disease known since 1956 as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is an artificial construct created in the US in 1988 for the benefit of various political and financial vested interest groups. It is a mere diagnosis of exclusion based on the presence of gradual or acute onset fatigue lasting 6 months. If tests show serious abnormalities, a person no longer qualifies for the diagnosis, as 'CFS' is 'medically unexplained.' A diagnosis of 'CFS' does not mean that a person has any distinct disease (including M.E.). According to the latest CDC estimates, 2.54% of the population qualify for a 'CFS' (mis)diagnosis.
The patient population diagnosed with 'CFS' is made up of people with a vast array of unrelated illnesses, or with no detectable illness. However, while 'CFS' is not a genuine diagnosis, those given this misdiagnosis are in many cases significantly or even severely ill and disabled. 'CFS' is made up of people with cancer, MS, Lyme disease, depression and hundreds of other unrelated conditions.
Sub-grouping different types of 'CFS,' refining the bogus 'CFS' definitions further or renaming 'CFS' with some variation on the term M.E. (such as 'ME/CFS') would achieve nothing and only create yet more confusion and help to continue and further entrench the mistreatment and abuse.
The problem is not that 'CFS' patients are being mistreated as psychiatric patients; some of those patients misdiagnosed with CFS actually do have psychological illnesses. There is no such distinct disease/s as 'CFS' - that is the entire issue.
Due to outrageous political influences on medicine and govermnent policy, the vast majority of M.E. patients will not be able to be correctly diagnosed with M.E. Most M.E. patients will unfortunately be misdiagnosed with 'CFS.' It is extremely important to note, however, that only a very tiny percentage of those told they have 'CFS' will be M.E. patients. The overwhelming majority of those misdiagnosed with 'CFS' do NOT have M.E. 'CFS' is NOT just another term for M.E.
The name Myalgic Encephalomyelitis must be fully restored (to the exclusion of all others) and the World Health Organization classification of M.E. (as a distinct neurological disease) must be accepted and adhered to in all official documentations and government policy. M.E. patients must again be diagnosed with M.E. and treated appropriately for M.E. based on actual M.E. research. For this to happen, there is a real need for patients (and others) to participate in genuine advocacy and activism.
The bogus disease category of 'CFS' must be abandoned. All those misdiagnosed with 'CFS' must immediately reject this harmful misdiagnosis and begin the search to find their correct diagnosis whether this be M.E., PVFS, depression, cancer, or any other disease. Correct diagnosis is vital in obtaining the correct treatment.
Jodi Bassett, HFME