I have chronic fatigue syndrome and it took years for me to be diagnosed. My question is - why has it taken so long for chronic fatigue syndrome to be accepted as an illness?
Itís hard to understand why that is when you see so many people suffering with this, itís a stigmatising illness. I think a lot of people don't understand it because they don't necessarily see when the personís unwell. So, if you remember I said, itís a very fluctuating illness. So people often see their colleagues or their friends on good days, and don't see them on bad days, and that makes it much harder to accept. But also, we don't have a clear understanding of what causes it and we don't have a medicine to give it, and that sort of vagueness makes it much harder for people to really believe in it.
I have another idea: People in general are not to blame. Not in any way. Why? Because they have for years and years gotten really bad information from the medical community.
Anything they can't test for or identify a cause gets relegated to the nuts category for a while until they eventually do find a physiological reason. This seems especially true when the symptoms are either behavioral or subjective, like pain. From the ancient times when they thought epilepsy was possession by demons, to modern times when they said schizophrenia was the result of bad mothering, that's been pretty much the pattern. But it isn't just chronic fatigue, I've had doctors tell me some symptom was just stress until it got worse and something showed on a test. It seems to be a default category. cheryl j, Tue, 29th May 2012