Finding the Strength Within
Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)
by Debora K. Toll Ph.D.
ME/CFS is a chronic, invisible, debilitating, complex, multi-system disease that is often misunderstood. Worldwide, close to 20 million individuals have been diagnosed with ME/CFS but the number of people living with it, is believed to be much higher. ME/CFS may therefore, touch the lives of individuals who we may know and love. ME/CFS can relentlessly challenge individuals on their physical, cognitive and spiritual levels of being and can leave much devastation in its wake – personally, socially and economically. ME/CFS can also leave once vibrant and energetic individuals so debilitated that they are unable to function and participate in their lives. In its more moderate to severe disease state, ME/CFS can totally consume the patient’s life. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about this disease and the people who struggle with it. It is not uncommon for others to question for example, whether ME/CFS is real or whether it is all in the patient’s head. This book seeks to reduce some of these misconceptions by providing a roadmap to understanding this disease. It walks the reader through what ME/CFS is, its numerous and varied symptoms, its risk factors and possible causes, how it differs amongst patients, its many challenges and debilitating effects and finally, its varied patient outcomes, prognoses and treatments. The author candidly shares her experiences with this extremely challenging and life changing disease and discusses how she was able to find the strength within and move forward with her “new” life. The book is insightful and offers comfort and hope to individuals living with ME/CFS and other chronic, invisible and debilitating diseases.
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