International M.E Awareness - Day 12 May

By Sana Amos

On 12 May people across the globe are taking part in events for International M.E. awareness day, to help create a greater understanding of the impact the illness has on individual lives. M.E. is a chronic, debilitating condition which has a wide range of symptoms that can vary in type and intensity.

The condition is still widely misunderstood,as for many years controversy surrounded the question of whether it was a physical or mental illness.It is now classified by the World Health Organisation as a neurological condition.

Speaking about the controversy surrounding M.E. Tony Britton, Publicity Manager at the ME Association, said: “This illness is genuine, it's neurological, it affects 250,000 children and adults in the UK, and for the vast majority it's definitely not 'all in the mind'. A large amount of research is taking place round the world nowadays in the hopes of finding new treatments and a cure, but we're not there yet.”

He added: “While we're doing that, we still have to convince the sceptics, and there are many of them, that M.E. is not a mental disorder.” 

As a person who suffers from M.E. I understand the struggle and frustration that comes with this illness. It was hard enough to personally accept that I have this condition, as much it was to get the health professionals to understand that I was not “just tired or stressed”. For the past three years it has impacted and changed every aspect of my life.

This is why it is great that various organisations and individuals are using the day to make themselves heard, including two organisations that have provided me with immense support. The ME Association are launching a new report to show how existing therapies do not necessarily work and Action For ME is publishing case studies to highlight the impact the illness has on individuals lives.

To find out more about International M.E. Awareness Day and how you can get involved visit the May 12th Facebook page.

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