Previously known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis the condition has recently been redefined as Myalgic Encephalopathy, or ME for short. Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS) are diagnostic terms used to describe a group of conditions that share a similar set of symptoms. The ME Association refers to this class of conditions as "an illness of uncertain cause affecting many thousands of people". They go on to suggest that around 250,000 people in the UK may suffer from these symptoms.
The symptoms experienced by sufferers can be extremely debilitating and may be experienced in bouts in which there may be temporary alleviation of symptoms followed by a severe bout. Symptoms can become so severe that sufferers may even become housebound or unable to work.
"A common feature is that the body's stress systems appear to be aroused. This may be the result of an illness or virus, a traumatic experience, or by emotional or environmental factors. Often the symptoms are triggered by a confluence of factors."
ME / CFS / PVFS are thought to have many potential causes. A common feature is that the body's stress systems appear to be aroused. This may be the result of an illness or virus, a traumatic experience, or by emotional or environmental factors. Often the symptoms are triggered by a confluence of factors. This fact may be responsible for the apparent difficulty physicians have in treating the illness. In my clinical experience this class of symptoms is often successfully resolved through a multi-dimensional treatment approach.
"In my clinical experience this class of symptoms is often successfully resolved through a multifaceted treatment approach."
A controversial class of symptoms, sufferers typically experience the condition as strong physical symptoms and understandably resent any notion that there may be a psychological component. Having successfully treated several ME and CFS sufferers, my own understanding is that it is a complex condition resulting largely from the instinctive processes of the autonomic nervous system known as the 'freeze' response, a peculiar but treatable phenomenon in which the body's stress system gets stuck somewhere between the 'on' and 'off' mode causing the bodies systems to deregulate.
Absolutely. To find out more about the freeze response and how a phenomenon known as bottom-up / top-down control may be responsible for maintaining your symptoms please head over to my Sequential Psychotherapy website. There you'll find a helpful video and lots of useful information about how your symptoms may be occurring and how they can be helped.
If you find that resource interesting you are warmly invited to get in touch and join me at The Bristol Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy Clinic or online via Skype for a free initial consultation in which we can discuss your situation in privacy and comfort. A student came to see me not expecting a cure for her ME. She had this to say about her experience with me:
I originally booked an appointment with Seb to help me deal with exam stress and the effect it was having on my M.E. I've not only passed all my exams, I now no longer have any symptoms of M.E.! Seb has a welcoming, homely office and a cracking sense of humour which helped me to instantly feel at ease. He used a range of techniques and obviously put a lot of planning and thought into each session. I really enjoyed working with Seb and would highly recommend him to anyone looking for someone to help. Having now completed my sessions I feel like a stronger version of my old self. I am able to apply the things I learned to everything that I come across. Life is a whole lot nicer.
L.M. - Exam Nerves & ME