By Jo Moss in The Mighty.
I have been in my local paper twice recently raising awareness about myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Both times, spiteful comments have been left by members of the public stating:
“ME doesn’t exist.”
“It’s all in their heads.”
“You are just lazy.”
It’s a stigma we, the ME community, face on a daily basis. Why do people have such strong views about an illness they haven’t experienced and have no knowledge of? Why do strangers feel they can judge me when they haven’t lived my life? Do you really think I would choose to live my life from my bed, to be excluded from everything I love?
It’s upsetting in this day and age that people still deny ME exists, and just think we are lazy. I have all the motivation in the world, but my body isn’t able. Myalgic encephalomyelitis has been recognized as a neurological disease by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1969, so why do so many people, including medical professionals, refuse to believe it exists? It’s estimated that 17 million people worldwide are affected by ME. Are 17 million people just lazy and seeking attention? Surely with all the evidence now available it’s no longer a question of belief; it’s a question of informed verse ignorant.
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