Dr Ros Vallings speaks about ME.
Imagine if you slept well, exercised regularly and ate right, but and remained constantly exhausted.
That’s just the start of the problems for sufferers of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
A new survey, released for ME Awareness Day, has revealed that many people who live with the syndrome feel misunderstood and stigmatised.
Dr Ros Vallings, spokesperson for Associated NZ ME Society, says ME affects sufferers in different ways.
“There are all levels of illness from those who are very severe and totally bedridden, through to those who are just about hanging in and able to get to work, but have no energy left for anything else at all.”
It’s not known what’s behind ME, but it’s suspected those afflicted have a genetic predisposition triggered by a viral infection. Mental and physical stress is also commonly found to lead to diagnosis.
But without a definite known cause and the absence of visible symptoms, sufferers say they often feel stigmatised by the public, who don’t believe they are genuinely ill.
Watch the video for the full interview with Dr Ros Vallings.