Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME) is a problematic diagnosis, and much of the existing writing on the topic is dominated by questions of biology, psychology and causation. The focus on personal, interpersonal and public meanings in Meanings of ME signals a paradigm shift in thinking about CFS/ME. Contributions from clinicians and academics as well as from those who have personal knowledge of CFS/ME highlight the varied experiences of the illness. Rather than insisting on a specific theory of the illness, the authors provide fresh perspectives on the sometimes conflicting ways in which the diagnosis and symptoms of CFS/ME are interpreted by doctors, patients and others. The book's early chapters survey four different ways in which CFS/ME can be presented: as lived experience, as a scientific phenomenon, as a medical diagnostic classification, and as a product of culture. The personal, interpersonal and public meanings of CFS/ME are then discussed before an exploration of stigma and identity from both personal and professional standpoints.
Ward, C. D. (2015). Meanings of ME: Interpersonal and social dimensions of chronic fatigue. Meanings of ME: Interpersonal and Social Dimensions of Chronic Fatigue (pp. 1–231). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137467324