28 Feb 2019

Living with M.E.

Book Review by Louise Sargent

Living With M.E.: The Chronic, Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome by Dr Charles Shepherd
Paperback; 512 pages
Ebury Publishing, 2008
RRP £12.50; ISBN: 9780091816797



It is estimated that there are over 100,000 people suffering from M.E. in Britain today. Although not a new disease, M.E. (also known as 'yuppie flu') is at last being recognised and taken seriously. M.E. is short for MYALGIC ENCEPHALOMYSELITIS, a term which relates to the parts of the body affected: MYALGIC, the muscles; ENCEPHALO, the brain; and MYSELITIS, the nerves.

Until recently, many people suffering from M.E. had great difficulty in finding a diagnosis and a way of dealing effectively with their chronic fatigue. This comprehensive guide provides much-needed information about the disease. It describes the symptoms of M.E., what triggers it and who can get it and also discusses additional problems such as sleep disorders, depression, pain in the joints and difficulties with the eyes, ears and balance.

A well-researched, comprehensive guide, LIVING WITH M.E. is THE book to buy for any M.E. sufferer who wants information not speculation.


Living with M.E. was written by Dr Charles Shepherd, Medical Director to the ME Association. The book was first published in 1989 and it has since been revised three times. This excellent book is split into three parts: What is ME/CFS?, Practical Steps towards Coping with ME/CFS and Learning to Live with ME/CFS. Each part has several chapters, which makes this book easy to read in stages, or to refer back to using the index. A wide range of subjects are covered along with three detailed case histories.

I have had my well-thumbed and dog-eared copy for twenty years. It has been a constant reference point for managing my own health, along with providing my family and friends with useful information. Everything is explained in layman’s terms and the book rarely fails to provide me with the information I need. Having read a number of books about M.E., this is still my go-to book and my number one recommendation.

The research section would benefit from updating, along with the reference to further sources of information; however, the overall content is still relevant. Dr Shepherd has expanded on many of the subjects in this book through his work at the ME Association, along with writing about current subjects of interest. The third revision of Living with M.E. is available from the ME Association's Online Shop.




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