1 Feb 2015

Silent Pain

Book Review by Louise Sargent

Silent Pain by Helen Germanos
Paperback & eBook; 76 pages
Matador, 2014
RRP £7.99; ISBN 978-1-78462-143-8


They say that first impressions are everything, and Silent Pain hits you with two very controversial terms. The cover features the stigmatised term “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”, although as many of us have learnt, it is wise to look beyond a name. The blurb proudly declares “Recovery”, which is met with equal debate, but what does it actually mean? The definition of recovery is “a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength” and “the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost”. Silent Pain is about one sufferers physical and mental journey to regain control of her health.

The book starts with a personal history in the form of an easy-to-follow timeline. Helen Germanos goes on to review the causes and symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), before revealing her theory of how and why CFS develops. She outlines how stress and trauma that affects the Autonomic Nervous System may lead to Adrenaline Fatigue and CFS. She provides references to support this idea, along with an in-depth analysis of The Polyvagal Theory by Dr. Stephen Porges. This leads to a three-tiered treatment plan, consisting of alternative therapies, life-coaching and physical elements. The book concludes with an insight into Helen’s spiritual beliefs.

Silent Pain is well written and easy to read, providing an interesting perspective of CFS and its cause. Whether or not you agree with Helen’s theory, it will open your mind to new possibilities, and leave you with a greater understanding of research into this field.