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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (The Facts Series) 2nd Edition

1.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199233168
ISBN-10: 0199233160
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Editorial Reviews

Review

`"There is no shortage of self help books dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome. So how does this one compare? The answer is, extremely well."' BBJ --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author


Frankie Campling suffers from CFS/ME and provides telephone support for others like herself. Professor Michael Sharpe is a Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Psychological Medicine at The University of Edinburgh. He runs specialist clinic services for CFS/ME and has published widely on the illness.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Facts Series
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (September 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199233160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199233168
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.5 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,147,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a worthless little book that contains very few facts, in spite of being part of "The Facts" series. While it is imperative that with a disease as complex and poorly understood as CFS, authors muster as much data as possible, the authors of this book appear to have done very little scientific research. The sections on testing, causes, prevalence, and prognosis fail to cite a single study, ignoring the plethora of articles that have appeared in medical journals over the past three decades documenting immune system abnormalities, nervous system defects, cellular dysfunction, viral reactivation and hypoxia. Instead the authors rely on vague generalizations couched in language geared to an eight-year-old. The area of greatest concern to people with CFS--treatments--was positively skeletal, devoting as little as a single sentence to some of the more widely used medications. In sharp contrast, chapter after chapter was devoted to "psychosocial treatments" not one of which has ever been shown effective for treating CFS.

The underlying problem with this book is that the principal author is a psychologist. (If to a hammer everything is a nail, to a psychologist everything is a neurosis.) This is not to say that counseling is useless for people with CFIDS. The bulk of this book is comprised of chapters on depression, anxiety, panic attacks, managing relationships, mood - all of which can be useful for those with emotional problems. However, to make counseling an essential component of treatment is to define CFIDS as a psychiatric illness. This is not a fact, it is a myth.
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Format: Paperback
This book doesn't come right out and say the usual (highly inaccurate) CBT/GET spiel regarding CFS: the authors believe that we are suffering from cognitive and behavioral problems. Their general theory is that we may have gotten sick once, couldn't be active without pain, etc, and started avoiding activity, became deconditioned, and are perpetuating our symptoms by avoiding exercise.

Instead, the book starts with a highly condescending intro that walks the line between offending its readers by stating that outright, while never committing to acknowledging the cause and continuation of CFS is a physical mechanism outside of our control.

This book may be useful for treating people with simple "chronic fatigue" or depression. People with CFS/ME may have those co-existing as symptoms, but the treatments in this book are inappropriate for us, and many studies have shown it does no good and may cause severe relapses.

Even if I didn't strongly disagree with the contents of this book, the tone itself would make it intolerable for me. As someone else mentioned, the author sounds as though he is talking to a particularly dense and incalcitrant child that can only understand very small words.
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Format: Paperback
This propaganda piece does have some more accurate facts than some of the more atrociously unscientific publications on ME, so I was considering giving it 2 stars, but then I thought this was akin to "letting the terrorists win." And let's be clear, terrorists like Michael Sharpe, Simon Wesseley, Bill Reeves, etc., have caused much more suffering than the 9/11 terrorists. They need to be immediately put out on the street, have the embarassingly inaccurate UK, Oxford and Reeves definitions burned and all governments and researchers adopt the Canadian ME definition and have research funding increased 100 - 1,000 fold and have it put toward actual science, not the current garbage supported by the US and UK governments.
For the real story on ME, read the amazing Osler's Web: Inside the Labyrinth of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic
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