by Veronica Mead, M.D.
“The most common reactions I get when I mention the word ‘trauma’ to other people with chronic illness are shame, fear or rage that stem from having been told – by our society, by a doctor, by a family member or friend or coworker – that it means symptoms are all in their heads.
“I still regularly read or hear from people with chronic diseases of all kinds that their physicians, nursing staff or other health care professionals have disbelieved or belittled them, or whispered behind their backs that they were faking their symptoms or their need for help with basics like walking, eating or getting to the bathroom.
“This culture of judgement is especially common for people with difficult-to-diagnose, invisible or mysterious illnesses such as my own disease, which is chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
“Yet it happens to people with well-established, respected and objectively diagnosable conditions all the time too.”