Patient Resources

The CFS Service positively encourages patients to read about their condition and ways of managing it.  Below are some resources you may find useful.

Books

  • Fighting Fatigue: a practical guide to managing the symptoms of CFS/ME, edited by Sue Pemberton and Catherine Berry, published by Hammersmith Press
  • Overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a self-help guide using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques, written by Mary Burgess and Trudie Chalder, published by Robinson
  • Living with the Enemy: coping with the stress of chronic illness using CBT, mindfulness and acceptance, written by Ray Owen, published by Routledge
  • Mindfulness for Health: a practical guide for relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring well-being, written by Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman, published by Piatkus

Websites

Local CFS/ME Support

ME North East

“ME North East is a regional charity offering help, support, advocacy and understanding to all people with ME, their families and carers.  We provide an open referral process- simply give us a call – we will be happy to help.”  (Jenifer Elliott, ME North East)

Support accessing benefits

Many people with CFS/ME may be eligible for welfare benefits.  The application process can be difficult and at times stressful, therefore make use of support agencies like ME North East or your local Citizens Advice team.

Support with employment / education

Action for ME have a number of useful leaflets aimed at supporting people with CFS/ME to access and sustain employment or education.  These can be downloaded from their website listed above.

Additionally the service has developed a guide for students with CFS/ME who are going to university.  You can download the guide below.  Whilst the CFS/ME therapy team offer more personalised advice on employment / education in appointments, these resources can be a good starting point.

Going to University (461kb)
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Social Services

Some people with CFS/ME may require carer support, assistive equipment, housing adaptions etc.  Please discuss your needs with your GP, who can refer you to the appropriate team of your local social services department.

Talking Therapies

One in four people experience mental health difficulties at some point in their lives.  Emotional distress can have a detrimental impact on CFS/ME symptoms and may impact your ability to manage the condition.  If you are struggling with anxiety, low mood, or symptoms associated with difficult life events, you can access support through Talking Therapies.

Talking Therapies is an umbrella term used to describe psychological treatments for common mental health problems.  Talking Therapies may be delivered by a range of mental health professionals, using a variety of approaches, e.g., CBT, mindfulness, counselling etc.

If your difficulties are unrelated to your CFS, and you want to improve your psychological well-being, you may benefit from accessing Talking Therapies.  Please discuss your needs with your GP, who will be able to direct you to your local service.

Help your GP to help you

When you visit your GP, you may find it beneficial to write your difficulties down before your appointment, detailing your symptoms and how they affect you.  This can help focus the appointment and give the GP the information they need to best help you.  Alternatively, take a carer or friend with you who can act as your advocate and help express your needs.

The British Association of CFS/ME (BACME) released a document in 2015 detailing best practice for therapy and symptom management in CFS/ME.  This is a useful guide for GPs and you may wish to make them aware of it.

BACME Guidelines for Therapy and Symptom Management (451kb)
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