Letter: Mind, body and chronic fatigue

Sir: Yvette Cooper (4 October), writing of her experiences with ME, complains of people who thought she had a psychiatric, not a "normal" illness. This is another example (most famously illustrated in Esther Rantzen's appalling ME programme) of stigmatising people with mental illness as somehow morally inferior.

As the Joint Colleges' report, referred to in the article, makes clear, ME (better termed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) usually has both physical and psychiatric components. Sufferers who, because of fear of stigma, deny the possibility of psychological influences on treatment, both deprive themselves of sometimes helpful forms of therapy and denigrate others, suffering from depression, as not really ill at all.

What they do for themselves is their own business. Their attitudes to those suffering from depression are not acceptable.


London NW5