Having friends who have M.E. can make all the difference, because they know what it's like to live with the condition. Becoming friends because you've got M.E. doesn't mean that you aren't proper friends – it just means that you have something in common that you can help and support each other with.
The important thing to remember is that you're friends because you get on with each other - and because you might have other things in common besides M.E. A friendship is something to treasure, whether your friend has M.E. or not.
You might be lucky enough to have a friend with M.E. that you can see in person, but it's more likely that your M.E. friends will be online. This doesn't make them any less of a friend, and the connection you have is still valuable. In fact, research has found that using websites with chat rooms or message boards can help people with long-term health conditions. As well as feeling better informed and supported, overall most could see an improvement in the way they looked after their health and managed their condition. So online friends are definitely worth having.
In April 2017, we will launch two new forums for Action for M.E. Members - one for under 18s, and one for parents/carers of children and young people with M.E. Watch this space!
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