Living with M.E.

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Impact of M.E.

Living with M.E.

M.E. can have a dramatic effect on your life. It may affect your relationships, career or education, family life and friendships. Dealing with the mental and emotional impact of the illness is just as important as treating the physical symptoms.

Simply getting in touch with other people with M.E. may help you to feel less isolated.

You could do this at your local M.E. support group - an invaluable source of information and support for many with M.E. - or join one of our free, friendly peer-support forums.

Our experienced team can offer empathy and understanding, and share information and support on all aspects of living with M.E.

Telephone or email helplines, such as the Samaritans or Support Line, offer a safe and non-judgmental space.

If you would like some ongoing support, counselling may be an option. A good counsellor should be able to offer you help which is flexible, validating and destigmatising, taking your unique symptom pattern and limitations into account. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy lists accredited counsellors on its website.

Our Healthcare Services team offers therapeutic counselling, emotional support sessions, and multi-faith chaplaincy, from practitioners with a good understanding of M.E. As a charity, we charge fees for our Healthcare Services only to cover our costs, and a bursary for up to 50% of fees may be available, depending on your circumstances.

Your experiences

Tony McLaren sent us Me, myself & M.E., a poem describing what it's like for him to live with M.E.

But it's only me & myself you ever see.
I know life goes on and things need to be achieved
Simple, everyday tasks like cleaning, washing .....being me.
You'll not hear me complain or moan about the cards I've been dealt but if I appear to be taking my time or moving with little flow please understand can't be helped.
All I ask is a little understanding and for you to wait patiently as I go
For it's not me or myself but my M.E. that makes time go slow

Improvement and recovery

People with M.E. can vary enormously in their experience of the illness, and also how long their symptoms last. Some make good progress, while others can remain ill for a number of years.

Some people find that they don’t go back completely to the way they felt before they became ill, but they do recover sufficiently to lead happy and fulfilling lives. This is similar to many other chronic illnesses.

It is important to get to know your limits and to set yourself small, realistic goals for getting better. This may mean that initially you have to reduce your overall activity levels so that you can achieve a routine that you can sustain. You will achieve more by working within your limits and increasing activities very gradually, than by pushing the boundaries all the time.

There are small changes you can make on a daily basis that will improve your health in the long term. Check out our information on symptom management, and consider what support you might need to ask for from family and friends. You might also find it helpful to get connected to others with M.E.