WHAT IS ME?

Explanations from around Europe

What is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

The way that ME is treated in different countries in Europe currently varies.

In the drop-down sections to below an explanation and further details are given for each EMEA member in the native language, with links for further information.

Official view is that ME is a form of somatoform illness rom the official web-site for the Danish Health Authorities: "Fatigue is a very frequent symptom, but most people recover without treatment"; "Chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with previous psychiatric disorders"; During treatment: "psychological treatment that focuses on the patient's thoughts on the condition".

See http://emecc.org/emecc-denmark.shtml

CFS/ME is classified as a psychiatric disorder by most of the doctors and they tend to treat it with antidepressants and graded exercise therapy (GET) which are potentially very harmful to patients and may permanently worsen their condition. Fortunately for the patients even these harmful therapies seem unavailable as there are no experts to even carry out GET-therapy. Patients are totally left without any care.

See http://emecc.org/emecc-finland.shtml

Officially recognised by government. The Health Service Executive has removed the webpage on (CFS) ME and are awaiting NICE updated guidelines.

See http://emecc.org/emecc-ireland.shtml

It has been recognised since 1995 (Rigstrygdverket). Very variable between regions and even across time. Person-dependant. National Centre for CFSME (not a large unit- about 2 people) have guidelines that are fairly “neutral”, in practice. However, they advocate a bio-psycho-social (BPS) model. In practice: A biological trigger with psychosomatical reasons sustaining the condition.

See http://emecc.org/emecc-norway.shtml

There is a great lack of knowledge in Public/National Health Care.

See http://emecc.org/emecc-spain.shtml

Varying. Recognized fairly well by GPs in primary care in the Stockholm area and by single doctors in other areas.
Unrecognized in many parts of Sweden.
Recognized by the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.
But not enough to propose guidelines for Healthcare and the National Health Insurance Agency.

See http://emecc.org/emecc-sweden.shtml

Officially recognised by government Discredited as organic disease by Science Media Centre and media affiliates/friends. Powerful psychiatrist-lobby (BPS) influences in establishment Being pushed into MUS.

See http://emecc.org/emecc-uk.shtml