Stricken : Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome book cover
1st Edition

Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

ISBN 9780789008954
Published November 2, 2000 by Routledge
302 Pages

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Book Description

Develop a better understanding of what CFS/CFIDS sufferers are going through!

In the 1980s, a strange emerging epidemic baffled doctors in Incline Village, Nevada. Dismissed by the media as “The Yuppie Flu,” Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) turned out to be neither a faddish disease of the wealthy nor a passing trend, but rather a growing worldwide epidemic of devastating proportions.

In the voices of a South African journalist, a former marathon runner, a teenage girl, a public health activist living on the edge of race and gender, a cancer patient neglected by doctors because of disdain for her chronic illness, and a theologian relearning the art of spiritual empathy, the people who share their stories in Stricken: Voices from the Hidden Epidemic of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome defy cultural stereotypes and explore the complex social and political dynamics of this hidden epidemic. Through their distinct points of view, we feel the grief and hope of those stricken with CFIDS and learn of the complex nature of this misunderstood disorder. These are compelling stories about a quiet and baffling epidemic.

The first American anthology to contain stories from a diverse range of people with CFIDS, Stricken offers an intimate look at the political and social issues surrounding CFIDS, as told by those who are living through this ordeal.

Stricken addresses several issues, such as:

  • why some doctors still do not believe CFIDS is real
  • how the disease is mocked in the media
  • myths about this illness
  • the personal fight for medical or public recognition
  • the skepticism and hope that is felt by the ever-growing number of CFIDS sufferers
Stricken confronts fascinating CFIDS issues such as the Kevorkian suicides, accusations of Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, Gulf War Syndrome, the role of storytelling in a memory-impaired patient movement, and the feasibility of mass activism in a disabled population. With contributions from Pulitzer-prize nominated writer Susan Griffin, renowned health writer and radio host Gary Null, well-known feminist activist Joan Nestle, and award-winning poet and essayist Floyd Skloot, Stricken is an eloquent testament to the heroism, defiance, and diversity of the CFIDS community.

Table of Contents


  • About the Editor
  • Contributiors
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Doubt and Diagnosis
  • Chapter 1. Encounters with the Invisible
  • Chapter 2. From What Her Body Thought (ital)
  • Chapter 3. When Tiredness Gives Way to Tiredness
  • Chapter 4. Object Assembly
  • Part II: Atlantis
  • Chapter 5. One Window
  • Chapter 6. Silent Trespass
  • Chapter 7. Prisoner of CFIDS
  • Chapter 8. Bittersweet Nightshade
  • Chapter 9. Right Where I Am
  • Chapter 10. Valley of Shadows: Journal Entries
  • Chapter 11. Stealth
  • Chapter 12. Roller Coasters
  • Part III: Memory and Metaphor
  • Chapter 13. Immune Means Memory
  • Chapter 14. The Paradox of Lost Fingerprints: Metaphor and the Shaming of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Chapter 15. Fossil Memories
  • Chapter 16. In the Shadow of Memory
  • Part IV: Synergy and Movement
  • Chapter 17. On Life, Death and the Nature of Limbo: Assisted Suicides in the CFIDS Community
  • Chapter 18. From Activist to Passivist: Where is the Mass Movement?
  • Chapter 19. The Gulf War's Troubling Legacy
  • Chapter 20. The Amazing Illness That Doesn't Exist
  • Chapter 21. Taking the Rap: Parents, Blame, and Pediatric CFIDS
  • Part V: Fate and Faith
  • Chapter 22. Kismet
  • Chapter 23. Spiritual Healing, Holistic Healing and the White Light Fascists
  • Chapter 24. CFIDS, Suffering and the Divine
  • Part VI: Love and Alliance
  • Chapter 25. CFIDS--A Love Poem
  • Chapter 26. What's a Mother to Do?
  • Chapter 27. Dating CFIDS
  • Chapter 28. Sick Sex Revisited
  • Chapter 29. Long Illness
  • Index
  • Reference Note Included

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