The Irish Medical Times http://www.imt.ie/opinion/2011/04/the-pace-of-chronic-fatigue.html Dear Editor, Im not sure how big the circulation of Irish Medical Times is outside of Ireland, but I reckon it must be a little unusual for you to receive three letters in a week, all from abroad, about one news item reporting a Lancet study on ME [White et al. Lancet 18 Feb 2011]. I dont think any of your correspondents in your April 1 issue were very pleased with you, or the Lancet for that matter. I wonder if the number and content of these letters says something about the disease ME itself? All three letters have the tone of the wounded victim, a sort of passive anger. The result of the research was not suited to the needs of these individuals; it did not correspond with their illness as they saw it. The title chronic fatigue in particular does not suit the pathology; myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) does. Myalgic encephalomyelitis does have a certain ring to it. It sounds more like a real disease, although, if you think about the words, they dont make sense. An equivalent in another organ system might be something like: Hepatic gastrointestohepatitis. In any case graded exercise, according to one of your correspondents, is dangerous in this condition and has been shown to be so by the major ME charities. I would like to suggest that ME sufferers have adopted a sick role to try and cope with a society which is rather nihilistic. ME could be interpreted as a physical and cultural response to a society that has lost meaning, personal communication and human relationships a sort of physical infection from postmodernism. Unfortunately, adopting this physical illness model requires some rationale, an evidence base, and I would suggest that the unusually strong reaction you have received points to a need to defend that physical illness position, and to reject evidence which might threaten that passive, victim role. A look on the web shows that there has been a huge response from individuals and ME groups to the original Lancet article. There is one thing that is not affected in ME at any rate, and that is the ability to use a computer. One of the characteristics of the disease, it seems, is a desire to write about it. I wonder if internet usage itself should be investigated as a possible link? In fact, I would like to suggest a new condition: Bloggers disease. Dr John Monaghan, Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co Galway.