Sorry, I am going to compare illnesses because I think it is the best way to make the point I want to make. I have two different illnesses that cause pain. Actually, I have three, but CFS and FMS are lumped together. I also have an agressive form of supposedly heriditary early osteoarthritis. It is not that CFS is more unbearable physically, but it may be more unbearable psychologically because of the prejudice that comes with CFS. For example, before I was diagnosed with the osteoarthritis I was speaking to my father who told me, "At least you don't have rheumatoid arthritis like your Aunt Mary. She had to quit being a teacher because the pain was unbearable." I did not bother to explain to him how insensitive that statement was. When he found out I was diagnosed with the osteoarthritis all of the sudden he is calling me to ask how I am doing. It is a horrible thing to have a disabling disease. It is even more horrible when the majority of the world thinks it is your fault or they don't believe you or they think your lazy or they think you are "crazy", etc. etc. with the hurtful things people think about people with CFS. These are the things that I think make CFS a hard eddged illness: 1-First, and foremost, prejudice (what I mentioned above); 2-I used to be a smart person and a straight A student, but now I can't remember how to spell my middle name; 3-The Fatigue and the Pain of course; 4-The belief that people, including scientists and doctors, will continue to not believe we are really sick; and, thus, better treatments will never be found or used; 5-Dreams and goals being taken away, and; 6-The loss of a "social life"