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Information for teenagers

Some advice for teenagers from a teenager with ME/CFS (A. W., 2015):

  • Learn to pace yourself. Try to listen to your body and figure out if there are indications when you do too much and are going to have a relapse. It is very easy to overdo when you feel better.
  • Don’t hate yourself if you miss a day of school. Physically getting to school and sitting in a classroom is exhausting when you have ME/CFS. Attending school every day may not be the highest priority.
  • People can be jerks about this illness, but that is just because they don’t understand. Don’t take it personally.


More resources

Managing ME/CFS: A guide for young people (2015) by Dr. Rosamund Vallings is geared for teenagers with the illness, and will also be useful for parents. It gives clear explanations of the illness and summarizes current thinking about treatment approaches. The Kindle edition is available through Amazon or a paper copy can be ordered through Calico Publishing in New Zealand.

A Kid’s Guide to Surviving and Succeeding in School with CFS & FMS,” from the Organization for Fatigue & Fibromyalgia Education & Research (now the Bateman Horne Center) (2010).

Children Explain What It’s Like to Live with CFIDS” in The CFIDS Chronicle (Lynn Vanderzalm, 1996), published by the CFIDS Association of America (now the Solve ME/CFS Initiative).

Improving Communication Between Doctors and Youth with ME/CFS,” (Sharon Walk, Solve ME/CFS Initiative, 2013).

Note: CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome) is an older name for ME/CFS.