Rainbow at shoreline

The Massachusetts ME/CFS & FM Association, a 501(c)3 founded in 1985, exists to meet the needs of patients with ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) or FM (Fibromyalgia), their families and loved ones. The Massachusetts ME/CFS & FM Association works to educate health-care providers and the general public regarding these severely-disabling physical illnesses. We also support patients and their families and advocate for more effective treatment and research.

by Nancy B. Smith

Purpose of support group meetings

  1. Emotional and social support
  2. Provision of information on the illnesses, treatments, resources
  3. Engagement in local community activity on illness issues
  4. Connection with other CFIDS/ME and FM organizations and resources

The support group is a place to offer a safe non-judgmental environment in which patients, family and friends of patients and perhaps medical personnel can reach out to share their experiences, educate each other and share information such as which doctors are good versus bad.

Isolation is one big issue patients have. Support Groups serve a purpose to help end that feeling, as well as realizing there are others in the same position. Face-to-face communication is a good way to go. It helps because it is through understanding and being understood that experiences can be shared with the illnesses: how we obtained a diagnosis, successful ways of coping, treatments tried that have helped or not helped. Denial of being ill, frustration and anger are often attitudes seen in patients but usually, they all get along.

Notice about names

The Massachusetts ME/CFS & FM Association would like to clarify the use of the various acronyms for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) on this site. When we generate our own articles on the illness, we will refer to it as ME/CFS, the term now generally used in the United States. When we are reporting on someone else’s report, we will use the term they use. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies, including the CDC, are currently using ME/CFS. 

Massachusetts ME/CFS & FM Association changed its name in July, 2018, to reflect this consensus.