[T]he study pointed to a physical cause for an illness that the medical establishment had often snidely dismissed as psychosomatic. The research could not be ignored: it was published last month in Science, one of the world’s pickiest and most prestigious journals.If you're even passingly aware of the history surrounding ME/CFS, the article won't say much that you didn't already know. Still, it's worth a click-through and a glance just for what it tells us about the media's perspective on this disease, and how it may be shifting.
First, the article itself is pretty sympathetic. Note the use of the word "snidely" in the above excerpt. Note the lack of an interview with some random psychiatrist who claims (without providing any evidence) that it's all in patients' heads. There is a one-line quote from William Reeves of the CDC to that effect, but in context he comes across as an idiot.
Second, check out the photo at the top. Notice anything unusual about the photo?
That's Andrea Whittemore-Goad, a longtime ME/CFS patient and the daughter of the woman who founded the Whittemore Peterson Institute. She's using a nasal cannula for oxygen.
I've looked at my fair share of newspaper stories about ME/CFS. When they include a visual, it's usually stock footage of someone who looks (a) tired, (b) depressed, or (c) tired and depressed. The NYT photo is the first mainstream media image I know of that suggests sufferers might actually have medical needs.
Better late than never.