Recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:

One Person's Story

By Bruce Campbell, Ph.D.

I experienced a sudden onset of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in July 1997, going in a few days from fully healthy to 25% of normal. But over a period of four years I found a way to recover, gradually returning to the same level of health I had before becoming sick. I have remained healthy now (2017) for more than a decade and a half.

I share my story in the hope that others may find in it both encouragement and practical strategies. Based on my experience and my observation of thousands of people who have participated in the self-help program I created, I believe that many people with CFS can experience significant improvement. The account of my experience on this site offers one example. For others, see the Success Stories on our self-help program website.

Bruce Campbell

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Table of Contents

          Introduction  (summary of story)

Part I: Getting Started

1: I'm Really Sick, Now What Do I Do? 
2: Adopting Multiple Strategies
3: Understanding My Unique Situation
4: Is Recovery a Realistic Goal?
5: Responding to Loss
6: Starting a Self-Help Program

Part II: Pacing

7: The Energy Envelope
8: Pacing
9: My Secret Weapon: Pre-Emptive Rest
10: Keeping Records
11: Experiments with Exercise
12: Minimizing Relapses

Part III: Other Challenges

13: Stress
14: Emotions
15: Support

Part IV: Concluding Thoughts

16: Recovery or Just Remission?
17: Lessons 
18: What About You?

Bruce Campbell, Ph.D., created the CFIDS/Fibromyalgia Self-Help program, a non-profit organization that offers a suite of low-cost and free self-help courses over the Internet and other resources for people with CFS (also called CFIDS, ME and CFS/ME) and fibromyalgia. The group was founded in 1998 and has conducted more than 550 self-help classes and groups. Dr. Campbell has worked professionally at Stanford University on self-help programs for chronic illness, including the Arthritis Self-Help course and the Chronic Disease Self-Management course. He is a graduate of Stanford and has a Ph.D. from the University of California.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2004-2017 by Bruce Campbell. Permission is granted to re-publish or re-post the material from this website as long as the use is non-commercial (e.g. support group newsletter), the material is used in its entirety (for example, one chapter) and the source is credited as: "Recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ( ) by Bruce Campbell."

Disclaimer: The materials in this book are posted for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for medical or other professional advice. Consult your physician or other health care provider regarding your symptoms and medical needs.