• Medical Matters features questions asked by Members of the ME Association on health-related topics.
  • Dr Charles Shepherd and the ME Association's other advisers answer these questions by sharing their expert knowledge.
  • Medical Matters is based on the popular ‘Ask the Doctor’ series in ME Essential magazine.
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Questions in the Category: Functional Assessment

Functional Neurological Disorder

ME Essential Winter 2023

We don’t have a local ME/CFS referral service where I live so I was referred by my GP to a consultant neurologist to help confirm that I have ME.
The neurologist told me that (like most neurologists) he does not like the name the ME and instead calls this condition a functional neurological disorder (FND). After diagnosing me as having FND he reassured me that there was nothing seriously  wrong and offered to refer me to a psychologist for help with management – which I declined!
So is having a FND the same as having ME? And could I have another opinion from a doctor who is more in tune with the recommendations in the new NICE guideline on ME/CFS?

Functional Capacity Assessments and Evaluations

ME Essential Autumn 2023

I have been receiving regular payments over several years from an insurance-based Income Protection Policy. This comes as part of my employment package.

I also receive PIP benefit from the DWP – who accept that I have significant problems with both mobility and care. So I would have thought that this would be adequate on-going evidence of my disability.

The insurance company now want to send me for a functional capacity test to assess whether I am capable of working again. What will this involve?

Is this test a valid way of assessing capability for work if you have ME/CFS? And can I refuse to do so if I am not happy with the way I am going to be assessed?

Mental Health: Depression

ME Essential Spring 2018

Like many other people with ME/CFS, I often feel fed up and frustrated by all the restrictions this illness imposes on my life. But I don’t feel depressed. I now have a new bright GP who thinks I am depressed and he wants me to try a course of antidepressants – to see if they make me feel happier! I know I would feel happier if I just felt well again. But I’m not convinced that I need antidepressants to do so!

Charles Shepherd

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