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  1. ITV Report

Child with M.E. wants to tackle the stigma

A 10-year-old girl who suffers from M.E. has reached thousands of people through a video posted onto Facebook. Photo: ITV News

A 10-year-old girl from Plymouth who suffers from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) has reached thousands of people across the world through a video posted onto Facebook, where she tries to tackle stigma against the condition.

Shannon Tiday says she is angry about a new and controversial treatment, which suggests M.E. can be treated as a psychological illness.

She's had messages of support from sufferers in Europe, Canada and even Australia

Shannon Tiday says she is angry about a new and controversial treatment for M.E. Credit: ITV News

Shannon has been left practically housebound after developing M.E. - a disease with symptoms of chronic fatigue - meaning her childhood is very different from her peers.

People say that I'm a wheelchair girl and they say to me, there is the wheelchair girl and that kind of makes me feel different.

– Shannon Tiday, M.E. Campaigner

It is an illness that totally invades your life, everything you do as a family, your holidays, everything takes a different path.

– Sharon Tiday, Shannon's mother
Shannon has faced accusations that the condition is all in her head. Credit: ITV News

Shannon's mother also says her daughter has faced accusations that the condition is all in her head.

I was told maybe she is a bit of an attention seeker, maybe your daughter actually likes being ill. To tell you your child likes being ill, it's like saying your daughter doesn't really want her childhood. What child would want to be ill with an illness like this.

– Sharon Tiday, Shannon's mother

Shannon made her Facebook video after learning about a private treatment called The Lightning Process - which suggests her condition can be improved through psychological treatment.

It made me go back in time to when I was being told that I was having it all in my head and I could stop it if I tried, because I knew how bad that hurt me.

– Shannon Tiday, M.E. Campaigner
Shannon made her Facebook video after learning about a private treatment called The Lightning Process. Credit: ITV News

However, many people have claimed that The Lightning Process has been successful.

What is the Lightning Process?

  • A course that teaches people how to use their brain to improve their body's health.
  • It includes simple exercises and movements help encourage recovery.
  • It is not available under the NHS

Meanwhile, the NHS recommends a variety treatments for M.E.

  • CBT - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
  • Graded Exercise - In a structured programme.
  • Medication - To control/manage pain

We do not recommend any individual treatment for people with M.E.

We share key information, published peer-reviewed research and the results of ours and other patient charities' surveys so that people can make an informed decision.

What I would say is that patients should view with extreme caution anything that promises a cure and costs a very large amount of money.

– Clare Ogden, Action for M.E.

Shannon hopes that by speaking out, she can one day make a difference.

Watch Nick Smith's report in full: