Leigh Hatcher's autobiographical book focuses heavily on his experience of the much-maligned Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Hatcher's account of the physical pain, exhaustion and suffering involved left me with little doubt that this mystery illness simply hasn't been linked to its physical cause yet by medical science.
Hatcher speaks forcefully about the damage done by well meaning people who thought what he was going through was "all in the mind". In doing so, he does much to raise awareness of the physical nature of CFS; but unfortunately rebuttal will do little to de-stigmatise mental illness, which is every bit as real to those who suffer from it. To Hatcher, the suggestion that his illness could be psychological in nature was hugely destructive and stigmatising. We are still far from fully understanding the inner workings of the human mind, and I found it interesting that Hatcher had such a strongly reaction to people who were sceptical of the physical nature of his illness. Rather than just dismissing them as being ill-informed, he found their opinions damaging in their own right.
Anyone suffering from CFS will welcome Hatcher's openness and be able to relate to the debilitating effects of the condition; friends and relatives of someone with CFS would also do well to check it out and find that there's more to this nasty ailment than simply feeling tired all the time.