'Canary In a Coal Mine' Examines Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Patients disabled by Myalgic Encephalomyelitis share their pain in documentary film.
5:11 | 10/30/13

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Transcript for 'Canary In a Coal Mine' Examines Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
I learns she used run before and -- -- -- And means that pretty much to stripes. May and -- her first -- I and I had a really lucky life I was married to the love of my life I had two kids. Two dogs. -- -- -- -- it together and in outlined in the family I was. A legend. In the music. Industry I was needs. PST students. Setting political science at Harvard. By being. -- I was invincible. We think I actually got sick in 1990. Just after a trip to East Africa and over the weekend -- became -- -- -- have some sort of cold at a 105 degree fever opted for ten days as far as I was concerned about all the tax you screw the cold and I. I had a blackout and I came to I couldn't leave the work. And when attacked him I couldn't find my name fit -- the -- the -- Britain and surveillance apathetic and agree you with turning. I disappear entirely and no wonder why. Among the people who hadn't a clue what's me. The doctor -- -- you need. Everything you're feeling it from your head. We doctors are the most arrogant. Here ladies and gentlemen do everything that -- you know separate doctors. Nobody doubted I was really set a once -- -- insist that this is a physical disease that this is not a psychiatric disease. This severity of illness is equivalent to congestive heart -- is lying in bed. In pain staring at a law public. Movie that hasn't acquired form of -- in -- deficiency disorder. You go back historically you can feel this is very similar to this -- many different things -- -- one million people in the United States. CDC admits that 85% at 850000. People have no diagnosis less than half the doctors in this country know the name of -- elements. I don't know I don't like that 70s75%. Of the patients. Female you just don't have doctors going to -- say that he changed the Callahan you. If you could go -- -- younger wife he would feel better for invisible. You can't listen to nobody else so they just literally waste away this just -- away. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Four -- five of my patients commit suicide over the years and it's just devastating how many people -- I have to get sick with this disease. Before they pay attention to what we think that there is very very likely to be some sort of infectious culprit. You never know who's going to actually be effective. It was -- Group of people like committee that happened to be pulled together by the CDC and it came up with his perfectly -- -- -- -- centrum content to keep something. -- but I can't be right here to set and people started ten -- that -- yuppie disease. The disease that really doesn't exist in the patients actually a really. Imagining that -- -- I talked to -- high CDC its own. You didn't really. It's really did not -- -- was he would pass the test looked like they have viruses particularly. The kids and that's a little of denial in their head -- sixteen million. -- -- -- -- There -- a future you take for granted every day and never articulate yourself and yet it's always there and when you come down with an illness. But has no end. It strips away an -- future I want more -- and more from life and that's. -- when I got sick and took careful but I'd rather carry around all my life. Haven't we haven't heard. Kept saying you don't get discouraged you never know what's around the corner things can. I have this belief that if Friday can. Read a lot of -- -- and -- lot of self experimentation. That I can. Turn this thing around -- most of us. Look at what's around us and see very little and yet we have the capacity to see infinity in the smallest things. This is -- life and and every -- -- -- grateful for an. Plus you've learned from everything's.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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