A new study has found people with chronic fatigue syndrome feel stigmatised and embarrassed about having the condition.
Massey University surveyed 221 people who have the syndrome, which affects about 20,000 people in New Zealand.
The illness is understood to stem from changes in the immune system in response to an initial infection.
It can be debilitating; sometimes sufferers are unable to work, or find everyday tasks a struggle.
Clinical psychologist Don Baken said the community needs to understand how hard it is for those with the condition.