De bortgjemte – og hvordan ME ble vår tids mest omstridte sykdom (The Hidden – and how ME became the most disputed disease of our time) is a non-fiction book by Norwegian journalist Jørgen Jelstad.
The most severe patients are lying in sound and light protected rooms, with masks covering their eyes, completely flat in a bed they never leave, and they can barely tolerate to be turned. Several are tube-fed. Many are youths or young adults, and many of the severely affected are nursed by family for years in lack of care facilities.
Jørgen Jelstad takes us in to many of these homes, where most of them have experienced disbelief due to a psychiatric approach to the condition. At the same time he writes both from a Norwegian and an international research community and helps us understand what this mysterious disease is and why it is so disputed among specialists. The author himself has a mother with ME.
Jørgen Jelstad (born 1979) is educated both as physiotherapist and journalist. He has worked for several newspapers, mostly with feature articles. He started writing The Hidden in 2009. Since the book got published, he has held numerous lectures on ME and research, participated at national and international conferences on ME and written several debate articles on the subject. He has a blog with the same title as the book De Bortgjemte where he covers important issues related to ME in thorough blog posts.
In 2012 he held a speech called Words Matter at the pre-conference dinner to the annual Invest in ME-conference in London.
The book received great reviews and praise when it was published.
From the politician Erna Solberg (current prime minister of Norway) in a speech at the Parliament: If I may recommend some reading material for Christmas - it won't be any encouraging Christmas-read; it is disheartening - it will be to read the book by Jørgen Jelstad, "The Hidden".
From the newspaper Klassekampen by Freddy Fjellheim: This book should be on the curriculum for all health care workers in Norway. "The Hidden" is a persuasive book and shocking to read. The language is to the point, the analysis crystal clear, and the documentary presentation shifts effectively from individual cases to the medical debate.
From Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association by Maria Gjerpe: Jelstad has managed the feat to write an easily accessible book which one can't put down, and which should be debated both in political and medical communities for a long time ahead.
From the journal Prosa by Sindre Hovdenakk: The Hidden is an outstanding example of a thorough researched and well disposed documentary. The author confronts authorities directly, he challenges the information which has been given, and he testifies on behalf of others than himself. His prose examines issues critically, and wants to get somewhere, where feelings aren't enough