Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Myths

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is Not:

A ‘Yuppies’ Disease

The Yuppies Disease myth (that CFS mainly effected more well off younger people) started in a Newsweek article in the 1990′s. Since then numerous studies indicate Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) strikes every segment of society and that rates of CFS in poor or minority communities are at least equal to, if not higher than, in communities with higher incomes.

A Psychological Disorder

While rates of mood disorder are increased many chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients do not have a mood disorder and mood disorders are not increased in patients prior to their coming down with their disease. Having any chronic illness increases the risk of having a mood disorder.

Simply A Women’s Disease

Approximately 20% of chronic fatigue syndrome patients are men. The Centers of Disease Control estimates about 800,000 men in the U.S. have chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

Simply About Fatigue

Not only do patients report that their fatigue is far more severe than anything they’d ever experienced before they also often experience many other troubling symptoms such as pain, poor sleep, inability to concentrate, troubles standing, problems with coordination, and more. 

A ‘Minor Disease’

 The disability rates of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) patients are similar to people with multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and other serious diseases. Some patients endure years of being virtually home-bound or even bed-ridden by their disease.

 A ‘Wastebasket Disorder’

 ME/CFS is often referred to by non-specialists as a wastebasket disorder; ie it’s simply a dumping ground for patients with vague complaints of fatigue and pain. In fact ME/CFS specialists state that the suite of symptoms present makes this disorder instantly recognizable to those familiar with it.

Untreatable

While the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is still unclear knowledgeable physicians use a wide variety of protocols to provide many patients with symptomatic relief. Some patients completely recover.

A ‘New’ Disease

Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) has had many names over time including ‘chronic EBV syndrome’, ‘post-viral illness’, ‘Florence Nightingale Disease’, chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), neuroendocrineimmune disorder, myalgic encephalopathy and myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) In the late 19th and early 20th century ME/CFS is believed to have been called ‘neurasthenia’.

 

 

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