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incorrect Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis (neurasthenia etc.)

Neurasthenia / Fatigue Syndrome
Is Different To ME/CFS

Neurasthenia, Fatigue Syndrome, and Chronic Fatigue are different to ME/CFS (including Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome).

Many ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (including Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome) sufferers are misdiagnosed. Find out more about misdiagnosis below...


According to the Canadian ME/CFS criteria (2003), 10-25% of patients report experiencing abnormal fatigue (chronic tiredness ) to their doctor. But!!! Only a small portion of these have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Please note: To make it easier for you to read through this page, Sleepydust will refer to these labels and/or sub-groups of illnesses (ME, CFS, PVFS) collectively as the umbrella term, 'ME/CFS'.

To find out more about the various names for ME/CFS, click here...


Does Your Doctor Know What They're Diagnosing - Or Not Diagnosing?

First and foremost it is important for your doctor to know what they are diagnosing. This may sound obvious but should not be taken for granted. What's alarming is that (at the time of writing this article) many medical professionals know very little about ME/CFS - whether it be through misinformation or through lack of knowledge. Unfortunately some medical professionals don't even believe that ME/CFS even exists.

Read more about ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and medical scepticism here ...

So for many sufferers, obtaining a diagnosis is only the first step of a very long road to get the correct medical advice. In fact many ME/CFS sufferers say that they have ended up researching the illness themselves and informing their doctors about it.

There are of course medical professionals out there who know Myalgic Encephalomyelitis /Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome /Chronic Fatigue Syndrome well, and if you find one, treat them like solid gold!

But alas, this is not always the case ...

Indeed, it's a sad fact that many ME/CFS sufferers still go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed ...

For example, many ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers are misdiagnosed with Depression. Although Depression can be a symptom of ME/CFS, these two conditions are not one and the same. They are different. And not all ME/CFS sufferers experience Depression as a symptom anyway. [More...]

Other ME/CFS sufferers are misdiagnosed with 'Fatigue Syndrome' (also known as 'Neurasthenia' or 'Chronic Fatigue' ) - a psychological condition. Now please don't let the name fool you. The term 'Fatigue Syndrome' (also known as 'Chronic Fatigue ') is very similar to the name 'Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ' - but only in name!

'Fatigue Syndrome' / 'Chronic Fatigue ' is actually different to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ME and Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome. In fact, much misdiagnosis and incorrect (and potentially harmful) medical advice stems from not making the distinction between:

  • general malaise/fatigue
  • Fatigue Syndrome /Chronic Fatigue
  • and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/ Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS)/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

The World Health Organization classifies:

  • 'Fatigue Syndrome' as a 'mental and behavioural disorder' (ICD-10 F48.0). This includes 'Neurasthenia ', and can be assumed to include the term 'Chronic Fatigue '.

  • 'Malaise and fatigue ' are classified as 'General symptoms and signs' (R53).

  • But both 'Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome ' and 'Benign Myalgic Encephalomyelitis ' are classified as 'diseases of the nervous system' (G93.3). 'Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome ' is also clearly marked as being excluded from the 'mental and behavioural disorders' (F48.0) and 'Malaise and fatigue ' (R53).


Bottom line?

As with any chronic illness, there is a psychological aspect of having to adjust to living with ME/CFS. But that is true for any chronic illness.

But ME / PVFS itself, is NOT psychological. 'Fatigue Syndrome' ('Neurasthenia') is classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a 'mental and behavioural disorder' but this is different to ME & Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome.

In comparison, M.E. and Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome are classified by WHO as 'diseases of the nervous system'. So treating and managing Chronic Fatigue / Neurasthenia / Fatigue Syndrome (which is essentially psychological) needs a very different approach. An approach that can be unhelpful, and even detrimental to a sufferer whose condition (ME or PVFS) is neurological.

So it's crucial that your doctor is aware of these differences and diagnoses you correctly.



Category: Neurasthenia, Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, Diagnosis, Misdiagnosed / Incorrect Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosis

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