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A view of the violence contained in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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By Bennett A • www.ProHealth.com • April 15, 1997


In this paper I ask whether there might be any one particular
psychopathology likely to be linked specifically with the
physical illness known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or
myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), and whether CFS/ME aids and
abets and "fits' an original mental state. I think the
question cannot yet be answered. However it is my hypothesis
that in some personality structures the onset of CFS/ ME
following a physical illness exacerbates negativity and is an
aspect of ordinary depression where there is a lowering of
energy levels and a loss of zest for life, or it may reveal
the pathological aspect of unresolved rage. Depending on the
degree of pathological disturbance, working with and through
the rage may or may not result in a resolution of the symptoms
of ME. In this paper I consider some of the problems in the
transference and countertransference relationship, which make
it extremely difficult to separate out reality from phantasy.
There is then the further problem of the denial of the psyche
by the patient as part of the violence inherent in the
illness. One case is presented, an example of ME in a
borderline male patient in whom resolution could not be
achieved.




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