Depression, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, personality changes and panic attacks are all symptoms that may accompany ME/CFS. They do not cause ME/CFS; in fact, they are more likely to be the result of it. A 1999 study by Dr. Leonard Jason of DePaul University revealed that 60 percent of those diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome had never experienced a psychiatric illness, such as depression, before the onset of the illness.
Despite this study and multiple other studies proving ME/CFS to be a very real physical illness, some patients still have to cope with healthcare professionals who persist in thinking it is primarily a psychiatric problem. However, the tide is turning. The CFIDS Association’s public awareness campaign, funded by the CDC, is bringing ME/CFS to the forefront. More and more healthcare professionals are becoming familiar with ME/CFS and learning how to treat it.
If you have symptoms of depression, anxiety, or any of the other mood disorders mentioned, be sure to talk with your doctor about it. Left untreated, these symptoms can actually exacerbate many of your other symptoms. (For example, anxiety causes stress; and stress contributes to pain, insomnia, increased fatigue, digestive problems, etc.)