Personality dimensions in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): a comparison with multiple sclerosis & depression

This study investigated the relative rates of personality

disturbance in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Individuals who

met the CDC criteria for CFS were compared to two other

fatiguing illness groups, mild multiple sclerosis and

depression, as well as sedentary healthy controls. Subjects

were administered a structured psychiatric interview to

determine Axis I psychiatric disorders and two self-report

instruments to assess Axis II personality disorders and the

personality trait of neuroticism. The depressed group had

significantly more personality disorders and elevated

neuroticism scores compared with the other three groups. The

CFS and MS subjects had intermediary personality scores which

were significantly higher than healthy controls. The CFS

group with concurrent depressive disorder (34% of the CFS

group) was found to account for most of the personality

pathology in the CFS sample. The results are discussed in the

context of the relationship between personality variables and

fatiguing illness.

Johnson SK, DeLuca J, Natelson BH

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