The ‘all in the mind’ myth of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome

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    Abstract

    Health professionals should be made aware that ME/CFS is not a psychological illness and in order to improve patient care, nurses need to better understand this illness and its impact on patients.

    Nurses often witness close-up the impact of acute and chronic illness on patients. Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is one illness that nurses may encounter that causes profound life changes for many sufferers. This controversial illness is sometimes presented as a psychosomatic disorder that requires psychological treatment. However, there is no compelling evidence that ME/CFS is a mental health condition and increasing evidence shows it is a biological disease with a range of complex symptoms. This article discusses how the ‘all in the mind’ myth of ME/CFS has permeated both medical discourse and popular culture, with negative consequences for patients living with this poorly understood condition.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNursing in Practice
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2016

    Keywords

    • chronic fatigue ssyndrome
    • Nursing
    • Patient Satisfaction

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