Personality traits and patient attitudes in ME/CFS

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A number of different personality traits and attitudes have been proposed as possible risk factors, and/or perpetuating factors in people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, for example perfectionism.

Some proponents of the biopsychosocial or psychosocial model of ME/CFS have also claimed ME patients have negative attitudes toward mental illness, but this view is not supported by research.[1]

Theory[edit | edit source]

Evidence[edit | edit source]

Perfectionism[edit | edit source]

Personality traits[edit | edit source]

Van Houdenhove (1995) found that ME/CFS patients were more active than average before their illness.[2]

Personality disorders[edit | edit source]

Personality disorders were not found to be any common in patients with ME/CFS than in the general population.[3]

Attitudes towards mental illness[edit | edit source]

Wood and Wessely researched attitudes towards mental illness and personality traits in people with chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis in 1999, finding that attitudes towards mental illness are were about the same in both groups of patients.[1]

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

  • 1995, Does high 'action-proneness' make people more vulnerable to chronic fatigue syndrome?[2](Full text)
  • 2007, Personality and chronic fatigue syndrome: methodological and conceptual issues[4](Full text) - a summary of other findings
  • 2013, Prevalence of DSM-IV Personality Disorders in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Controlled Study[3](Abstract)

Letters, interviews and newspaper coverage[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.