A great little handout (with ample research cites) for those people who think you're just lazy or crazy.
Myth 1: There are no objective abnormalities.
Myth 2: The only problem is your "perception" that you're sick.
Myth 3: Other research groups can't duplicate findings.
Myth 4: CFS affects only Yuppies and is rare.
Myth 5: Counseling can cure CFS.
Myth 6: Patients are lazy or malingering.
Myth 7: CFS is caused by EBV.
Myth 8: CFS can be cured with exercise.
Myth 9: CFS is difficult to diagnose.
As I've said before, CFS is so easy to diagnose if you know what you're looking for that patient support groups can do it with near-100% accuracy.
One of my doctors was convinced that I could not have CFS because I had a normal EBV test; that was the only thing he "knew" to look for (and, in fact, it was erroneous information). One of the original CFS patients was EBV-negative at the time of the epidemic, and remains EBV-negative to this day, proving that EBV is not the cause -- it's the result of your battered immune system not being able to control a virus that's present in nearly every adult (but not 100%).
I'd also like to comment on Myth 3, reproducibility of research results. A privately-funded researcher found a virus in all the blood samples she was given. CDC/NIH was supposed to confirm the findings. They repeatedly failed. Eventually it was discovered that they were not following the same procedures; they'd specifically been warned the virus was fragile and would not withstand freezing ... and they'd frozen the blood samples! An outside researcher summed up, for the author of Osler's Web, "They didn't WANT to find anything."
And this is the problem. Someone who wants to prove that CFS=depression can load up their research pool with people who have only those symptoms that CFS and depression have in common, i.e., people who were misdiagnosed with CFS and actually have depression. Thus, they cannot reproduce the results of a group of post-viral CFS/ME patients, who have something else entirely than the patients they're studying. To someone who hasn't thoroughly analyzed the situation, it looks like theresults aren't reproducible; to someone who carefully examines the make-up of the patients, it quickly becomes apparent that you can't reproduce the results of one disease by studying people with another disease.
Harvard's Dr. Komaroff has counted 4000 international studies finding objective abnormalities. Don't let anyone tell you there's no way to prove someone is suffering from CFS. There are plenty of ways to prove it ... if you know what to test for. But if you're testing for things not on that list, then you shouldn't be surprised that the results are normal. You won't find what you're not looking for.