"Psychotherapy Eases Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Study Finds," read the headline in the February 17, 2011 edition of The New York Times. Within a few days Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) ranked third on Yahoo's 'Trending Now' list. For the misinformed reader it's likely these headlines translated that CFS is all in your head.
Until now, I've told no one except a small inner-circle of family that my mysterious breakdown in health, vitality, and cognition that started the night of May 5, 2007 was not due to an exotic virus I picked up in the Congo while on assignment for National Geographic. The truth? I'm actually a textbook case of someone with CFS, a syndrome I sniffed at until it happened to me. For the sufferer CFS means a total health breakdown, like a plane that inexplicably begins tearing itself apart mid-flight. Together, all the various dysfunctions associated with it leave the patient in a state of health more debilitating than chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, or multiple sclerosis.