Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) was popularised in the 19th century by the neurologist George Millar Beard, who diagnosed it as being a solely neurological problem, which subsequently caused physical symptoms.
This misconception was eventually disputed around the time of the Second World War, partially changing the belief to that of their being a physical (viral) cause in certain instances.
Finally in 1978 the diagnosis of a distinct organic based disease with the name Myalgic Encephalomyelitis was given to the condition, with the primary characteristic of the condition being that of ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’.
Primarily due to a lack of in-depth research and funding, and until a relatively short time ago CFS/M.E. remained a little understood condition, being nicknamed “Yuppy Flu” during the 1990’s in England.
As shown in the syndrome history and irrespective of the 1978 diagnosis, it wasn’t until 1996 and then 2002 that the medical profession in England finally began to recognise CFS/M.E. as a stand-alone illness with money for more in-depth research being invested.
Following the UK four years later in 2006, the United States ‘Centres for Disease Control & Prevention’ (CDC) also recognised CFS/M.E. as a serious stand-alone illness.
Currently there are over 250,000 people in England alone struggling to live with this chronic condition. Some with neurological rooted CFS/M.E. whilst others suffer from viral based CFS/M.E.
Unfortunately CFS/M.E. is still a misunderstood and misdiagnosed illness with what seemed in the 19th century to be missing and still seems to be missing, being a recognition of how the body and mind remain firmly interconnected.
More funding, further research and a greater understanding of this illness by the medical profession is most definitely necessary.