Medical studies might have proven it exists, and it’s been acknowledged by most medical authorities as a real condition, but go to your family doctor with symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and he’ll probably still treat you as a slacker or malingerer.
A new study has highlighted the prejudice among doctors about chronic fatigue. One of the kinder comments the study gleaned from one of the participating doctors was that patients had ‘a certain personality trait that is chronic fatigue syndrome waiting to happen’. In other words, it’s all in their heads.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the other ‘yuppie condition’ as defined by doctors, fared better. Because it has some identifiable physical cause or location, most doctors in the survey accepted that IBS could well be a condition that actually existed outside of the imagination of the patient.
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2004; 328: 1354-6).