I’m kind of torn on some of the research and studies that are being done for ME/CFS. On the one hand, I’m happy to see that researchers are looking at every angle and taking everything into consideration including all causes, whether or physical or psychological, for CFS. On the other hand, I get a little offended by these studies also. Recently it was the alleged “childhood trauma link”, and now a link being studied between personality disorders and CFS.
It is as though the medical community and researchers are hoping that this is all in our heads and that they can somehow prove it with their crazy studies.
The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and DSM-IV Personality Disorders study was reported in the January 2009 edition of the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. The Journal reports that “some studies report a high rate of personality disorders – around the 40% level – in samples of patients with CFS” but that these findings should be questioned.
The study information is as follows:
Method: The ADP-IV questionnaire (Assessment of DSM Personality Disorders IV) was used to assess the DSM-IV-TR personality disorders at a dimensional and categorical level in a sample of 50 female CFS patients and in two matched control samples of Flemish civilians (n=50) and psychiatric patients (n=50).
Results: The results indicate a striking lack of statistical significant differences between the CFS sample and the Flemish control group at the level of dimensional Trait scores, number of criteria, and prevalence rates of personality disorder diagnoses.
Unsurprisingly, higher scores at these levels were obtained within the psychiatric sample. The prevalence of an Axis II disorder was 12% in the Flemish and CFS samples, whereas the psychiatric sample obtained a prevalence of 54%.
Conclusion: The prominent absence of any significant difference in personality disorder characteristics between the female Flemish general population and the CFS samples seems to suggest only a minor etiological role for personality pathology, as defined by the DSM-IV Axis II, within CFS.
So what I get from this study information is that personality disorders are NOT prevalent in ME/CFS. These researchers need to move on and find the real PHYSICAL cause of CFS and quit wasting time trying to prove that we are all crazy.