Conclusion

Many patients with CFS meet the diagnostic criteria for a depressive disorder or for an anxiety disorder, although in practice the presentation is usually 'atypical'. It is likely that patients who do not meet the criteria for either could be regarded as suffering from either neurasthenia (ICD-10) or undifferentiated somatoform disorder (DSM-IV). Therefore all patients labelled as having CFS can be given a psychiatric diagnosis. However, in many cases such diagnoses are neither adequate descriptions of the clinical syndromes, nor particularly helpful for clinical management. Certainly few patients are likely to want their illness to be reformulated in this way.

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