The History Behind the Diagnosis
The condition of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), or as it has also been called “Yuppy Flu”, was originally thought not to have a physical (viral) cause, having been popularised in the 19th century by the neurologist, George Millar Beard as a solely neurological problem causing physical symptoms. This was eventually disputed around the time of the Second World War, and finally in 1978 the diagnosis of a distinct organic based disease, with the name Myalgic Encephalomyelitis was given to the condition, with the main aspect of the condition being that of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
As shown in the syndrome history and irrespective of the 1978 diagnosis, until a relatively short time ago CFS/ME remained a little understood condition primarily due to lack of in-depth research and funding. This led to the nickname of “Yuppy Flu” being given to the condition during the 1990’s in England.
It wasn’t until 1996, and then in 2002, that the medical profession in England began to finally, though slowly, recognise CFS/ME as a stand-alone illness. This was followed four years later in 2006 with the United States Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) also recognising CFS/ME as a serious stand-alone illness.
Unfortunately, in some instances, it was still a misdiagnosed and misunderstood illness, under the stigma and misconception between that of an underlying neurological health problem and physical manifestation. This began to change gradually during the late 2000’s as CFS/ME became a more world wide recognised condition, with money for more in-depth research being put behind it.
Currently there are over 250,000 people in England alone with this chronic condition.