Understanding and Treating Chronic Fatigue: A Practical Guide for Patients, Families, and Practitioners

Praeger: ABC-CLIO. Aug. 2020. 231p. ISBN 9781440871924. $39. MED
Around 2.5 million people in the United States today live with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a condition marked by extreme, sometimes debilitating, fatigue as well as insomnia, “brain fog,” pain, depression, and anxiety. The cause and diagnosis of CFS are not well understood, and there are no standard treatment protocols for the condition; remedies typically focus on symptom relief. In 2013, Young (psychiatrist, founder, Rochester, MI, Ctr. for Behavioral Medicine) conducted a small (25 participants, mostly female) double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of stimulant drugs as a treatment for CFS and found a significant lessening of fatigue and anxiety, improvement in cognitive skills, and decrease in pain—with few side effects—in the participants taking the stimulant LDX (Vyvanse). He has continued successfully treating patients with LDX and urges more funding and research on CFS and other treatments. While the syndrome has become more widely known to the general public, few books provide such a helpful guide, despite the admittedly controversial use of stimulants. At the end of this volume are appendixes with 10 FAQs, a glossary, a bibliography, and links to key CFS screenings.
VERDICT Young offers a welcome and well-organized look at the symptoms and diagnosis of CFS. His extensive experience with treating and researching CFS make him a reliable source on this complex condition.
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