From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, worrying and unease. A sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear is called a panic attack.

Anxiety symptoms occur with ME/CFS, but their origin tends to be from physiologic problems with the autonomic nervous system, sensory integration, blood flow or blood volume as oppose to emotional or psychiatric factors.[1]

In Dr. David Bell's words: "It is true that many persons with CFS experience anxiety. But because CFS patients tend not to have obvious, diagnosable psychiatric illnesses, I suspect that when panic occurs in CFS patients, the cause is physiological, not psychiatric. Whatever else this disease does to the human brain, it includes agitation in its repertoire."[2]

Some anxiety symptoms in those living with ME/CFS may stem from other factors often encountered by patients, such as feeling ‘delegitimized’ by the medical community,[3] poor prognosis, and loss of income, livelihood, and relationships.

Presentation[edit | edit source]

Prevalence[edit | edit source]

Symptom recognition[edit | edit source]

Anxiety is a potential symptom of Long COVID in the World Health Organization's definition.[5]

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

  • Anxiety and depression in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME): Examining the incidence of health anxiety in CFS/ME[3] (Abstract)

Possible causes[edit | edit source]

Potential treatments[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Johnson, Cort (December 10, 2016). "The Anxiety Question in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia: Is the Autonomic Nervous System to Blame?". Health Rising. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  2. Bell, David (August 30, 2000). Faces of CFS: case studies of chronic fatigue syndrome, (print). ISBN 978-0970770202.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Daniels, J; Brigden, A; Kacorova, A (2017), "Anxiety and depression in chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME): Examining the incidence of health anxiety in CFS/ME", Psychol Psychother, 90 (3): 502–509, doi:10.1111/papt.12118
  4. Berne, Katrina (December 1, 1995). Running on Empty: The Complete Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFIDS) (2nd ed.). Hunter House. p. 60. ISBN 978-0897931915.
  5. Soriano, Joan B.; Allan, Maya; Alsokhn, Carine; Alwan, Nisreen A.; Askie, Lisa; Davis, Hannah E.; Diaz, Janet V.; Dua, Tarun; de Groote, Wouter; Jakob, Robert; Lado, Marta; Marshall, John; Murthy, Srin; Preller, Jacobus; Relan, Pryanka; Schiess, Nicoline; Seahwag, Archana (October 6, 2021), A clinical case definition of post COVID-19 condition by a Delphi consensus, World Health Organization (WHO) clinical case definition working group on post COVID-19 condition, World Health Organization