Cases reported "Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic"

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1/4. Building bridges between body and mind: The analysis of an adolescent with paralyzing chronic pain.

    This paper describes the evaluation, initial psychotherapy and subsequent psychoanalysis of an adolescent who presented with a severe psychosomatic process involving total body pain and profound fatigue. The author details the complex and multifaceted nature of the psychosomatic process as it unfolded in the treatment. The psychosomatic problem was not a single entity, but rather was comprised of diverse interwoven elements such as somatization, conversion on pre-oedipal and oedipal levels, conflicts over aggression, sexuality, identity, masochism, secondary gain, anaclitic depression, internalized self-other interactions with a depressed mother and transgenerational transmission of trauma. The author uses the case material to discuss technical approaches to problems that often arise in the analytic treatment of patients with complicated chronic pain and fatigue as the primary complaints. Such approaches include respecting the mind-body split as a primary defense, speaking the language of the body along with the language of the mind and developing the verbal sphere around the non-verbal symptoms. The author emphasizes that complicated chronic pain problems are common and can be helped by psychoanalysis as long as the unique and complex features are understood and reflected in the technical approach.
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ranking = 1
keywords = psychotherapy
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2/4. Chronic fatigue syndrome and women: can therapy help?

    This article presents current research on chronic fatigue syndrome, which currently afflicts mostly females between the ages of 25 and 55. Because depression is a common symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome, mental health practitioners are often involved with the victims and must formulate an appropriate treatment strategy that considers the physiological, intrapsychic, interpersonal, and environmental aspects of the client. This article includes case material focusing on a woman who was medically diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus and was in psychotherapy with the author. The difficulty of managing the interplay of the real health problems and the emotional issues presented by the client is highlighted.
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ranking = 1
keywords = psychotherapy
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3/4. A psychodynamic view of the chronic fatigue syndrome. The role of object relations in etiology and treatment.

    The chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a constellation of physical and psychological symptoms including incapacitating fatigue associated with a marked reduction in activity. Although the etiology of CFS is unclear, reports in the literature suggest the presence of both physical and psychological dysfunction in this patient population. These findings have led to a debate between those who consider CFS to be primarily organic in origin and those who view CFS as a primary psychiatric disorder characterized by somatic preoccupations. This debate led the authors to develop a working model for CFS designed to integrate the psychological and physiological findings, based on the hypothesis that early object relations have an etiologic relationship to CFS. This hypothesis then formed the rationale for a psychoanalytic treatment approach which will be described. There are no published case reports describing psychoanalytic psychotherapy as a primary treatment modality for this patient population. The current paper attempts to fill a void. Two case reports of long-term (> 18 months), intensive (2-3 times per week) psychoanalytic psychotherapy with CFS patients referred by infectious disease specialists at a university teaching hospital will be presented. The following aspects of the treatment will be highlighted: 1) the unique opportunity afforded by this treatment to view the nature of CFS, namely, the intimate relationship over time of fatigue symptoms to disturbances in object relationships, particularly within the transference; (2) the improvement in symptoms when this relationship is seen and understood by the patient; (3) the importance of the patient-therapist bond as a facilitating medium for clinical improvement; (4) the challenges involved in treating CFS patients with psychotherapy.
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ranking = 3
keywords = psychotherapy
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4/4. Coniunctio--in bodily and psychic modes: dissociation, devitalization and integration in a case of chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Three years of analytical psychotherapy with a professional woman in mid-life, suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), is described. Gradual recovery merged into mid-life changes; marriage, along with a new balance of maternal and paternal imagos, enabled her to trust enough to become pregnant-coniunctio in the most primal bodily and psychic modes. Her life-long, schizoid type pattern, "the pendulum of closeness and isolation', with its extreme of psycho-physical collapse and devitalization, was replayed in therapy. The analyst's symbolic attitude is emphasized, containing the patient's initial affective explosion and validating the physicality of her condition. Mirroring and steady rhythmic attunement became a new, pre-verbal, source of trust-vitalization; differentiation and separation replaced defensive splitting and dissociation. Then the overwhelmingly powerful bodily/maternal could be counterbalanced by the masculine, and a transitional space emerged for symbolic work. Both the regressive and the dynamic aspects of CFS are located in the earliest undifferentiated, archetypal, bodily/psychic modes, when the frustration of primary needs evokes the defences of the self. It is argued that our psychodynamic understanding can contribute to the stalemate in seeing chronic fatigue syndrome as either an organic illness or depression, and that a new linking of the somatic and psychic calls for a new professional collaboration.
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keywords = psychotherapy
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