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June 3, 1998

Seeking Answers to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(21):1697-1698. doi:10.1001/jama.279.21.1697

To the Editor.—Although a book review is generally a subjective treatise, I nevertheless must take exception when it contains erroneous statements. Such is the case with Dr Loudon's review of The Night Side: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Illness Experience.1The author may indeed believe that "chronic fatigue illness [sic] is usually caused by a specific category of psychological distress" but for this statement to appear unchallenged in the same journal that has otherwise featured scholarly articles on the subject2,3is perplexing and disappointing. Espousal of such views exemplifies the dismissive reaction encountered by many patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a "get-out-of-my-office" attitude that not only delays appropriate care, but indeed can ultimately be perceived as "crazy making."