Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

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Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

Postby BFSBurger on October 7th, 2013, 8:34 pm

Childhood stressors in the development of fatigue syndromes: a review of the past 20 years of research
Psychological Medicine / FirstView Article pp 1-15Copyright
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291713002468 (About DOI),
Published online: 07 October 2013
A. Borsinia1, N. Hepgula1, V. Mondellia1, T. Chaldera2 and C. M. Pariantea1 c1

a1 Section of Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology and Perinatal Psychiatry, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK

a2 Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK

Abstract
Background
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM) are both highly prevalent conditions associated with extreme disability and with the development of co-morbid psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Childhood stressors have been shown to induce persistent changes in the function of biological systems potentially relevant to the pathogenesis of both CFS and FM, such as the inflammatory system and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. In this review, we examined whether multiple forms of childhood stressors are contributing factors to the development of these disorders, and of the associated psychiatric symptoms.

Method

Using PubMed, we identified 31 papers relevant to this narrative review. We included cohort studies and case-control studies, without any exclusion in terms of age and gender. No study characteristics or publication date restrictions were imposed.

Results

Most studies across the literature consistently show that there is a strong association between experiences of childhood stressors and the presence of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(s) and Fibromyalgia, with rates of CFS/FM being two- to three-fold higher in exposed than in unexposed subjects. We also found evidence for an increased risk for the development of additional symptoms, such as depression, anxiety and pain, in individuals with CFS and FM with a previous history of childhood stressors, compared with individuals with CFS/FM and no such history.

Conclusions

Our review confirms that exposure to childhood stressors is associated with the subsequent development of fatigue syndromes such as CFS and FM, and related symptoms. Further studies are needed to identify the mechanisms underlying these associations.

(Received March 11 2013)
(Revised August 29 2013)
(Accepted August 31 2013)

Key words
Anxiety; childhood abuse; childhood maltreatment; chronic fatigue syndrome; chronic pain; depression; fibromyalgia; stress

Correspondence

c1 Address for correspondence: Professor C. M. Pariante, Section of Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology and Perinatal Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, 125 Coldharbour Lane, London SE5 9NU, UK.
How I resolved my BFS within 1 year of onset:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=19128
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Re: Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

Postby Seepi27 on October 8th, 2013, 6:56 pm

BFSBurger wrote:Childhood stressors in the development of fatigue syndromes: a review of the past 20 years of research
Psychological Medicine / FirstView Article pp 1-15Copyright
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291713002468 (About DOI),
Published online: 07 October 2013
A. Borsinia1, N. Hepgula1, V. Mondellia1, T. Chaldera2 and C. M. Pariantea1 c1

a1 Section of Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology and Perinatal Psychiatry, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK

a2 Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK

Abstract
Background
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM) are both highly prevalent conditions associated with extreme disability and with the development of co-morbid psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Childhood stressors have been shown to induce persistent changes in the function of biological systems potentially relevant to the pathogenesis of both CFS and FM, such as the inflammatory system and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. In this review, we examined whether multiple forms of childhood stressors are contributing factors to the development of these disorders, and of the associated psychiatric symptoms.

Method

Using PubMed, we identified 31 papers relevant to this narrative review. We included cohort studies and case-control studies, without any exclusion in terms of age and gender. No study characteristics or publication date restrictions were imposed.

Results

Most studies across the literature consistently show that there is a strong association between experiences of childhood stressors and the presence of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(s) and Fibromyalgia, with rates of CFS/FM being two- to three-fold higher in exposed than in unexposed subjects. We also found evidence for an increased risk for the development of additional symptoms, such as depression, anxiety and pain, in individuals with CFS and FM with a previous history of childhood stressors, compared with individuals with CFS/FM and no such history.

Conclusions

Our review confirms that exposure to childhood stressors is associated with the subsequent development of fatigue syndromes such as CFS and FM, and related symptoms. Further studies are needed to identify the mechanisms underlying these associations.

(Received March 11 2013)
(Revised August 29 2013)
(Accepted August 31 2013)

Key words
Anxiety; childhood abuse; childhood maltreatment; chronic fatigue syndrome; chronic pain; depression; fibromyalgia; stress

Correspondence

c1 Address for correspondence: Professor C. M. Pariante, Section of Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology and Perinatal Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, 125 Coldharbour Lane, London SE5 9NU, UK.



Before everyone starts stressing over the possibility that their CFS, twitching or whatever is linked to hitherto repressed memories of child abuse or maltreatment, these studies - none of which mean very much, to be honest - suggest that childhood stressors may lead to the subsequent development of CFS and related complaints; it does NOT mean that if you have CFS, you were probably abused as a child.

Burger, I know you mean well, but really...
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Re: Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

Postby jpbw on October 8th, 2013, 7:02 pm

Burger - did you not start twitching after having unprotected sex with a person who was infected with the AIDS/ HIV virus???????? (or after taking the medication?) thus proving that this could all be BS
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Re: Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

Postby BFSBurger on October 9th, 2013, 12:29 am

burger, I know you mean well, but really...

What's the problem now? :roll:
This study simply confirms what we already know: stress causes health problems, and ultimately disease.
Pretty sure if someone had a stressful childhood, they're already aware of it. I know I am.
Study is not discussing severe, repressed abuse that may now surface because Burger posted a study about it. :roll:
Its referring to long term, ongoing, consciously unhappy stressful childhood years.

jpbw wrote:Burger - did you not start twitching after having unprotected sex with a person who was infected with the AIDS/ HIV virus???????? (or after taking the medication?) thus proving that this could all be BS

I started twitching roughly 6 months after taking a 10 pill course of antiretroviral medications known to cause mitochondrial damage, cellular DNA damage, lipid membrane damage, nerve damage, reactivation of previously dormant viral and bacterial infections, and extreme amounts of cellular stress on the body. This was followed by months of severe personal emotional stress, poor diet, partying with stimulants, and generally abusing myself. Stress on the body comes in many forms. Improper diet. Emotional stress. Over training. Toxic medications. Exposure to poisons. etc. As for my childhood, I could write a book about it. Believe me. And it wouldn't be a happy one.

thus proving that this could all be BS

Its not BS. Its a proven fact that stress causes health problems. You and I are living, breathing examples of that. Its also proven that stress causes fatigue. If anything, this study simply verifies what we talk about here every day: Stress causes health problems. Once again, I apologize for posting something I thought people would find interesting or educational! They're discussing this exact study on the Phoenix Rising forums with vibrant interest. Thought someone here might find this interesting too. Should have known better.

-BFSB-
How I resolved my BFS within 1 year of onset:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=19128
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Re: Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

Postby Lene on October 9th, 2013, 8:30 am

I DO think stress caused my problems.
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Re: Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

Postby G-Dog on October 9th, 2013, 8:32 am

Stress causes health problems, I think there's little case for refuting that, even though the exact mechanism may not be fully understood. I know for sure when I first started twitching I was dealing with quite a lot of emotional stress, actually for months and years before.. 3 years later and I'm slowly unwinding the damage, burying one bad habit after the next :)

BTW this is just a meta-analysis of existing studies, to me it states the obvious.
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Re: Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

Postby chrissi on October 9th, 2013, 8:46 am

http://www.aboutbfs.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17171&hilit=Appointment+please+read

The doc I saw who sees CFS Fibro on a daily basis comfirms , that many people with CFS/ Fibro issues have childhood issues. But any other stressor can cause this as well, including lifestyle, meds, infections etc etc. Of course this does not mean that every person with fibro related issues necessarily has " thinks to work on" . I had for sure, and this work was the biggest part of my recovery.
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Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained
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Re: Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

Postby Lene on October 10th, 2013, 2:05 am

Is there a link between BFS and CFS, fybr etc?
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Re: Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

Postby chrissi on October 10th, 2013, 3:35 am

Noone really knows. Actually BFS seems to be a melting pot of different causes. My doc diagnosed MY kind of BFS as Fibro/CFS related and this is why the therapy worked so well. I do not think that this treatment can cure all kinds of BFS, because there are hederitary forms of BFS and also people whose BFS is caused by channelopathies or is a long-term side-effect of certain drugs, caused by food allergies and so on, so we must not throw them all in one pot.
"Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it" Kahlil Gibran
Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained
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Re: Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

Postby Lene on October 10th, 2013, 5:57 am

What are channelopathies?
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Re: Childhood Stress in the Development of Fatigue Syndromes

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