A revolutionary treatment has been launched and is showing fantastic results and promise for treating chronic fatigue syndrome in teenagers.
Dutch researchers reported that 63% of patients who underwent psychotherapy online were making a recovery. Eight times better than the usual treatments.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a group of disorders where people feel consistently tired for over a period of 6 months and display other specific symptoms. It covers many conditions such as myalgic encephalomyelitis, post-viral fatigue syndrome, chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome and many others.
It has been shown to impair people’s physical activity through muscle weakness, cause respiratory problems, cause cardiac problems and can even lead to depression.
The true cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown but it is believed that a large portion of patients can be treated through cognitive behavioural therapy.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a form of psychotherapy that endeavours to alter patient’s thought patterns. An example of cognitive behaviour is:
Imagine you are walking down the street and you see a friend of yours walking towards you. You feel happy and you’re excited to talk to them but they just walk past you without noticing you.
There are two ways of looking at it:
A) They ignored me, how rude. I am no longer friends with them or I’ll hold a grudge against them.
B) They ignored me, they must be really busy or lost in thought. Maybe I should ring them later to see if they’re ok and that nothing’s wrong.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy tries to teach people to think using pattern B – to instinctively look for a more positive outlook in daily activities and events. However, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy isn’t that widely available in the UK because of a limited number of practitioners in certain areas etc.
As a result a study was carried out using Fitnet – a web-based psychotherapy programme that attempts to replicate face-to-face cognitive behavioural therapy. There is also a trained psychotherapist available for support via e-mail. The program found that people were logging in on average 255 times over a year (far more than the number of appointments possible) and e-mailing therapists on average 90 times. This meant that they received far better and far more therapy and were able to restore normality to their lives and rid themselves of chronic fatigue syndrome.
For anyone interested in learning to use cognitive behavioural therapy on themselves, here’s a good book (it’s a link): Brilliant Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: How to use CBT to improve your mind and your life