[Intense fatigue in humans. Psychosocial and cultural aspects]

Ther Umsch. 1991 Nov;48(11):756-61.
[Article in German]


A differentiation between the normal sensation of tiredness and the symptom "fatigue" is often difficult. Both are influenced by cultural, social, psychological and biological factors, which can lead--interactively--to symptom formation. Psychiatric disorders frequently associated with fatigue are all forms of depression, somatization and anxiety disorders, chronic pain states and drug abuse among many others. In at least 2/3 of patients with the fashionable chronic fatigue syndrome--formerly called neurasthenia--a psychiatric diagnosis can be made, most of them also suffer from many symptoms attributes to the autonomous nervous system. The clinical approach should be cautious avoiding diagnostic and therapeutic overaction and therapy should emerge from a diagnosis properly assessed.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Culture*
  • Fatigue / psychology*
  • Fatigue / therapy
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / psychology
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Neurasthenia / psychology
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology
  • Social Conditions