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Can Teenagers Get Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

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Updated January 28, 2013

Question: Can Teenagers Get Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

"I'm 16 years old and my doctor diagnosed me with chronic fatigue syndrome. My dad doesn't believe that and says chronic fatigue syndrome is for burned-out yuppies or chronically lazy people. I'm not lazy at all and really wish I could do all the stuff I used to. Now I'm confused and wondering if my doctor was wrong. Is my dad right, or can teenagers get chronic fatigue syndrome?"

Answer:

Yes, teenagers – and even younger kids – can get chronic fatigue syndrome. Your dad has heard some stereotypes and doesn't know any different, so now it's time for you and your family to learn about what's going on in your body.

When chronic fatigue syndrome first began to be understood and diagnosed, it was mistakenly called the "yuppie flu." We now know that anyone can develop this illness. Because the name of the condition focuses on just one symptom – fatigue – people often think that's it's simply being tired a lot. In reality, it's a complex and debilitating illness with dozens of symptoms.

If you have doubts about your diagnosis, you should talk to your doctor about what you're feeling. It might be good to have your dad go to an appointment with you, too. Meanwhile, learning about your illness can help you feel more confident, both in your diagnosis and your ability to tell someone about it. These articles can help you get started:

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue
  4. ME/CFS Basics
  5. FAQs
  6. Can Teenagers Get Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ?

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