A study by the Center for Disease Control found that one in four Americans suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). CFS is a debilitating disorder that is characterized by chronic fatigue that can't be alleviated with sleep, and that is often exacerbated by physical or mental exertion. While people with CFS can be seriously impaired, only half of the adults suffering from this condition have sought medical help. Furthermore, the earlier this condition is caught and addressed, the higher the chances are of recovery. In addition to the fatigue, patients report symptoms of weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory, and insomnia. CFS can last for years if untreated.
The cause of CFS is unknown, but recent research conducted by Emory University School of Medicine found a link between CFS and people who experienced trauma (specifically emotional or sexual abuse) as children. CFS patients were found to have low levels of cortisol, a "stress hormone" which is often associated with trauma. A lack of cortisol is known to prolong stress responses. Not all CFS patients have suffered from a childhood trauma, but there appears to be a clear tie between trauma and anxiety and the energy disorder.