The Link Between Childhood Trauma and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Childhood trauma produces physiological effects upon the developing brain that have an adverse effect upon the individual’s stress response system.

Childhood trauma is likely to increase a person’s vulnerability to falling victim to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).


The symptoms of CFS are as follows :

– persistent fatigue/exhaustion which affects everyday life and is not rectified by sleep or rest

– in the UK, the condition is thought to affect approximately a quarter of a million people

– the condition is more prevalent in females than in males

– it normally affects people between about the ages of 20 – 45 years; however, it can begin during childhood – if so, it normally begins between the ages of 13 and 15 years

CFS can be split into 3 different levels of severity :

– MILD : the person can probably care for him/herself, but may require days off in order to rest

– MODERATE : at this level the individual may well experience reduced mobility, disturbed sleep, as well as a need to sleep in the afternoon

– SEVERE : at this level the person will have significantly decreased mobility, possible impairments to his/her ability to concentrate as well as greatly reduced ability to perform many everyday tasks

Individuals with CFS who were tested in various studies, had higher overall trauma scores than those without CFS.

Exposure to trauma increases the risk of CFS between three and eight times, depending on the type. Emotional neglect and sexual abuse during childhood were most strongly associated with CFS.

It generally appears that CFS is part of a spectrum of disorders that are associated with childhood adversity.

Do you suffer with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

As someone who lives with CPTSD, I would say that I suffer from it moderately.

What is your experience?

Love Athina ♥

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Author: Courage Coaching

I provide empowerment, empathy & support. I specialise in dealing with dysfunctional relationships, particularly narcissistic abuse & encouraging self-compassion.

6 thoughts on “The Link Between Childhood Trauma and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”

  1. Hi Athina. I think I might be suffering from CFS. Since I was a teenager, it seems that no matter how much I sleep, I stay tired. I can only remember 2 times in my life (I can’t remember much of my childhood) that I woke up feeling refreshed. I went to a doctor once and he ruled it out. But I think I’m going to talk to my current GP about this, because it’s ridiculous. It seems to be getting worse as well. I now have to take naps every afternoon. Don’t know what I’m going to do when I get a job again. Thanks for sharing this, and reminding me about it. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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