This topic has been bantered around in various threads but what's current? No one has wanted to hear, including me, for so many years - that "it", sic CFS, is all in our heads! Before someone starts blowing fuses let me offer my hypothesis. After all, it is just that, based on a long educated history of being plagued with "it", and following all the conflicting research. Like most others I have been tested by various specialists to the point that I daresay I would go toe to toe with many doctors on what CFS is NOT! I have been able to rule out most scientific sourcing of a practical nature: viruses, bacterias, diseases known, and abnormal results on lab tests that otherwise turn out 'normal'. Last year, after my local quack up and quit because she ran out of the standard voodoo, I began to look for a 'bigger' answer to this 'plague', e.g. how could it grow so exponentially and be so ubiquitous in such a relatively short time period over vast areas (the world). It is simply too intense a curve to not be correlated to something. OTOH, a communicable disease or singular pathogen can not (IMO) spread so far in so short of time AND have so many varying symptoms, expressed from mild discomfort to being bedridden and disabled. I waxed philosophical and considered the bigger question: what is some singularity that most of the world's population are exposed to, i.e. that could carry or exacerbate (too often used word) a pathogen of some sort? I came up with a few possible contenders: the tear in the ozone layer; the atmospheric weather, e.g. high clouds, rain; UV radiation; and the like. Maybe, maybe not any of these. What's missing is correlation, i.e. provability. So, I looked inward, indeed. What we all are subject to worldwide is internal. STRESS! Oh one asks and how? Consider an allegory using a serpent, the fast and predatory Black Mamba. It is deadly, and it will hunt you down! The 'Fear Factor' exemplar: an otherwise reasonably healthy person is put in a fully self-contained house alone and must live there for 5 days. S/he was told the Mamba would be released in the other end of the house but s/he must remain for the whole time, e.g. to get $1million. At the end of 5 days we 'test' that person for the effects of having participated (having tested the same vitals beforehand). No doubt that this experiment would generate some stress, to say the least! What would vary would be the amount of stress and its affects on any individual crazy enough to get into this situation, and how each person handled it. Some would not make it overnight. Certainly not all would make it a week. Maybe some would but they would be torn individuals thereafter if they even made it to the end. In the end each person would have experienced a nightmarish event and the affects would likely be permanent…even taking on a life of their own. This would happen even if the participant did NOT see the Mamba. Moreover, the affects would be the same even if the snake WERE NOT released into the house but the participant thought it was! This situation illustrates what I mean by 'it's all in our heads' - but validly! Every person lives with degrees of stress and its affects are real! Some are from daily demands, others roll over from childhood and leave an indelible mark, some even to the point of lasting mental illness. To say each day in the world is stressful for each individual would be an understatement, particularly if one considers it pre and post industrial revolution and pre and post the information age: communications has potentiated its prevalence and virulence around the globe exposing gaps between desire and ability to fulfill them, then magnifying all sorts of related inequalities! This new awareness in the 21st century IMHO, the affects of stress, its severity and its longevity can account for virtually any legitimate symptom we know to be any expression of CFS. The conclusion to this derived premise of 'it's all in our heads' is right on for me; I know for me that it doesn't lie elsewhere in my body as a pathogen per se, and I'm near housebound. Medications don't make it go away - only rest. By trial and error over 25+ years, ruling out other co-morbid conditions, and studying assiduously I have defaulted to biochemistry being the culprit, and specifically the HPA axis and its damaged bio-activities. Now the key question for me comes down to how will medicine unravel the malaise of those of us who became stress's victims and how will that susceptibility be blocked, sic for others who follow?