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From a lived body to a medicalized body: Diagnostic transformation and chronic fatigue syndrome
Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Tema Institute.
2001 (English)In: Medical Anthropology, ISSN 0145-9740, Vol. 19, no 4, 299-317 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses the diagnostic dilemma posed by chronic illness that offers no demonstrable evidence of serious physical disorders or pathology. Is a diagnosis such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) disabling because it encourages people to identify with it? Does it become a self-fulfilling prophecy? In providing people with a name, and thus allowing them to confirm the legitimacy of their suffering, a diagnosis of CFS may help them to relate to their world and, hence, facilitate their recovery. One of the most relevant questions pertaining to a diagnosis of CFS concerns how people deal with suffering when it does not come with a biomedically established pathology. I draw upon material provided by 21 men and women diagnosed with CFS. My analysis concerns the ambivalence involved in the diagnostic process and its implications for the relationship between self-identity and chronicity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 19, no 4, 299-317 p.
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-32743Local ID: 18668OAI: diva2:253566
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2011-01-13

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Sachs, Lisbeth
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