If you have researched my website, you will have noticed that I am a psychiatrist by training.

Many ME/CFS patients then immediately think, what should a psychiatrist be able to tell me? I am already pushed into the psychological corner by the doctor’s assessment anyway and thus not perceived with all my symptoms or taken seriously.

Nevertheless, as a psychiatrist who has known CFS patients for more than 30 years, I can best judge that there is initially no mental illness but that CFS is a neuroimmunological disease with severe somatic consequences.

However, as a psychotherapist, I also know how influential psychological processes and attitudes are to physical processes, for better or worse.

Just check what happened to you:

  • The sudden and mostly inexplicable loss of life forces affects the self-esteem,

  • Doctors consulted in the hope of finding an answer do not know the diagnosis, either because they have not heard of it or, even worse, they do not believe it exists.

  •  In addition, doctors’ advice to cope with the problems is contra productive, even hazardous: “You have to pull yourself together, do more sports and train yourself” You know this is impossible and only makes everything worse!

  • If you do not follow these instructions, these doctors judge you as non-compliant, and you will get diagnosed with depression or functional disorder.

  • This misunderstanding of this severe illness also affects your social network. It might lead to losing friends, sometimes even life partners, because your life does not work as before!

I call this a severe traumatization caused by the disease on the medical and social plane.

This alone is a relevant and suffering problem in itself. Even ancient traumas from childhood, absence or loss of supporting parents, can be reactivated, reinforcing the seemingly unsolvable situation and the helplessness experienced.

But! Antidepressants, often advised, have no resounding effect because they can not eliminate the cause. The side effects predominate because of the underlying disease of ME/CFS and the increased sensitivity to all drugs.

Result: Intensification of being helplessly at the mercy of the disease and alone in life!

I have worked on this topic with my patients in recent years to give them support, comfort, understanding, and backing to learn to deal better with helplessness to break the negative loops, i.e., to provide help to cope with a chronic disease.

Now the latest scientific findings are being added, which suggest the interaction of the psyche on the development of the disease. Only in recent years has the importance of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in controlling all bodily functional areas been seen more clearly, and more research has focused on the role of sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve systems.

Research on the effects of stress showed that a chronically elevated sympathetic nervous system negatively influences many functional levels of the body, such as cardiovascular problems, heightened risk of heart attacks, muscle tension, pain syndromes, and ultimately physical derailments in multiple areas.

With the help of my colleague Dr. Ziaja’s sports science approach, I could prove this increased sympathetic tension in our ME/CFS patients, as well as in longCovid fatigue patients after corona infection.

Transferring the model of chronic dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system to ME/CFS sufferers, we can detect the effects of chronic hypofunction of the parasympathetic nervous system:

  • No deep sleep phases result in chronic sleep disorders, no recovery, sleep deprivation is torture, and no stimulus reduction is possible due to years of lack of sleep. Noise hypersensitivity, constant brain fog, and permanent irritability develop.

  • Reduced intestinal motility, therefore irritable bowel phenomena, reduced food processing, thereby deficiencies in vitamins and trace elements with their consequences on the metabolism.

  • Disorders of sexual functions, thus loss of libido.

  • The most severe complication, in my opinion: is the disturbance of the immune system, consequently increased susceptibility to infections, permanent flu-like feeling, and increased intolerance reactions to food and substances from our environment.

The body becomes virtually defenseless.

From these completely new scientific findings, I have concluded:

Regulation of the autonomic nervous system positively affects all areas of physical disorders.

My therapeutic program is based on these research findings:

Our psyche, if it uses the appropriate techniques in a disciplined manner, has enormous possibilities of influencing the external control of the body through the problems to which one is exposed.

 Learning active self-control can be a significant step to bring the autonomic nervous system back into a better balance and thus stabilize itself.

This program strengthens the psyche, influencing feeling, experience, and stability.

However, this requires active cooperation. The program explains the background in seven text modules and then accompanies you actively participating with supporting emails send weekly.

This program primarily targets newly ill (or moderately ill) people or those who fear a crash. It does not replace medical diagnosis or treatment! ME/CFS patients who have been seriously ill for a long time have usually had to implement many of the suggested steps painfully, increased awareness of the limits, individually adapted load, and pacing strategies.

They have also already networked with each other on the Internet to exchange experiences. For them, my program might still have the effect of backing up that they are on the right track.