So how do we control stress? First of all, the perception of control is vital. Those people who possess an external locus of control (that is, we feel powerless when confronted by stress) tend to suffer the most. We generally deal with stress in one of three ways: We fight it head-on, we attempt to reduce its impact or we run away from it. Clients suffering from depression often have an exaggerated external locus of control, in addition to other unhelpful “attribution styles.”
Rather like the conundrum of the chicken and the egg, it is difficult to know which comes first in the case of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis – depression, which develops as a result of having a chronic, debilitating illness, or is it a somatic disorder, masquerading as an organic disease?