Top 10 'Yuppie' Health Conditions

"If you have a condition that you don't die from, but it affects this part of your life so much, then it is important: You don't want to travel, you don't to go out with your friends, you don't want to go off to college," Fasano said.

"It deserves all the respect that we give to the other diseases that we spend so much time and money on," he said.

'Yuppie Flu' or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome, also once known as "the yuppie flu," took years to gain a credible reputation, or even a name and diagnosis criteria.

Someone with chronic fatigue syndrome primarily feels a profound tiredness that isn't helped by sleeping and can get much worse with physical or mental activity. Initially, the disease was thought to affect only the upper class -- hence the yuppie connotation -- although they may have only been the first to seek treatment.

An Olympic soccer player, who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, undergoes physical therapy for her illness as a male therapist looks on at the gym, in this file photo.

Now experts believe it strikes across the whole population. A major hurdle to gaining recognition was that the syndrome was so poorly understood by doctors.

By 1994, a group of international doctors convened to define the disease and create standard diagnosis criteria.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a patient must have severe fatigue for six months or more without another medical explanation and one or more of a whole host of symptoms that include memory problems, sore throat, joint pain, tender lymph nodes, muscle pain and more.

As of now there are no physical signs or lab tests to diagnose the syndrome. However the CDC estimates that between 1 million and 4 million Americans suffer from the disease.


The Epstein-Barr virus (or EBV) turned out to be one of the red herrings for the "yuppie flu."

Although a clear-cut blood test exists for Epstein-Barr, patients suffer a similar confusing general malaise as those with chronic fatigue syndrome.

According to the CDC, a person with the Epstein-Barr virus may have a sore throat, swollen lymph glands, fatigue and a general ill feeling. Because the symptoms of EBV and chronic fatigue syndrome are so similar, doctors may first mistake chronic fatigue syndrome for a longstanding EBV infection.

Unlike chronic fatigue, once a patient has an EBV diagnosis, they're likely to be taken very seriously. According to the National Institutes of Health, EBV is a prime contributor to mono, also known as mononucleosis or the "kissing disease" because it is highly contagious by saliva transmission even months after symptoms subside.

Most patients with an active EBV infection begin to feel better in a couple of months. However the virus has been known to cause anemia, ruptured spleens and death in rare cases, according to the NIH.

Social Phobia and Social Anxiety Disorder

Out of many anxiety disorders, experts say those with social anxiety disorder are likely the most affected by a negative reaction to their problem.

"For a long time there were a lot of naysayers saying, 'oh, this isn't a condition, it's made up,'" said Jerilyn Ross, a clinical social worker and president and CEO of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America in Silver Spring, Md.

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