Here's an honest admission from a great doctor:
'I taught many people the dictum, “when hysteria is diagnosed, send for the undertaker,” but I failed to diagnose lethal organic disease in a patient of my own, whose symptoms were labelled as functional.'
Chronic fatigue syndrome has acquired a somewhat similar reputation. The latest paper from Simon Wessely's team finds no overall excess in demand for the undertaker but a huge increase in suicide. An excellent commentary highlights strengths and weaknesses of the study.