Mind your mental health 7: Chronic Fatigue



By Aisling O’Connor

I had never heard of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome until recently when the Youtuber Emma Blackery made a video about it prior to her own diagnosis. This topic may deviate from the other issues covered here, but it does have huge impacts on the mental health of the sufferer so I believe it’s worth covering.

Chronic Fatigue Disorder is what the name suggests it is. It can be experienced in mild, moderate, and severe forms, but each do affect the day to day life of the sufferer. The official cause is unknown but severe allergic reactions, flu-illnesses such as mono and periods of extreme stress are common causes.

Symptoms include: muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, sore throat, loss of memory, lack of concentration and loss of ones train of thought, having no energy, enlarged lymph nodes, not feeling refreshed after rest or sleep, still feeling exhausted over 24 hours after physical or mental exercise, and of course persistent fatigue.

Unfortunately there is no cure for CFS, however there are ways of easing the symptoms.

–          Antidepressants. People who suffer from CNS are likely to also experience depression so trying antidepressants eases the symptoms

–          Sleeping pills. Before trying sleeping pills, as they can become addictive, cutting out caffeine and using natural sleep inducing remedies such as camomile tea, burning lavender, and herbal products are advised.

–          Counselling, not only will this help with the depression aspect but also how to adapt your lifestyle to suit your bodies needs such as determining what exercise is best for you.

–          Take a breather. Stressful situations can’t always be avoided, but make sure to pace yourself and breathe. Planning your daily activities so you know what to expect may take some of the pressure off.

–          It’s okay to say no. If people are burdening you with work that essentially isn’t your problem, for the sake of your wellbeing don’t be afraid to say you can’t do it. It’s great to give a hand but people will understand if you simply can’t overwork yourself.

–          Try to regulate your sleeping pattern by going to bed at the same time every night and waking up around the same time each morning.

–          Joint and muscle pain can be aided by yoga, massages and acupuncture.

If you feel like you, or someone you know, may be suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome make sure to pay a visit to your GP.