A series of treatments exist for CFS and they will eventually improve your condition. I’m going to be speaking to you plainly, describing each treatment.
The diagnosis is the scariest part. The Doctor, who was relaxing back in his chair when you walked in, suddenly leans forward. He’s more focused and serious in his posture. He tells you that you have a condition called Chronic Fatigue Disorder and that there’s no pill to make you better immediately. There’s no drug you can swallow and then resume your normal life. It certainly explains why you’ve been constantly tired and your lack of energy. It also explains why you’ve been sleepy all the time. So the next thing you need to learn is what is the best treatment for CFS? Is there light at the end of this tunnel? Well, a series of treatments exist for CFS and they will eventually improve your condition. Now, you don’t need a medical degree to understand this. I’m going to be speaking to you plainly, describing each treatment and what impact each one has on CFS. Trust me, not too long into the future you’ll at the very least be managing your condition and maybe you’ll be thriving once again.
Early Stage Treatment: Pace Management
If you’ve just been diagnosed, the doctor will need to see you again before he recommends a treatment you’ll need to commit to over a long period of time. In the meantime, the best treatment for CFS is pace management. In the short-term, it’ll stop tiredness, stop fatigue on good days, and it’ll also reduce the impact your lack of energy has on your life. This involves maintaining a slow and even activity level in all of the things you do. So take everything down a notch or two. Try to breathe, try to stay calm and be patient. Move at a pace you can keep to for the whole day and then resume the next day at that pace. You won’t be on the full throttle like you where before but you’ll have less bad days.
GET – Graded Exercise Therapy
This was developed by doctors but it’s not necessarily a medical solution. It’s more in the area of physical therapy and it’s become the most popular treatment for CFS in the world. I’d regard it as the best treatment for CFS because it’s been proven over many years across thousands of cases, to improve the lives of those who undertake it. While Pace Management will stop fatigue and stop tiredness in the short term, Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) will gradually phase constant tiredness and fatigue out of your life forever. It’s the best treatment for CFS for a reason- It’s simple. Exercise every day and increase the level of that exercise slowly until you find yourself doing things you couldn’t do before. Start with something you can easily do. Like walking around the block. Set goals, but don’t over-extend yourself. This is about gradually reducing your constant tiredness. You don’t necessarily need a doctor for this although consulting one would be an advantage.
This has been criticized by some in the medical establishment for its implication that CFS might be psychological in nature and not a physical disorder. But it does provide results when used in combination with GET. A physiologist will use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help you understand much better about how everything you do on a daily basis can affect your CFS. Do you smile? A smile requires less energy than a frown. Getting angry or irritated saps further energy. Depression saps energy. Other people have the energy to spare but you don’t so your emotional state and the way to live your life is vitally important. Counseling will help you reach an emotional equilibrium inside yourself. You’ll learn to be calmer than before. You’ll learn to react to situations in a more measured way. Ultimately you’ll save every last bit of energy you can and focus the energy you have left into your graded exercise regime. At the end of your therapy, you’ll feel in control of who you are and how you manage your CFS.
As I mentioned, the best treatment for CFS is a combination of both psychological counseling and Graded Exercise Therapy. But there’s something else you can do…
Keep a Diary
This is your log book. Captains log. It’s so that you know what you’ve done each day. Keeping a diary of all your activity helps you avoid doing too much. It’ll also help you on bad days. You can look back at everything you’ve achieved. Do you remember when you started out Graded Exercise Therapy and you could only walk around the block before your lack of energy set in? Now you’re riding 1 mile on a bike.
So what are you waiting for? You’ve got your whole life ahead of you. You don’t want to be tired and sleepy all the time for the rest of your days to take action. Consult your doctor about Graded Exercise Therapy and Psychological Counseling and change your world for the better. Exercise helps you build up stamina and increasing it will raise the bar of what activity you can do each day without getting tired. The counseling will adjust your outlook on life to accommodate your CFS. It’ll teach you how to conserve emotional energy and transfer that to physical energy. Most of all it’s someone to talk to outside of your inner circle who can provide expert advice on dealing with depression and anxiety. Thank you for reading.