Depression and chronic fatigue are inextricably linked. In this article, I explain how one contributes to the occurrence of another and what you can do to prevent it.
Chronic fatigue causes sufferers to feel weak and constantly tired. People with this condition lack energy and cannot perform simple parts of their daily routine without getting sleepy and lethargic. As a result of this inability to live as they used to, unhappiness sets in. This spirals into depression, which eats up any remaining energy and so the fatigue gets worse. It’s a rough ride down the highway to oblivion and possibly worse. You heard me right. While Chronic Fatigue won’t kill you, the depression it causes leads to thousands of suicides every year. So in this article we’re going to explore preventative measures you can take to fend off the depression associated with chronic fatigue and get a correct diagnosis first time around.
The Diagnosis Problem
Doctors tend to be hesitant to give a diagnosis of chronic fatigue. Guidelines state that a patient must be displaying symptoms like a lack of energy, constant tiredness, fatigue, headaches, tender Lymph Nodes and joint pain for 3-6 months before any diagnosis can be made. This is because the symptoms can be just general tiredness due to a busy schedule. The wait time can hurt you. That’s just enough time for you to become frustrated and upset that regular activities cannot be completed. Walks in the park are no longer possible. You’re inside the house, sitting on a chair and that is your day. By the time you get a diagnosis, the depression from the daily grind of pain and sleepiness is out of control.
Don’t wait!!!!! Act Fast!!!!!!
So if you think there’s a chance you have chronic fatigue, do not wait for that diagnosis. Act now and you can improve both your depression and chronic fatigue.
Exercise produces endorphins in the brain. Not just those either. It produces other chemicals like Dopamine and Serotonin. This amazing compound cocktail of chemicals makes you happy and reduces your depression. The key thing with depression is to not let it build up. It can be lethal if it gets out of control and exercise helps to stop it. Incidentally, exercise is also something your doctor will talk to you about when you get a diagnosis for chronic fatigue. Graded or gradual increasing exercise is the leading treatment for chronic fatigue.
2. Manage Stress
You need to take a look at all the sources of stress in your life because stress saps energy and so it makes both depression and chronic fatigue worse. You can stop tiredness and stop fatigue by cutting out relationships that produce stress. You might also reduce your professional workload for while, so talk to your boss. Which places do you go to that make you feel relaxed? Take a drive to one of these and stay for a few hours.
3. Plan out your day
Add a little predictability into your life. It might be boring always knowing what’s happening next but if you do know what you’ll be doing each day you’ll be able to pace yourself and then you won’t be so tired and sleepy all the time
Family and Friends
Talk to people you know. Tell them that you think you have Chronic Fatigue and that you’re trying to stave off the depression associated with that until you get a diagnosis you’re making changes to your life. You might find that you’ve got a bunch of supportive people at your fingertips ready to step in and take some of the pressure off.
Doing all of these things will relieve the symptoms of your depression and chronic fatigue enough so that you won’t have spiraled into a pit of black despair by the time the doctor is able to diagnose you with chronic fatigue.
Tips when talking to your doctor:
Depression and chronic fatigue are so interlinked that doctors can misdiagnose patients. You might be diagnosed with depression and put on some strong pills that increase your lack of energy and worsen your tiredness. You want a diagnosis for chronic fatigue because you’re already armed with the ammunition this article has given you to fight your depression. So, you should make clear to your doctor that while you have symptoms common to both depression and chronic fatigue like sore throat, sore joint, swollen Lymph Nodes and constant tiredness; you also have a desire to do things but can’t. People with depression alone have no desire to complete any task and are completely indifferent to activity in general. People with chronic fatigue want to complete tasks but can’t. Making this clear to your doctor will help him/her separate the two conditions. Then you’ll be given psychological counselling and you’ll be put on a graded exercise regime. These will combine to alleviate your chronic fatigue which was the source of your depression in the first place.
This last point was very important. People can be misdiagnosed for years with depression when actually they have chronic fatigue. You might have to wait months for a diagnosis of chronic fatigue even if your doctor accepts it as a possibility beyond plain old depression. So make clear to him/her from the start that you want to complete tasks. You’re enthusiastic, but you can’t because of constant tiredness. And manage that depression. It stems from your chronic fatigue. Reduce that stress, talk to family and friends as they might be able to help, exercise and plan out your day. All these will make you happier, and you’ll be better paced with a more positive social environment. Thank you for reading.