“No, you’re not making it all up,” is something people with this illness wish someone had told them earlier on.
Many people who eventually get a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) diagnosis often experience several incorrect diagnoses before they reach the correct one. This is because many are not aware of CFS and understand how serious it is.
Some patients even experience instances of abusive “gaslighting” from ignorant physicians, to convince them that their illness is only in their imagination. This kind of manipulation can cause patients to question their sanity, further aggravating their illness.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is also known as Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Sometimes, sicknesses like glandular fevers can trigger the condition, as CFS/ME is most likely due to an abnormally weakened immune system. Unfortunately, for 25% of people diagnosed with CFS/ME, the condition is debilitating enough that experts consider it as a disability.
As it is a chronic illness, people who suffer from it are in a near-constant state of pain. Sometimes, any sort of physical or mental exertion can be excruciating. Before diagnosis and treatment, some patients claim that they hadn’t left their beds in a year, according to reverehealth.com. Despite this endless state of fatigue, people with CFS/ME often ironically suffer from sleep abnormalities.
People can also experience other symptoms such as visual impairment, gastrointestinal disturbances, clinical depression, heart palpitations, among many other health complications.
What Are the Treatments for CFS/ME?
At the present time, there is no cure for CFS/ME. The most that physicians can offer is to relieve certain symptoms, so people who suffer from the condition may continue to live as normally as possible despite their chronic ailment.
Avoiding overexertion and attending cognitive behavioral therapy are some of the treatments available for these patients. Something else that can really help them is further understanding and nuanced discussion about CFS/ME from their physicians, work or educational institutions, and loved ones.
While it is difficult to live with a chronic illness and still function as a contributing member of society, it is possible to do so with enough support.