Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Blue Tree intern and aspiring psychologist Maddy Lykourgos outlines CFS…
As the days are getting shorter, it seems like there’s more to do in a shorter space of time. Waking up and coming home in the dark confuses our minds into thinking we should be in bed sooner, and often people do feel more tired with less energy throughout the winter time. However, many people suffer this kind of tiredness all year round. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), otherwise known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), is a medical condition categorised primarily by a long-term fatigue that interferes with one’s ability to carry out daily tasks.
What are the common symptoms of CFS?
- Severe fatigue, worsening with physical activity
- Problems sleeping
- Fluey symptoms e.g. headaches, sore throat, dizziness, general feeling of being unwell
- Muscle and joint pain
- Heart palpitations
- Feeling mentally drained
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty remembering information
In order to be diagnosed with CFS the symptoms must persist for more than 3-4 months, after having ruled out other disorders with similar symptoms.
What are the causes of CFS?
The causes of CFS are still fairly under-researched. However, a few theories regarding contributing factors include infections like pneumonia or glandular fever, hormonal imbalances, genetic predispositions and mental health issues. As with many disorders that are misunderstood and difficult to prove, there can be an unfortunate stigma around the syndrome. This can make symptoms even more difficult to manage. As such, it is important to get support for both aspects of the syndrome.
How to cope with CFS
Most people suffering with CFS do get better with time and those that are younger will more likely make a full recovery. However, for those that continue to suffer, there are three main treatments for CFS: pain management medication, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Graded Exercise Therapy (GET). With everyday activities becoming increasingly difficult as symptoms worsen, it is as important to get support around mental health as physical health.
What can The Blue Tree Clinic do for you?
We have a highly-specialised multidisciplinary team that can help you manage your diagnosis in every aspect of daily life. This includes: psychologists, to administer CBT in order to feel more in control over your symptoms and understand how your behaviours may impact them; psychiatrists, to prescribe medication (if necessary); nutritionists, to assist in making lifestyle changes around food and exercise; and experts in mindfulness to help with relaxation techniques that can be used throughout the day.
Enquire now for a tailor-made treatment plan.