In this increasingly stressful world more and more people are finding themselves working two and three jobs or trying to raise their grandchildren. There is a billion dollar industry all wrapped around energy drinks. In a word, it seems everyone is tired and we wonder how much coffee it’s going to take to get through the day. But what if something is nagging you that is something more? Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is medical condition where a person feels exhausted no matter how much they sleep or how little they exert themselves.
Symptoms of CFS
This list is not exclusive and may also be part of other medical conditions. If any of these symptoms can be attributed to other conditions (depression, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia) then chronic fatigue syndrome is ruled out.
• Brain Fog (feeling like you are in mental fog)
• Dizziness, trouble with balance or fainting
• Impaired memory or concentration
• Not feeling rested after sleep
• Muscle and joint pain
• Headaches that are new or have greater severity
• Sore throats recurring frequently
• Allergies to foods, odors, chemicals, or noise
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Chills and night sweats
Brain Fog and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Since chronic fatigue syndrome has so many overlapping symptoms with other conditions it is important to understand the symptom most idiosyncratic to the disease. Brain fog, like it implies, is the state of mind where a person feels cognitively foggy. The official medical term for brain fog is “Clouding of consciousness”.
The sufferer experiences a subjective sensation of mental clouding. Some compare their overall experience as a bit like walking around in a dream. Like we perceive of dreams the person has trouble with balance, and concentrating on the task at hand. They struggle so much that the passage of time is lost on the sufferer. People walk around saying they are, “confused” or “not being able to think straight.”
This frightens the person and/or their loved ones because CFS comes on many times after a “flu like” bug comes upon them. They kind of recover from the physical symptoms, but there is a marked change in their behavior that lasts six months a year later if not alleviated. For some people they are able to come back to some functioning but aren’t 100%. Other people end up staying bedridden due to chronic fatigue syndrome.
Treatments include some form of psychological therapies for the adjustment to having a chronic illness. The physical symptoms are treated with various interventions.