Chronic Fatigue Factuals

Can You Cope with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, like all chronic illnesses, poses a host of problems that patients have to deal with. Among the most common are ongoing medical expenses, confusing symptoms, the loss of life roles, loss of income, and constant medical check-ups with healthcare professionals who have no idea what’s going on.

With all this new stress, it’s important for patients to learn how to cope. It is integral to the management of the disorder and to some extent recovery. Presented below are some coping techniques that may not only help you deal with the disorder better but can also free you from some of the discomforts it could give.

Understanding the disease is important not only because of the fatigue and its accompanying symptoms but is also vital so that the patient knows how to positively deal with them. Establishing a positive attitude regarding CFS is known to help patients respond to the symptoms better and facilitate self-regulatory techniques much more effectively. This is the crux of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a psychological therapy that brings about relief from symptoms by way of establishing a good outlook with respect to the condition.

If you can avoid excessive resting, although it’s natural to rest whenever one feels exhausted. However, the reverse is often the more effective. So, rather than resting, try to incorporate minor, low impact activities into your daily life. Then, as you can, progress to higher intensity activities, according to what level your body can handle. Do not overexert yourself though as this can also have damaging effects. When in doubt, consult your health care professional, he can recommend therapy options like graded exercise therapy.

Most patients limit their activities. This is counter-productive and should not be done at all costs. The key is to have a consistent pattern of activities that progresses according to the levels of difficulty and required physical exertion. Try to attain a balance between stress, physical exertion and rest.

Don’t focus on the symptoms – It is not uncommon for people to nurse the symptoms of their disease. Among people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, nursing their aches and pains only lead to higher sensitivities to both as well as to disengagement. Disengagement is an attitude of surrendering in the face of inconvenient experiences (stressors) when they seem too overwhelming.

Hence, disengagement is a poor coping mechanism. Patients of CFS are advised not to give too much emphasis on the pains instead, they are recommended to live with them and conquer the urge of giving up.

Avoid the pitfalls of coping – Most patients fail not because the treatment and therapy they have undergone are not effective but because they try to rush back to their lives prior to the onset of the condition. It is important to understand that chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder that cannot be remedied immediately.

It takes time and patience to progress from one stage of the disorder to another. Most patients who try to achieve immediate relief from symptoms often find themselves rebounding to square one, that is to the stage where the syndrome is most severe. Take your time but above all else, move forward.

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