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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Depression Facts

Are ME/CFS & Depression
The Same Thing?

When it comes to ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, there are lots of myths out there. For example, are ME/CFS and Depression the same thing?

In a word? No.

Although Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression share some similar symptoms, there are distinct differences between them. And that's a fact.

 

What many people find confusing is when a ME/CFS sufferer has depression. This is not uncommon, because depression can be a symptom of ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). But it is important to know the difference:

The bottom line is that ME/CFS and depression are completely different conditions.

Differences Between ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Depression...

Dr Anne MacIntyre describes a ME / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferer as:

"typically well motivated, enjoys things he is capable of and does not have sustained lowering of mood.

Depressive symptoms are directly associated with exhaustion and feeling ill after exertion and usually improve with rest."

-- Dr Anne MacIntyre, M.E. --

 

In his book Living With M.E., Dr Charles Sheperd describes the difference between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression as follows:

"Anyone who suffers from depression is likely to feel ‘tired’ as well, but this isn’t the type of overwhelming exercise-induced muscle fatigue and weakness experienced in ME/CFS (…)

Their fatigue tends to be constant in nature and primarily stems from lack of motivation or interest in doing any sort of physical activity."

-- Dr Charles Sheperd, Living With M.E. --

 

Another big difference is that ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers have sleep rhythm abnormalities. ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers' brains generate 'awake' sleep signals during their deep 'restorative' sleep, which prevents their bodies from repairing, healing and restoring. This is why sufferers feel exhausted and unrefreshed no matter how long they have slept.

Depression sufferers do not have this sleep rhythm abnormality.

What’s more, research shows that many Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers had no emotional or depressive illness before they became ill.

Other Info On Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Depression Facts ...

I won’t go into more detail about the differences between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression here. But if you're interested in learning more about the differences between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression check out:

And for more in-depth accounts of the differences between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression check out these books:

 

The bottom line is this:

ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression are not one and the same. But if you do experience depression as a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferer, then it may well be a symptom of your illness.

So with that in mind, many of the pages in this section refer to Depression as a symptom of ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, rather than referring to Depression as a sole diagnosis in itself.

 

 

Category: ME/CFS , Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression Facts

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