ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Depression
Talking Therapies May Help
If You Have Depression...
ME/CFS sufferers can have a lot to cope with: poor health, a sometimes
radical change in lifestyle (usually not for the better), and feeling
misunderstood by others.
Many sufferers have found that therapy helps them through these
Please note: Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis,
and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are believed to fall under the umbrella
term 'ME/CFS'. To make it easier for you to read through this page,
Sleepydust will use the term 'ME/CFS' to
refer to them collectively. But it's worth bearing in mind
that each of these separate terms have overlapping but different
Depression can be a very a real symptom of ME/CFS.
Not every ME/CFS sufferer necessarily develops
depression, but for those who do, the world can seem like
a very frustrating and bleak place.
Coming to terms with a life changing illness such as ME/CFS is
already hard enough, never mind learning to live with it.
The social stigma and the feeling of being misunderstood by friends,
relations and even sometimes medical professionals, can also be
a very painful and lonely experience. And that's not to mention
the physical effect that ME/CFS has on the brain.
You can find a ME/
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome video for friends and family here...
So don't be too hard on yourself if you are feeling the depression,
frustration and loneliness that thousands of other ME/CFS sufferers
around the world feel too. It's perfectly understandable and normal
- and help is out there...
It's Not Just Your Body You Need to Look After...
Your body, mind and spirit make you whole. So you need emotional
and mental healing as well as treating your physical symptoms.
So if you're feeling low or even depressed, know that this is understandable,
and don't rule out talking therapy as a way to help you
through these confusing times.
"I would say that a key part of my recovery from ME/CFS was the
psychotherapy I received. It's the best thing I've ever done!
It taught me to understand and accept my condition and myself,
and ultimately taught me a new way of thinking - a positive way.
And that positive way of thinking was the beginning of my recovery.
After all, you can't begin to recover from a chronic
illness if you're thinking negatively about things!
I can't recommend it enough."
-- Abigale, London, former ME/CFS sufferer--
There's a whole section on depression
So What Can A Talking Therapy Do For You?
A talking therapy can help you to come to terms with the
changes in your life that ME/CFS has brought about. It
can help you to see things differently. And it can give you invaluable
coping skills that can help you become stronger and more resilient
emotionally, at a time when emotions can run high, and when depression
and desperation can set in.
It can give you a valuable insight into the reality of ME/CFS,
and help you to learn a different way of looking at things...
...a more positive way of thinking, that can put you in a better
position to get on to that road to recovery.
That's not to say that a talking therapy is the 'answer to curing
ME/CFS' because it isn't.
But as you can imagine, it's very difficult to improve
with any chronic illness if you're depressed. So tackling
depression (if you have it) should definitely be one of the first
things to try in your recovery program.
Perhaps most importantly, therapy can help you to learn to regard
yourself and your life positively...
...yep even while you suffer from ME/CFS.
So keep that option open: Whether you choose counselling, psychiatry,
psychotherapy, or another form of talking therapy, it can open doors
for you, and help you to get on to that path towards recovery. You
can find out more about how
talking therapies can help you here...
"I have suffered from Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome for 3 years
and find it much easier to cope with thanks to the therapy I got.
Therapy really worked for me, but it was a real struggle finding
the right therapist. I would say to other sufferers to go for
it, but not to give up if you haven't found the right therapist
for you yet. Keep going - even if you have to try 20 therapists!
Eventually you'll find the right therapist - and that will help
you make a real difference in your life."
-- Christine, Crawley, Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome sufferer of
3 years --
You can find out more
facts about depression and ME/CFS here...
And for information
about depression support groups and phone lines, click here...
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