Is 'Fatigue' Adequate?
Fatigue - Does It Really Describe This Illness Well Enough?
The term fatigue features in three of the five most commonly
used names for this illness:
- Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction
But does it really describe this illness well enough?
Read more below...
Many sufferers do not think that the term ‘fatigue’
represents the illness adequately:
Firstly, when you have this illness, your 'fatigue ' is a shattering
exhaustion and weakness that is so profound that
the word fatigue does not come even close to describing
"the disabling weakness and exhaustion a patient with ME
/ ICD-CFS experiences is so profound that “fatigue
” is probably an insult."
-- Cuozzo, 'Chronic
"One thing that we all seem to agree on is that the word
needs to be removed from the name of the illness we call "chronic
fatigue syndrome." Just tell somebody that you have
chronic fatigue syndrome, and the first retort is, "Oh
I have that too, I'm just so tired."
The term 'chronic fatigue',
while descriptive of the most common symptom of this illness is
so vague and banal that it seems derisive and derogatory. The
fatigue of this illness is so much more than 'just
In fact there is no word in the
English lexicon that describes the lack of stamina, the paucity
of energy, the absolute malaise and turpitude that accompanies
-- Dr. Charles Lapp, board
member of the American Association of Chronic Fatigue syndrome
(AACFS) and member of a federal HHS CFS advisory committee, [ref
Second, although profound fatigue and exhaustion (for lack of a
better phrase) is one of the more prominent symptoms of the illness,
it most certainly isn’t the only symptom.
In fact, it’s only the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
here for more about ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms …
Third, the use of the word ‘fatigue’ could
well be contributing to the mistaken belief that PVFS/ ME/CFS is
‘all in the mind’. This is because fatigue
is often associated with psychological illnesses such as ‘fatigue
syndrome’, a mental and behavioral disorder…
…which coincidentally is very different to ME / Post Viral
Fatigue Syndrome / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. You can read more about
between Chronic Fatigue and CFS/ME /PVFS here…
When writing about the use of the word Fatigue in the
term Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Jill McLaughlin writes:
"This has led to the trivialization
of the illness as little more than a manageable, unexplained
fatigue state (rather than the prominent more specific—and
debilitating—neurological features of ME, and the misperception
that it may be treatable by little more than counseling, OTC medications,
antidepressants and lifestyle changes."
-- Jill McLaughlin, Information on Myalgic
Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) --
Read more on the psychological
/ biological debate over ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome here…
And find out why
ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is NOT all in your head here…
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