Are you Struggling with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a long-term illness with a wide range of symptoms. The most common symptom is extreme tiredness.

CFS is also known as ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis. Many people refer to the condition as CFS/ME.

CFS/ME can affect anyone, including children. It’s more common in women and tends to develop between your mid-20s and mid-40s.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS; also known as ME) is a long-term, persistent condition that causes fatigue and other symptoms which are not caused by any other known medical condition. ME stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis; “myalgic” meaning ‘muscle aches or pains’ and “encephalomyelitis” meaning inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. 

When to seek treatment

You should consider treatment for CFS and ME when you have persistent fatigue which:
Is not eased by rest
Is not due to tiredness following overexertion
Is not due to muscle weakness
Is not a loss of motivation or pleasure which occurs in people who are depressed
You experience the inability to live as usual
You have difficulties with poor concentration
You have poor short-term memory
You have a reduced attention span
You experiencing poor memory for recent events
You have difficulty in planning or organising thoughts
You have difficulty finding the right words to say
You sometimes feel disorientated
You have sleeping difficulties, for example, early waking, being unable to sleep, too much sleep, disrupted sleep/wake patterns
Your experiencing pain – most commonly muscular pains (myalgia), joint pains and headaches
You have a recurring sore throat, often with a tenderness of the nearby lymph glands
It was easy to be open with my therapist and she always made me feel that nothing was as bad as it seemed and I always had a boost in confidence that grew more and more since our first session together. She was easy to get in touch with and the resources/tasks she sent were on point with what I needed to progress.
Female, 35
The experience was very easy for me, with all of the meetings being scheduled for a convenient time and held online. The meetings were a good opportunity to talk where otherwise I would not have done.
Male, 30
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What you need to know

The best treatment options available with the best evidence are CBT, medication, graded exercise therapy, lifestyle advice and self-help techniques.
CBT is effective in supporting adults with ME and has been shown to reduce symptoms, improve function and improve quality of life. CBT aims to change the way you think, behave and feel, so you learn to identify the thoughts and feelings that are causing certain behaviours. Through CBT, you can also manage the emotional impact of your fatigue and related symptoms.
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