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I'm just curious as to how many of you experienced stress as a factor in your onset of ME/CFS. I'm NOT saying this is a psychological illness, or implying "it's all in your head." I become very angry when people suggest that. For instance, my onset was started by a flu, which became the flu that never went away. I do think, however, that stress played some role in my onset, because I was totally stressed out over another medical condition. I'd also be interested to hear from people who know that stress was not a factor. Maybe I have way too much time on my hands, but I'm just trying to understand this illness better. Maybe a better question would be: "What happened in your life when you developed ME/CFS?"
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I also became ill as a result of a flu like virus. I got over the flu but then the onset of CFS started. And I had just started a new job and was really stressed out about being ill as soon as I started working. I became more and more stressed as I could not shake the intense fatigue and every other symtom that came with it. So yes, I think stress is a very big factor in this disease and the more stressed you are the worse the symtoms are.
The doctor who made "stress" a medical term (it was an engineering term first) used it to mean "any condition which causes the body to release adrenaline". I think it is significant because adrenaline is a powerful hormone. Under the force of adrenaline people can do things that they would not normally be able to do. The downside is that when the emergency is over other hormones shoot up which do the the exact opposite of adrenaline.
During the "emergency" adrenaline levels are high, you are faster, stronger, more focused than ever before. After the "emergency" you are weak, your limbs tremble with exhaustion, you are easily moved to tears, and you can't think straight.
I am wondering if the sympathetic nervous system plays a part in CFS. Does anyone know if there has been research in this area?
I've had Fibromyalgia and ME it suggests since I was 14 yrs old, I'm now 36. I can't really remember that far back whether I had an illness or stress - I don't know. I remember having a bad back, therefore going to a Oestopath and then a sudden growth spurt which the back of my legs didn't seem to grow the same speed resulting in hard to walk for a while.
I've always been a stressy person. My Mum was too (although she caused me alot of my stress)- long story! Whether it's if you can't physically handle stress feelings you are more likely to develop ME as a result of the body not getting rid of the reactions properly? I do know that my symptoms are alot worse (especially IBS) when I am stressed!
Also though, if people were starting to have mild CFS-like problems, that alone would lead to life being more stressful.
I hope there is research going on in this area.
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