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lindsey49039 lindsey49039

Unsure if I have Chronic Fatigue or Depression

Hi All

I'm confused as to whether I may have depression or chronic fatigue, I've been suffering with waking up feeling more tired then when I went to sleep for around 2 years, I also have headaches, tinnitus when run down, aches in my elbows and wrist and fingers, the worst thing I struggle to concentrate and forget things - I make a joke out of this as it's the only way I know how to deal with it, really I find it scary and embarrassing.  Iam still at work part time - 20

Hours a week but I find it too much and frequently need to lie down after picking the kids up from school.  Mostly I am able to do chores but sometimes I just don't have the energy it worsens when I'm

Menstruating. 

I am to take quite long walks and was able to introduce running in the summer for a week, I then didn't exercise for a while as I didn't have the oomph to do it, I tried a run again a couple of weeks back and the next day it floored me, I was completely woolly headed and had to go to bed straight after the kids have been picked up.

I am able to go out and socialise, and enjoy it when I'm out, but drinking and Or late night will cause me to become completely sedentary the next day.

The Doctor has tested me for everything under the sun, all tests are clear.  It's so frustrating as I need to be able to put a label on what's dragging me down and get help. 

The Doctor signed me off for a week with chronic fatigue and it's been a bad week, sleep pattern is disturbed, I've got a raging throat and headache, so fuzzy headed that I've scraped my car on a wall.  

Whilst I've been off I've been checking out books and sites to try and get help and I'm not so sure it's chronic fatigue as I'm not sure I would have managed to run in the summer at all? 

I've been shocked to find out that my symptoms are mild as I often find life difficult and I struggle.  I really feel for you guys as I realise that this is a totally debilitating disease.

Please let me know what your thoughts are as I'm confused and need some help but it needs to be the right help for the condition I've got

9 Replies

  • jenny19687 jenny19687 lindsey49039

    Have you obtained a copy of your blood test results? When you get them look for any borderline values like ferritin range is 15-200. They may say you are fine with ferritin of 22 but you will probably feel better mid range. 

    Also so if you still feel bad ask to repeat the tests early morning. 

  • cmann30 cmann30 lindsey49039

    TRUST YOUR GUT!!  To me, that sounds like a lot more than depression. ME is a shapeshifter and can absolutely cause depression. When things you love are ripped away and that,  despite ALL OF YOUR best efforts, you are still symptomatic,  it’s inconceivable how you would NOT feel depressed.  Please see my blog and maybe it can help in some small waysmile

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  • jackie00198 jackie00198 lindsey49039

    I think there's a very high probability that you have ME/CFS. A red flag for this illness is that when you go outside of your "energy envelope," you crash. Difficulty concentrating, check. Tinnitus, check. Sore throat, headaches, aches, check. Disturbed sleep pattern, check. In other words, all the symptoms you describe are spot-on for ME/CFS. There's a huge range of severity for this illness. Some have it so mild they can still work full-time (lucky them). Some can still work part-time. Some are housebound (like me); some are bedridden. Of course, you could still be depressed, as would anyone dealing with all these symptoms. There is currently no cure for ME/CFS, but people can get better. To maximize your chances for recovery, pace yourself, and try to stay within your energy envelope. Do not push or try to exercise your way out of this. That can make you significantly worse and lessen chances for recovery. Do your best to keep calm and reduce stress or anxiety, and these can worsen symptoms. I use meditation and mindfulness to help with this. There are some drugs that work with subset of people, like low-dose Naltrexone and some anti-virals, like Valcyte. Gamma globulin infusions also work with some, though they are extremely expensive. By the way, ME/CFS is NOT simply chronic fatigue. The symptoms of chronic fatigue can happen with many illnesses, including cancer. ME/CFS is a very specific illness with specific core symptoms. 

    • lindsey49039 lindsey49039 jackie00198

      Hi Jackie, 

      Thanks for your response, sorry to hear that you are 'housebound'I hope that things will improve for you.  

      I have only been diagnosed with CFS last week and it's such a complex disease, some of my symptoms come and go and others remain a constant such as the unrefreshed sleep, tiredness, sore throats in the colder months and aches in joints on my arms and most nights I'm in bed around 8pm resting then sleep around 10ish.

      The others seem to make an appearance some more frequently then others,  head fog I get an episode of most days, headaches some days specially when the weather changes and also I don't know if this is related but I get really, really cold and struggle to warm up?  Also sometimes people talk to me and I just don't seem to hear them, could that be related?

      Thanks for your suggestions I will give meditation a go.   

    • chris0000 chris0000 lindsey49039

      Hello Lindsey, I have not been diagnosed with anything but I have the same exact symptoms/ailments you have described. I almost never feel refreshed even after getting 7 hours of sleep, which is a lot to me. I average 5 to 6 hours a day. I have been to numerous doctors over the past 7 years and been tested for almost everything the docs could think of. Everything comes back normal and clean.  Most docs just think I have anxiety and depression, but I feel in my heart and mind that it is something more, something that can’t be seen or diagnosed as easy as other illnesses. I think I also have ME/CFS. I believe whatever illness I have is the main cause of my anxiety and depression and not the other way around. I’ve always been a person with somewhat low energy but when I was younger sleep usually took care of it, Now, as an adult (I’m 28 yo) I have been struggling to keep a job and live a normal life because I am always fatigued and weak. I come home from work sometimes so fatigued I can’t even talk. I just go straight to bed. As you can imagine, this is frustrating to me wife and son because they just can’t understand it. My wife and most ppl think I’m just lazy or it’s psychological. Over the last 2/3 years it has become progressively worse and am missing many days of work and important family event, which leads to more anxiety and depression. If I a lot of physical work my body breaks down won’t recover till about 3 days of complete rest. I rarely work more than 4 days a week these days. Needless to say, it is frustration. I am seeing a neurologist again tomorrow but if nothing comes of that I plan on making an appointment with a Dr. Jose Montoya who has been studying ME/CFS at Stanford University. I have read great things about him. Luckily I live only a couple hours away from him. Good luck to you and all of us that are suffering from this bizarre and untreatable illnesses. 

    • jackie00198 jackie00198 chris0000

      Chris--The huge red flag for ME/CFS is PEM (post-exertional malaise). When you do an activity, do you get fatigued way beyond what is normal? Also, I think it's pretty easy to differentiate ME/CFS from depression. Depressed people typically don't feel like doing anything. People with ME/CFS want to do stuff but are physically unable. I live in Los Angeles and have heard a lot of great things about Dr. Montoya. I wish I lived close enough to see him. 

  • debbie66909 debbie66909 lindsey49039

    Since 2001 I have had many of your symptoms.  I was a new Principal of an elementary school when on one beautiful fall day, I became so exhausted, I literally could not walk down the hall.  Luckily for me, it was the day before Fall Break. 

    The week of break I had every test known to man- except the test for Epstein-Barr and Cyctomegalvirus.  I ended up being bedridden and had to take a leave of absence. Finally, my husband took me, in a wheelchair, back to my family doctor and had a showdown with him.   I just saw happened to be his dad ghtet's principal - he admitted he did remember in Med School about a patient with symptoms like mine.  new tests were done and this showed that my Epstein -Barr titers  were 30,000. - normal  is under 90.

    The journey  began, I have spent thousands upon thousands looking  for a cure.  I am going to summarize what works:  

    Start taking mega doses of these:

    Zinc

    Biotin

    Probiotics

    Lysine

    Mega vitamin C

    Then find a doctor who will give you:

    Antivirus,  

    Celebrex

    B-12 injections. This helps the brain fog

    If you can afford it:  buy an infrared sauna - if not find a good  gym with one.  Do daily. 

    I swear by IV infusions - Myers Cocktails - expensive but worth it.

    I would have money if it didn't all go toward that s illness.

    Your symptoms are typical for CFS. You must rest all the time or it will get worse.

    Read and reread:  Chronic Fatigue - The Silent Killer

    The Medical medium

    I am in the car making a three hr trip- typing all this from memory.  Hope I have helped.

    Debbie vick - ky. Blackhat

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