What is fatigue syndrome?
Fatigue syndrome, also known as burnout or chronic fatigue syndrome, is a complex health condition characterized by extreme fatigue, both physical and mental. People suffering from fatigue syndrome often experience an unusually prolonged and overwhelming feeling of exhaustion that is not relieved by rest. It can also be accompanied by a range of other symptoms including difficulty sleeping, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, muscle pain and increased sensitivity to stimuli such as light or sound.
The causes of fatigue syndrome are complex and can include prolonged stress, emotional exhaustion, trauma, and other factors. The condition usually affects people's ability to function normally in everyday life, including work and social activities.
There is no simple diagnostic test for fatigue syndrome, and the diagnosis is usually made by ruling out other medical conditions that may cause similar symptoms. Treatment may include a combination of rest, cognitive behavioral therapy, gradual increases in physical activity, and sometimes medication to manage specific symptoms.
Symptoms of fatigue syndrome:
The most common symptoms of fatigue syndrome include :
Extreme fatigue: Unusually strong and persistent fatigue that is not relieved by rest and sleep.
Sleep problems: Difficulty falling asleep, waking up early in the morning or not feeling rested after a night's sleep.
Muscle and joint pain: Often in the form of diffuse and non-specific pain in muscles and joints.
Cognitive problems: Difficulty with memory, concentration and make decisions. Sometimes this is called "fogginess" or "brain fog."
Increased sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to light, sound, smells, and other sensory stimuli.
Headaches: Usually tension headaches or migraine-like headaches.
Anxiety and depression: Many people with burnout syndrome experience increased anxiety and depression.
Irritability: Increased sensitivity to frustration and irritation.
Stomach problems: Stomach problems such as nausea, diarrhea or constipation.
Difficulty dealing with stress: Increased sensitivity to stress, and even small stressors can feel overwhelming.
Impaired immune function: Increased susceptibility to infections and longer recovery time from illnesses.
Social isolation: Withdrawal from social activities and relationships due to the symptoms and fatigue.
It is important to remember that the symptoms of fatigue syndrome can be variable and individual. The diagnosis is usually made by ruling out other medical conditions with similar symptoms. Treatment often involves a combination of rest, cognitive behavioral therapy, gradual increases in physical activity, and sometimes medication to manage specific symptoms.
What can I do on my own?
Prioritize sleep: Give sleep the importance it deserves, especially during stressful periods. Proper sleep is essential for brain recovery and relaxation.
Communicate with your employer: If you experience stress at work, it is important to talk to your boss . The employer has a responsibility to create a sustainable work environment, but they can only help if they know your difficulties. Do not hesitate to raise the issues with your employer.
Seek professional help: If you experience early symptoms of stress, seek help from a psychologist or psychotherapist . They can give you the tools and support to make the necessary changes in your life.
Learn to say no: Avoid taking on too much , both in private life and at work. Setting limits is important to avoid overload.
Manage screen time: Excessive screen time and constant availability can increase stress levels. Try to balance your use of technology and make sure you have time for relaxation and recovery without screens.
Physical activity: Regular physical activity is a effective method to strengthen the body, reduce stress hormones and increase resistance to stress.
Moderate use of alcohol: Avoid using alcohol as a primary means of relax. Instead, try to find other relaxation methods that are not addictive or destructive.