Sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be more prone to sudden or prolonged anxiety according to new research from the American Psychological Association. It appears that those coping with chronic fatigue may have different responses to dealing with everyday stress as well as highly stressful situations in which the fight-or-flight response is evoked.
Characteristics of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may exhibit these symptoms:
• Constant fatigue
• Memory loss
• Unexplained muscle pain
• Unusual headaches
• Unrefreshing sleep
• Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise
The constant battle with chronic fatigue symptoms that prevents regular interactions with other human beings could be a major source of anxiety for patients. The majority of the effects associated with chronic fatigue prevent sufferers from living an ordinary life. A constant source of stress such as discontent with living conditions or the inability to socialize normally causes a severe imbalance in the bodily chemicals that both create and deal with stressful situations.
Emotional Suppression in Chronic Fatigue Patients
The same emotions triggered by social ineptitude that are part of life with chronic fatigue are often suppressed in those diagnosed with the disease. A study of 160 individuals living in the UK was conducted to determine the severity to which patients of chronic fatigue reacted to emotional distress.
Half of the participants were healthy individuals and the other half were diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Each of those groups was split in half, and each half was asked to either keep their emotions hidden or to express them freely in a controlled social situation. Their reactions were measured by both a skin test that recorded fight-or-flight response symptoms such as heat and sweat as well as monitoring by independent observers.
Results of the Experiment
Whether they were required to suppress emotions or not, participants who were diagnosed with chronic fatigue showed an increased biological reaction in the social situations in which they were cast. They reported and demonstrated an aggravation of chronic fatigue symptoms when under stress from extraneous sources.
While conditions were not completely controlled or ideal, the study does show that there may be a cyclical relationship between the presence of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the anxiety associated with an insufficient capability to control symptoms in the presence of others.
Support & Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Sufferers
The study is just one step forward in efforts to raise awareness among families and friends of chronic fatigue patients. Emotional support is currently the most effective option for control of the heightened anxiety that those with chronic fatigue feel on a regular basis. Treatments of chronic fatigue syndrome are also available to help manage symptoms. The antidepressant class of medications have been shown to improve the symptoms of chronic fatigue and also aid anxiety. Wellbutrin is a popular antidepressant and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome medication. Inquire with your doctor about the best treatment option for you.