Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can happen to anyone. It’s not ‘just another form of depression’ but instead a debilitating illness that permeates into every area of your life. It is a fatigue which cannot be explained by physical or psychiatric means. With over 80% of cases starting in the immediate aftermath of a viral infection, CFS can significantly impact an individual’s life at any stage.

As we understand more about CFS, these guidelines have been developed for international consistency in identifying CFS:

      1. Is of new or definite onset
      2. Is persistent or relapsing
      3. Has been present for at least six months
      4. Is not due to ‘overdoing’ it
      5. Is not substantially relieved by rest
      6. Results in a substantial reduction in previous levels of
          • Occupational activity
          • Social activity
          • Personal activity
          • Educational activity

Symptoms that are also identified within CFS include at least four of the following:

        1. Recurring sore throats
        2. Tender glands in the neck or under the arms
        3. Muscle pains
        4. Joint pain
        5. Headaches
        6. Unrefreshing sleep
        7. Difficulties with memory and concentration
        8. Difficulty recovering from exertion

It is important to note that while these diagnostic criteria help medical professionals identify CFS, they are not infallible. CFS can have a crippling effect on your life but recovery is possible! If you are struggling to understand your fatigue, meet with a medical professional to determine if it could be CFS and your options towards recovering and living a healthy, normal, and energetic life.