Chronic fatigue is the experience of persistent exhaustion, which is not alleviated by resting. This tiredness cannot be explained by any other medical condition. Chronic Fatigue can be triggered by a combination of factors such as a viral infection, immune system problems and hormonal imbalances. Factors that increase the likelihood of an individual experiencing this disorder are females, within the age range of 40 – 50 and individuals who have difficulty managing stress.
Often individuals who suffer from chronic fatigue experience the symptoms at different points in their life and they fluctuate in duration and intensity. Chronic fatigue has several different symptoms including fatigue, loss of memory or concentration, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or armpits, unexplained muscle pain, pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness, dizziness, headache, poor sleeping habits, light sensitivity and extreme exhaustion lasting longer than 24 hours.
The initial part of therapy would involve an assessment period where the therapist would distinguish the individual’s levels of depression, anxiety and personality type. During this stage of therapy clients will generate a list of the current problem areas in their life and their goals for therapy. Following the assessment the client and therapist work together to decrease the fear and anxiety about physical symptoms. Additionally they would distinguish the self-concepts that the individual had before the illness and use this to build and develop a series of coping strategies and techniques to challenge the negative thoughts and self-defeating patterns of behaviour. Some of these strategies include progressive relaxation, breathing, visualisation, daily activity schedules, behaviour experiments and thought records.