How to Differentiate Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a Nervous Breakdown

Chronic fatigue syndrome and a nervous breakdown are often thought of as a condition that is one and the same. However, these two are entirely different from each other. Here we differentiate the two by looking into their definitions, signs and symptoms and other pertinent information.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder that affects a lot of people, a condition wherein the fatigue does not have a known cause and it occurs for a long period of time, for six months or even longer. This is more common in females, especially those who are at the young and middle adulthood stage of life. The exact cause for CFS is not known but studies have found out that it is often associated with infections and chronic diseases.

Chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms include fatigue for six months or more, cognitive difficulties such as short-term memory problems and inability to concentrate, headaches, joint pain that is accompanied by redness and swelling. There can also be tenderness at the lymph nodes, sore throat and muscle pains. Other chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms are feeling tired even after sleeping and being extremely tired that lasts for more than a day after you have been doing some physical activities.

Treatment for CFS will depend on the chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms that are being manifested. Medications will be prescribed if the muscle and joint pain are intolerable, also for sleep disturbances and psychological problems. Diet and nutrition can play a significant role in the improvement of CFS, and it is recommended that you should have an increase in the intake of Vitamin B6, B12 and D. Stress reduction therapies are also recommended as well as avoiding strenuous activities. Other treatment methods are cognitive behavioral therapy, graded exercise therapy and pacing.

Meanwhile, a nervous breakdown is used to describe a mental disorder experienced by a person wherein anxiety or depression is usually present. This disorder has various causes such as stress, problems with relationships, work and school or with finances. It can also happen in those who have health problems such as chronic diseases like cancer. A nervous breakdown can cause significant changes in a person’s life such as decrease in concentration, sudden mood changes, loss of appetite and sleep disturbances. Other nervous breakdown symptoms are dizziness, insomnia, palpitations, having frequent nightmares and some may even have amnesia.

For a nervous breakdown to be treated, you must first acknowledge that you have a problem. Once you do that, you will be able to seek help and talk about the certain cause of your problem. You and your health practitioner will then be able to formulate a treatment plan based on the causes of your nervous breakdown. Aside from facing the problem, you will also need to do other therapies to treat a nervous breakdown and to prevent further episodes. Exercise, having a healthy diet, getting adequate rest, meditation, aromatherapy and avoiding smoking, alcohol and drugs are also helpful in treating a nervous breakdown.

Knowing the difference between a nervous breakdown and chronic fatigue syndrome will help you in identifying the proper treatment methods needed for your condition. This way, you will be able to have a full recovery without any complications.

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