Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – The Challenges That Await

February 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Living with an illness is a daring act. For instance, chronic fatigue syndrome does not only reduce one’s physical activity, but also impairs one’s social life. Dealing with social issues as an offshoot of an illness is just one of the several incidents of having a disease. Your relation with people suffer, you get in danger of losing your job, people who do not know your condition get the wrong impression of you, and you get dismissed for being a nuisance. This misfortune can utterly make ones life miserable.

The severity of chronic fatigue syndrome is evident in that only five to ten percent (5-10%) of these cases are fully resolved while only eight to thirty percent (8-30%) are able to return to work. Symptoms usually worsen among five to twenty percent (5-20%) of the patients and any delay in the detection of the illness lower the chances of recovery. However, while the manifest difficulty in dealing with this illness is undoubtedly enormous, one should not simply stop living.

So what are the facts? One fact worth noting is that chronic fatigue syndrome can strike at absolutely anyone. It does not choose among any specific ethnic or racial demography. Rather, the record shows that people belonging to lower income groups tend to be the likely prey of chronic fatigue syndrome; the same way that more women than men are reported to be afflicted with this disease and most frequently, in those belonging to ages ranging from forty (40) to fifty-nine (59).

Another fact is that to date, there appears to be no widely accepted method in treating chronic fatigue syndrome which could ensure total recovery. More bluntly put, most patients do not totally recover from this illness despite treatment. While a fortunate few are able to successfully lead a normal life, still a good number are unable to independently look after their own welfare. Statistics shows that only one-half (1/2) of the group of people having chronic fatigue syndrome is able to get a job while almost two-thirds (2/3) are underemployed due to significant physical restrictions. Most of those who are working are on temporary sick leave or simply live on disability benefits while only one-fifth of those who are working are employed full-time. That would probably explain the depression that is commonly experienced by people afflicted with this illness, as well as associated mood disorders.

Without a doubt, the numbers are enough to further tell the story behind the lives of patients who have to deal with chronic fatigue syndrome every single day of their life. As if their suffering is not enough, they had to endure an even more disheartening social ridicule from people who, having little knowledge about the illness, brand it as some form of make believe to get attention or fake excuses to achieve benefits, be it financial or social. This burdensome psychosocial stigma frustrates the support that patients having this illness should be receiving from society. It only makes the load a lot heavier to carry when one experiences the severity of chronic fatigue syndrome.