Depression and fatigue are two diseases which are very common these days. Both these conditions share common symptoms making it possible for a patient to get diagnosed with both at the same time. Many a time, both of them are mistaken for each other.
During the depression, a person ends up being sad, anxious, or hopeless for a long period of time. It brings sleep problems like sleeping too much or not sleeping at all. On the other hand, chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition that causes a person to experience the continuous feeling of fatigue which doesn’t have any other underlying causes.
How is depression different from fatigue?
Primarily, the chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder which hits physically while depression affects mentally. Both these things can also overlap. Symptoms of depression can include, continuous feelings of sadness, anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness. People tend to lose interests in hobbies, eat too much or too little and fail to concentrate on things and make decisions.
People who face depression may have frequent headaches, cramps, stomach upset and other pains. They may also face the difficulty of sleeping throughout the night leading to exhaustion.
But, people with chronic fatigue syndrome may have physical symptoms such as a headache, joint pain, tender lymph nodes, muscle pain and sore throat.
People get affected by both depression and chronic fatigue syndrome because of their daily activities. This makes them feel exhausted and not interested in going ahead with their work. On the same time, chronic fatigue syndrome makes them too tired to engage in tasks even though they are interested.
Diagnosing this conditions means checking out for other disorders that can cause similar symptoms. Probably your doctor may refer you to a mental health expert at this stage.
A Vicious Cycle:
Both depression and fatigue often feed off each other in a cycle which is difficult to break. People with chronic fatigue syndrome may become depressed and those who have depression can develop chronic fatigue syndrome as well.
Sleep disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea are problems which people with chronic fatigue syndrome experience. These conditions often make fatigue worse. People with depression can feel very tired often and don’t want to participate in any activities, as fatigue may fuel depression.
Diagnosing Depression and Fatigue:
To diagnose depression, doctors check the medical history and assess the patients via a set of questions. Blood tests or X-rays are the methods that help in diagnoses.
The doctor can run some other tests also before confirming the chronic fatigue syndrome as there are several conditions with similar symptoms.
Treating Depression and Fatigue:
Therapy or counselling can fight depression. Even medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilisers help treat depression. Deep-breathing exercises, massage stretching, martial arts, and yoga are the other ways of treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome and depression.
A good sleeping habit can tackle this situation easily. It is best to avoid foods and drinks that can prevent you from sleeping such as caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. Consume them at least 4 hours before bedtime.
Meet a doctor:
As both these factors affect your personal and professional life, so it is best to speak with your doctor if you’re struggling with prolonged fatigue or think you have depression.