Jason, L.A., Jessen, T., Porter, N., Boulton, A., Njoku, M.G., & Friedberg, F.
Disability Studies Quarterly, 2009, 29, 3
Severe, persisting fatigue is a prominent symptom of Myalgic
Encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), but individuals
with this illness frequently report the occurrence of unique fatigue
states that might be different from conventional symptoms of fatigue.
The present study attempted to assess a comprehensive set of fatigue
symptoms that have been commonly reported among patients with ME/CFS.
A 22-item fatigue questionnaire was developed and administered to 130
persons diagnosed with ME/CFS and 251 controls. Adequate scale
reliability was found. Factor analyses revealed a five-factor
structure for participants with ME/CFS but only a one-factor solution
for the control group. The new scale was also contrasted with other
more traditional scales developed to measure fatigue. Findings suggest
that individuals with ME/CFS experience different types of fatigue
than what are reported in the general populations.
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One thing that often goes unnoticed is that ME/CFS is not "just fatigue". When I am fatigued, all my other symptoms get worse, too. This is why my first specialist told me the first step had to be improving the quality/quantity of sleep; then you could see what improved on its own and what was left to still be addressed pharmacologically. Since finding the right combination of pills to allow me to sleep 5-6 hours most nights (instead of 2 hours a night), a number of things that used to be daily major problems are now once-a-week minor annoyances.