Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Depression Are Not The Same Thing!

by : Claire Williams

You may have noticed that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome /M.E. /Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome is a very misunderstood illness...

...and this is perhaps why there are so many myths about it.

Perhaps the most common myth about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is that it is effectively a mental condition, and another name for depression.

But these two conditions are very different!

And when you label a condition incorrectly it can cause no end of problems when trying to diagnose and treat it. So it's extremely important to make the distinction between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome /M.E. /Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome and depression - because they are completely different illnesses.

Depression can be a **symptom** of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but there are many Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers out there who do **not** suffer from depression at all.

I, for example, used to suffer from depression when I was first diagnosed with Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/M.E.), but now I (thankfully) don't have depression anymore.

--------SIDE NOTE--------

My recovery from depression (whilst I had PVFS) was down to having psychotherapy. And I can safely say that it's THE BEST thing I've ever done.

If you're depressed, then I urgently recommend that you try a talking therapy of some sort.

I'd personally describe the whole process of going through psychotherapy as "reading a fascinating book" - where the topic is on 'yourself'.

To find out what it's like to go through psychotherapy /counselling, visit:

If you're housebound, or just want to conserve your energy and don't want to travel to see a therapist, then why not try online counselling?

There are services out there that can give you counselling sessions via telephone, via email, or via 'Instant Messaging' (real-time chat sessions on your computer, where you type instead of talk).

--------SIDE NOTE--------

There are other differences between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome /Fibromyalgia and depression...

Research has shown that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers have an abnormality in their 'deep sleep' brainwave patterns. But, depression sufferers do not have this abnormality!

And in a recent study by scientists at the University of Alberta, it was found that there were significant differences in skin temperature and electrical activity in the skin, which sets Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers apart from depression sufferers (Pazderka-Robinson, H. Int. Jrnl. Of Psychophysiology Aug 2004).

What's more, depression sufferers tend to feel tired **all** the time, whereas Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers' exhaustion **increases** notably after mental or physical exertion.

There are also symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that are not shared by depression sufferers. Nasty flu-like symptoms, headaches, painful muscles and joints, Restless Legs Syndrome, and an increase in colds and viruses, are all just a few symptoms that can play a part in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

There you go - just a few of the differences between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and depression! So the next time someone mistakes your Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ M.E. /Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome /Fibromyalgia for depression - you can set them right!

Copyright, Claire Williams, 2004. All Rights Reserved.

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Claire Williams is editor of and has suffered from Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since 1995.

She created '' to help Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia sufferers to deal with the condition - from handling their money worries, to recovering from their illness....

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