When you feel tired, it’s hard to concentrate on much at all, mentally or physically. But as much as residents of Anaheim or elsewhere would love to go back to bed for hours or maybe days, sometimes it’s not possible especially if you have responsibilities for a family or are providing in-home care for a loved one.
This is part of the pressure and challenges that come with a caregiver role, whether someone is doing it as a paid job or as a “volunteer” who has offered to help a close friend or family member as they deal with a medical condition.
The team at Accredited Home Care is familiar with sometimes feeling tired. Most of us have learned different methods to pace ourselves and keep our energy up throughout the day so we’re fully able to help our clients. But sometimes we work with family members who are still learning the ropes and are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
We know spending time with someone as a caregiver for them can be valuable and a great gift of love, but also may require changing your daily routine or your sleep cycle.
The stresses of constant caregiving can also include feelings of isolation and resentment in some circumstances. The physical challenges and the mental stresses can also increase the risks of depression or other conditions.
That’s why we are happy to offer suggestions or even information about respite care options, where our staff can provide a fill-in caregiver for a few hours or even a whole day so you can get out and have a guilt-free break.
In some cases, you may feel refreshed if you catch some extra sleep or have a break. But in other circumstances, you may continue to feel tired no matter how much rest you get. It’s possible you may be suffering from a medical condition known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
One of the key symptoms is continually feeling fatigued after six consecutive months even after different methods of relief have been tried. It can also include dizziness, memory problems, and problems concentrating.
Science is still learning about this syndrome, including how someone can receive it. It may be viral, or it could be an autoimmune condition that triggers in the body if the immune system is weakened for reasons such as chronic stress, pain, or hormonal imbalances.
Some research suggests that it could also be related to allergies, environmental factors, or genetics.
Data has shown that the most common demographic to be diagnosed with it are women in their 40s or 50s. One study showed that four times as many women as men have this. But many studies advise that more women take preventive measures and go to the doctor, rather than men who may just feel a little more tired. They may not know they have something or they don’t get tested or diagnosed as much as women do.
Some women in this age range have also taken on roles as caregivers for their parents or older relatives. So they might be more aware of their typical energy levels or if something feels different so they may go to see a provider.
Things to watch out for
What information there is about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome seems to indicate that there could be a variety of symptoms and they all come and go, possibly based on stress levels. For instance, some people may have pain in their lymph nodes but this will go away. They may next have other muscular pain or nausea, or more need to use the bathroom more frequently.
But since there isn’t a lot known about CFS, it’s not always easy to get help if you’ve been diagnosed with this or if you’re showing some symptoms but not all of them. It might even stick around for years.
Healthline suggests that CFS has common core symptoms seen in other autoimmune conditions but also similarities to some psychological disorders. Because of this, it’s fairly easy for it to be misdiagnosed or a provider to be stumped when he or she is trying to diagnose what it is and suggest ways to find relief.
A provider may try to look for ways to help the physical symptoms. Or he or she may prescribe ways to reduce stress, which could be triggering CFS, by prescribing antidepressants.
Learning more about it yourself could be helpful, especially since there are a variety of legitimate resources online.
One of these is the American Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society. These organizations are dedicated to informing the public about these conditions and also educate the medical community. This helps give them more information about possible symptoms to increase the possibility of an accurate diagnosis.
Now that more people are being diagnosed with CFS, more doctors are becoming familiar with it. It’s also a time to do more research and spread the word.
One upcoming opportunity to help educate people is May 12, which is the official American Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic International Awareness Day.