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Chronic Illness Fatigue Is So Much More Than Just Being 'Tired'

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The fatigue that comes when one is dealing with chronic illnesses or pain is different than just being tired or in need of sleep. The fatigue that is
associated with chronic illness takes over your whole body. You could be operating on a normal level one second, the next you’re hit with lethargy and exhaustion. The state isn’t even brought upon by extreme activities, such as running or working out.

To convey what it’s really like when the wretchedness hits, it’s like when one is recovering after a surgery or an illness, except recurring as frequently as weekly. No, these can be brought upon while simply going grocery shopping or sitting through a lecture. It’s hard to convey to the people around you that you just aren’t tired. When this wave of fatigue hits you, your knees feel like they will buckle, your arms feel like they are too heavy, the pain gets to an unbearable level and every muscle screams at you to stop.

While others can recuperate from being tired by taking a nap, indulging in a bath, sleeping in, or skipping on an errand, people with chronic illnesses need days, or even weeks, to slowly regain their strength and revert to their original levels.

It is so crucial for people not inflicted by these symptoms to understand and not belittle the expressions of their illnesses, and not make people feel guilty about taking a day off or evading a social outing in order to improve.

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Photo viapixelheadphoto on Getty Images

Originally published: December 1, 2017
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