Fatigue is the most common symptom in multiple sclerosis, with around 80% of patients reporting it. Out of all these patients, a large percentage of them also report fatigue as being the most disabling symptom. I definitely include myself among them. While I have other symptoms as well, they are not so prevailing or intense as fatigue. My fatigue is chronic. Even when I have a good night sleep, I may wake up feeling tired already. Sometimes I prefer not to shower on a particular day if that means I can spend a few more minutes sleeping. Totally gross, I know, but it’s that bad. Fatigue has also had a huge impact on my social life and on my relationships.
As I’m not one to keep my arms crossed, I searched for books about fatigue in multiple sclerosis. I found a lot of practical and useful advice, mostly regarding work, exercise, the way you keep your house, not asking for help or not knowing your limits, etc. However, I also started thinking about emotions and states of mind, and I found out that many of those can cause fatigue.
So what kind of emotions and states of minds can run you down?
Doctor Gabor Mate also gives a little insight about this subject in his book When The Body Says No. I’ll leave you with an except of a dialogue he had with the mother of one of his patients that absolutely had me stop in my tracks:
“She would always tell me when she was tired of me and she needed to rest because she found me tiring.”
“This is in the last months?”
“Why do you think that is? You can’t be tiring. There’s no such thing as a tiring person.”
“My personality would tire her after a while – it was too intense.”
“When does one get tired?”
“When you’ve been working. So you think it was work for her to be with me.”
“She had to work too hard around you.”