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Do you feel constantly tired, physically and mentally? This could be coupled with headaches, sleep problems and irritability. It is possible you are suffering with fatigue syndrome. Here we look at the condition and how to treat it.

Fatigue syndrome

Many of us have had time where we felt completely tired and worn out, especially when life is busy.

But when does temporary fatigue turn into something more serious like fatigue syndrome or even depression?

Here we highlight the symptoms, differences and treatment methods for fatigue syndrome, and tell you how we can make the difficult easier.

Symptoms of fatigue

When we talk about symptoms of fatigue, anxiety and tiredness are a given. But it goes beyond that. You may also experience:

  • Tiredness and irritability.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Decreased performance and concentration.
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach problems.

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Temporary tiredness compared to exhaustion

After a long day at work or a stressful period, it is natural to feel tired. But unlike regular fatigue, fatigue syndrome and depression fatigue are characterised by an ongoing, prolonged tiredness that does not go away despite rest. It is also more complex, involving anxiety, depression, and physical symptoms.

Depression or fatigue?

As symptoms often overlap, it is easy to confuse depression and fatigue. Generally speaking, if fatigue comes with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, it may be an indicator of depression rather than ‘just’ fatigue.

How to get help

More and more people are suffering from stress fatigue and its related symptoms, but there are now several treatment options available. One common approach is CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), a proven method for treating both anxiety fatigue and fatigue syndrome.


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  • Contact a healthcare provider: The first step is to seek professional help for a proper diagnosis.
  • Psychologist or therapist: For some, it may be helpful to undergo therapy.
  • Medical treatment: In some cases, medication may be necessary. This is done in consultation with a doctor.

Take the first step today

Struggling with fatigue syndrome anxiety or stress and fatigue syndrome can be incredibly difficult, but it’s important to remember that help is available. If you or someone you know is showing signs of fatigue syndrome, do not hesitate to seek medical advice.

If you feel you need professional help, simply book an introductory online session with one of Lavendla’s psychologists or therapists through our website. Together we will make the difficult easier.


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10 frequently asked questions about fatigue syndrome

What is fatigue syndrome?

Fatigue syndrome is a medical condition that occurs when a person is physically and mentally exhausted for an extended period of time. It is important to seek professional help to diagnose and treat this condition.

How does fatigue syndrome differ from burnout?

While fatigue syndrome is a medical diagnosis, burnout is more of a psychological term that describes a feeling of hopelessness and lack of commitment to work or life in general. Both require professional evaluation.

What are the symptoms of fatigue syndrome?

Common symptoms include extreme fatigue, reduced work capacity, and emotional ability. If you experience these symptoms, it is recommended that you consult a healthcare provider.

How is fatigue depression diagnosed?

Fatigue syndrome is usually not permanent. With proper treatment, which can include medication and therapy, most people recover fully.

Is fatigue syndrome permanent?

Treatment can include medication, such as SSRIs, as well as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which has been shown to be particularly effective.

What are the most common causes of fatigue?

The most common causes include prolonged stress, high work demands and work-life imbalance. It is important to identify and manage these factors to prevent fatigue.

How is fatigue syndrome treated?

Treatment may include medication to manage symptoms such as sleep problems and anxiety, and psychotherapy to address the causes of fatigue.

Can fatigue syndrome lead to other illnesses?

Yes, if left untreated, fatigue syndrome can lead to other medical problems such as cardiovascular disease and immune deficiency. Therefore, seek medical attention if you feel exhausted over a long period of time.

Are there any preventive measures against fatigue?

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle, managing stress effectively and setting limits in the workplace are some ways to prevent fatigue.

Where should I go if I suspect I am suffering from fatigue syndrome?

If you experience symptoms of fatigue or burnout, you can contact your GP. Alternatively, book an online session with one of Lavendla’s psychologists or therapists for a professional assessment.

Treatment for fatigue syndrome

You feel tired, stressed and out of balance. Perhaps you have already been diagnosed with fatigue syndrome, or are wondering if you should seek help? We understand it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are the basic steps of a therapeutic treatment for fatigue syndrome:

Step 1: Assessment and diagnosis

Before anything else, you should get a professional evaluation and diagnosis from a qualified doctor or psychologist. This diagnosis serves as the basis for your treatment plan.

Step 2: Individual treatment plan

Next, your therapist will design an individual treatment plan to suit your specific needs and symptoms. It may include a combination of medication, talk therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Step 3: Talk therapy

Talk therapy, which is often part of the treatment, gives you the tools to understand and manage your stressors. It also helps you develop coping strategies.

Step 4: Lifestyle changes

  • Exercise: Regular exercise can reduce symptoms of fatigue.
  • Diet: A balanced diet can improve your overall well-being.
  • Sleep: Sleep is important for recovery and mental focus.

Step 5: Monitoring and adjusting

Even when you find routines and balance, it is important to regularly follow-up with your therapist to see how you are doing and possibly adjust your treatment plan.

Step 6: Long-term follow-up

After treatment, you may need to continue with follow-up sessions and possibly medication even after you have recovered, to prevent relapse.

Each person is unique, so the treatment plan and recovery time vary. It is important to have an open dialogue with your therapist about your progress and any concerns.

Lavendla – Making the difficult easier

Written by dominic

Dominic is a Cape Town-based copywriter and editor with a background in psychology.