Are Depression and Fatigue Connected?

How are they linked?

CFS and depression are conditions that can lead to extreme tiredness, even after having a good rest. For some people, it is possible to carry both disorders simultaneously, and both conditions can be mistakenly identified as some symptoms are similar.

A person who has depression can feel anxious, hopeless, or sad for long periods. Problems with sleep are also common among people with depression, with some having either no sleep or having too much.

Meanwhile, CFS or chronic fatigue syndrome is a medical condition in which a person experiences extreme tiredness without any known cause. In some cases, CFS can be misinterpreted as depression.

Difference Between Fatigue and Depression

The primary difference between the two disorders is that depression is a mental illness while CFS is a physical disorder.

Manifestations of Depression:

  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Constant feeling of anxiety, emptiness, and sadness
  • Difficulty in making decisions and concentrating
  • Hopelessness and worthlessness

Physical Symptoms of Depression:

  • Cramps
  • Pain
  • Headache
  • Stomach upset
  • People can also have difficulty sleeping at night, which can result in tiredness

CFS Symptoms:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Lymph nodes tenderness

An Unfortunate Link

In most cases, people who suffer from CFS can have depression. Although depression is not the leading cause of CFS, it can eventually lead to increased fatigue. People with CFS can have sleep apnea or insomnia which can cause fatigue because of the inability to have a good rest. Hence, sleep disorders may lead to demotivation or lack of energy to perform day-to-day activities.

Furthermore, the unwillingness to perform any kind of activity can cause depression.

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