Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is defined as a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that doesn’t improve with bed rest and may worsen with physical or mental activity. Chronic fatigue syndrome is the most common name given to a poorly understood, variably debilitating disorder or disorders of uncertain causation.
Symptoms of CFS include widespread muscle and joint pain, cognitive difficulties, chronic, often severe mental and physical exhaustion and other characteristic symptoms in a previously healthy and active person. Fatigue is a common symptom in many illnesses, but CFS is a multi-systemic disease and is relatively rare by comparison.
Research confirms that CFS is indeed a physical illness — just one that’s not fully understood. An estimated half a million people in the United States have a CFS-like condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They are seriously impaired, at least a quarter are unemployed or on disability because of CFS. Yet, only about half have consulted a physician for their illness. The earlier a person with CFS receives medical treatment the greater the likelihood that the illness will resolve.
The majority of CFS cases start suddenly, usually accompanied by a “flu-like illness” which is more likely to occur in winter, while a significant proportion of cases begin within several months of severe adverse stress.
For unknown reasons, CFS occurs more often in women than men, and in people in their 40s and 50s.
Patients report critical reductions in levels of physical activity and are as impaired as persons whose fatigue can be explained by another medical or a psychiatric condition. According to the CDC, studies show that the degree of disability or functional impairment in CFS patients is comparable to that caused by well-known, severe medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, late-stage AIDS, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, end-stage renal disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the effects of chemotherapy.
Invisible Disabilities is an umbrella term that captures a whole spectrum of hidden disabilities or challenges that are primarily neurological in nature.
Do people sometimes have difficulty understanding how your symptoms such as extreme fatigue, dizziness, pain, and cognitive impairments can be so debilitating to you but can even be met with hostility by society at large?
People with some kinds of invisible disabilities, such as chronic pain or some kind of sleep disorder, are often accused of faking or imagining their disabilities. These symptoms can occur due to chronic illness, chronic pain, injury, birth disorders, etc. and are not always obvious to the onlooker.
Invisible Disabilities are certain kinds of disabilities that are not immediately apparent to others. It is estimated that 10% of people in the U.S. have a medical condition which could be considered a type of invisible disability.
Nearly one in two people in the U.S. has a chronic medical condition of one kind or another, but most of these people are not considered to be disabled, as their medical conditions do not impair their normal everyday activities. These people do not use an assistive device and most look and act perfectly healthy.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) an individual with a disability is a person who: Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.
Generally seeing a person in a wheelchair, wearing a hearing aid, or carrying a white cane tells us a person may be disabled. But what about invisible disabilities that make daily living a bit more difficult for many people worldwide?
Invisible disabilities can include chronic illnesses such as renal failure, diabetes, and sleep disorders if those diseases significantly impair normal activities of daily living.
For example there are people with visual or auditory impairments who do not wear hearing aids or eye glasses so they may not seem to be obviously impaired. Those with joint conditions or problems who suffer chronic pain may not use any type of mobility aids on good days, or ever.
Another example is Fibromyalgia which is now understood to be the most common cause of chronic musculoskeletal pain. Sources estimate between 3 and 26 million Americans suffer from this hidden condition.
A disability is a condition or function judged to be significantly impaired relative to the usual standard of an individual or group. The term is used to refer to individual functioning, including physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment mental illness, and various types of chronic disease.
Disability is conceptualized as being a multidimensional experience for the person involved. There may be effects on organs or body parts and there may be effects on a person’s participation in areas of life. Correspondingly, three dimensions of disability are recognized in ICF: body structure and function (and impairment thereof), activity (and activity restrictions) and participation (and participation restrictions). The classification also recognizes the role of physical and social environmental factors in affecting disability outcomes.
fibromyalgiaproblems: People say that diseases shouldn’t “change you as a person,” but they do. And not in a bad way, although it’s done that for me too. But it really does change you, it changes the way you think, it changes every tiny decision you make. It changes the way you see other people and the world. But…
[Image: 6-piece blue colored background with a Siamese cat.Text reads: “So, what do you do?” Please god anything but this question]
I know people are just trying to get to know you, which is why it’s so hard to dodge this extremely simple conversation starter. But being asked “Where do you work?” or “Where do you go to school?” when you can’t do either leaves you kind of stumbling for an answer, especially if your illness(es) are completely invisible. It’s so hard to explain and really kind of a mood killer, plus who wants to share their health information with a stranger, even a friendly one? Of course, that could just be the “oh my god they’re judging me” anxiety acting up every time I hear it…