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Chronic Fatigue

What is it?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is hard to explain because of the crossover between physical and mental symptoms. As you can tell from the name, people with CFS seem to be tired all the time, but despite lots of medical tests no cause is identified. CFS is often associated with viral infections such as glandular fever, and physical symptoms look like flu - headaches, aching muscles, swollen glands. On top of this, there are also psychological and emotional symptoms such as depression, irritability and anxiety. It might get harder to sleep, eat, concentrate or remember things, which can really get in the way of usual activities like going out with friends.

What can I do?

It is important for families to be supportive of a young person with CFS. A diagnosis doesn't always help because the condition is not well understood, but it is crucial that the support network is available and believes what the child is telling them, that it isn't just "in their head".

Go to your GP and ask for a referral to CAMHS, and we will look at the changes you want to make. This might involve focussing on managing any depression and anxiety, or perhaps supporting you to get back into your usual activities whether that is school, sports, hobbies or seeing friends. There may be help available for families to help them support a child with CFS.

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