Written by Mairi Henderson
For many people, living with a chronic illness such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can be an anxious and frustrating experience. Fatigue, widespread pain, digestive problems, and disordered sleep are just some of the more common symptoms. Dealing with these daily can be very isolating, and for some sufferers, this may lead to low mood, depression and/or anxiety. Unfortunately, this is often a vicious cycle, with each component exacerbating the other.
In his book ‘The Body Says No’, Dr Gabor Mate writes about the mind-body connection:
“The body will always find a way to communicate its needs. Whether we pay attention or not.”
Talking about your worries and frustrations and exploring new ways to cope with the limitations the condition brings, can help make it more manageable.
CBT, a type of therapy which works by interrupting the negative cycle of thoughts, physical feelings emotions and actions, and breaking down overwhelming problems into smaller, more manageable chunks, can be particularly effective.
Mindfulness, a practice which helps reduce stress and anxiety by focusing on being in the present moment, can also be very useful as it helps the body to be in a naturally more healing state.