I have had some questions come up lately about the disease I suffer from. It’s an extremely difficult disease for people to understand and I have been trying not to write about it but I think I will do a post as a reminder and introduction to people who do not know me.
1. When did you first become ill and why? I was 23.5 years old when I had a full on psychotic episode. I was hearing things, had little control over my emotions, couldn’t concentrate at work, lost weight, felt weird sensations up my arms and legs, and my thoughts were just completely circling in my head in an unhealthy way. The psychotic episode lasted about a month until I came out of the hospital on an anti psychotic drug called Invega. I stopped hearing voices immediately and have never heard anything like that since. I recovered from my episode which we believe was caused by an inherit susceptibility to depression. What I did not recover from was a chronic fatigue caused by the depression.
2. What is chronic fatigue why do you have it? The most basic definition of chronic fatigue is going to sleep and never waking up with a restored amount of energy. This is both physical and mental. Mentally I can only concentrate about 2-2.5 hours in a day and physically I can go out and do an activity for about 3 hours at a time. Chronic fatigue also effects your ability to exercise as I have little energy to do that especially cardiovascular activity, I can maybe do 5 minutes on a low speed on the elliptical that’s it. Unlike the average person whose energy becomes restored the next day mine often isn’t. This is called malaise and it takes a day sometimes two for me not to feel worn out. Also, I must scatter my activities so that I have a day to rest in-between days I go out. Sometimes I can do two days in a row, mostly one day at a time.
3. What have you tried to deal with your illness? I have tried almost every psychiatric drug you can think of and am allergic or unable to take most because they make me ill. I also have insomnia so I see a sleep psychiatrist as well as a psychiatrist. I have seen a naturopath, a rheumatologist, my family doctor, an occupational therapist, and done mental testing. Nothing seems to work except a small number of psychiatric drugs and sleeping pills that only work to a point.
4. What are your limitations? Working because I cannot concentrate or physically work beyond 2-3 hrs, physical exercise to a large degree, sleeping without medication, living on my own, driving, some financial, and social limitations because I do not work with people or cannot do a lot of social activity, many domestic chores, some cooking, and often being around loud noises.
Thanks for reading!