Depression or Chronic Fatigue?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TickToc, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. TickToc

    TickToc New Member

    Can anyone tell me how depression is ruled out as a cause of someone that has chronic fatigue? I've tried various antidepressants with no relief of fatigue, only just unwanted side effects. My doctor has told me since there is no blood test for depression, they diagnose depression after checking for anything else. So how do you exclude depression? Do you just keep trying antidepressants until you have tried them all?
  2. Michelle_NZ

    Michelle_NZ New Member

    The major question I would ask is do you have post exertional fatigue or malaise?

    This is the hallmark symptom of CFS.

    Also, do you have other cognitive or neurological symptoms.

    If you have fatigue without the other symptoms, you probably dont have chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Most doctors dont know the difference between fatigue and CFS.

    I hope you find out and even more importantly start to feel better.

    Take care
  3. TickToc

    TickToc New Member


    Could you explain what you mean by post exertional fatigue or malaise so I make sure I understand? I get up in the morning and I feel extreme fatigue even though I've slept all night. I get more fatigued after doing simple tasks or taking a shower.

    One thing I've noticed, I feel even more fatigued and sleepy after eating every meal. Just like if I would have done some light task. Is this part of Chronic Fatigue?
    I also have a real bad memory.

  4. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Chronic fatigue is a part of so many illnesses. However, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is an illness all by itself with many symptoms besides fatigue. (This site lists them.) Extreme fatigue or post-exertional malaise is not enough to diagnose CFS. You must have other symptoms according to the CDC criteria.

    The difference between CFS and depression is clear. With CFS, the patient WANTS to do so much but is unable to do a lot of it. With depression the patient doesn't have the desire to do much.

    Antidepressants can be very tricky. Some people have a really hard time finding one that works. Make sure that you give it the required number of weeks before deciding that the AD does not work for you.

    Just to make it really confusing, depression often accompanies CFS. However, most people do not find relief from the fatigue by using AD's.

    I wish you luck in figuring this out. But I really think that your doctor should refer you to a psychologist who can properly diagnose depression if that is what you are suffering from. There are diagnostic tests they can use.
  5. Michelle_NZ

    Michelle_NZ New Member

    Hi Ticktoc

    Yes, that does sounds like it could be.

    Sometimes the post exertional fatigue or malaise will take 12 - 48 hours to hit you

    eg. I could go for a walk for say 30 mins and feel okay doing it, and okay for the rest of the day. Then the next day I start to feel ill, like I've been poisoned, so sick I can hardly shower, completely exhausted. It can last days or even weeks.

    I hope this helps
  6. Dhyanayoga

    Dhyanayoga New Member

    My very humanistic psychiatrist wanted to to an EEG on me, but I had to quit taking temazepam to get a correct reading. Apparently, the EEG will reveal whether it is more indicitive of someone with CFS or depression. And it is a fairly accurate test.
  7. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    If you feel bad after every meal, you may have food allergies. You may want to look into this.

    There are blood tests, if you can get your doctor to prescribe one.

    There's also a book called "The Pulse Test" by Coca that you might look at.

    The simplest way is to stop eating foods that are likely to cause allergies. Things you eat the most frequently (especially if you really like them./crave them) are the biggest suspects. Wheat, dairy, corn, citrus, and eggs seem to be especially common.

    The one food that almost no one is allergic to is rice. If you want to really get to the bottom of this, try eating a bowl of rice and seeing if you feel bad. Then try rice with one other food (for example, chicken) with no spices. Then try rice with one other food. If you find that some foods cause you to feel bad and others don't, you pretty certainly have food allergies. Then you will need to go to more effort to figure out what they all are.


    Another possibility is that your body is not digesting your food very well. Digestion takes energy.

    CFS patients frequently are low on both stomach acid and digestive (pancreatic) enzymes. You may want to try supplementing with Betaine Hcl Acid and Digestive Enzymes of some sort.

    Digestive enzymes will also help to repair "leaky gut" (if you have it) and thus perhaps lessen your food allergies (if those are indeed problems).

    Note: Carla, who is sensitive to all kinds of things, cannot tolerate regular digestive enzymes. She can tolerate one digestive enzyme, bromelaine, however. So, as with everything, watch closely to make sure what you're doing is helping (or at least not hurting.

    Good luck.
  8. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Depression- don't WANT to do things, have no pleasure.

    CFS- wan't to do things, but can't.

    Depression-improves with excersise.

    CFS- worsen with excersise.

    SSRI's are not to play around with. Many docs take the easy way out and prescribe SSRI's and blame the patient's symptoms on depression. The doc is your employee, your'e his/her boss. If you feel they are wrong- don't accept it. Trust your instinct.

    I bet you have other symptoms that can not be blamed on depression, like hypoglycemia, postural tachycardia, post excertional malaise, low-grade fevers, Rhaynauds, etc.
  9. chloeuk

    chloeuk New Member

    My symptoms started in jan this year and althugh I had suffered with depression in the past I didnt feel depressed just really sick. I have however beein suffering with depression for the past 4 months and it is pretty severe. A few of my symptoms of cfs have lessened and in the last 5 days they have returned, it is much more a physical thing for me...I know when I feel depressed and I know when I just dont feel right and I am so tired and in pain that I cant move.

    Of course depression makes you tired and it also makes pain worse but it doesnt cause tachycardia or numbness in your hands and feet etc...I think that I can tell the difference because it is markedly different,,problem for me is when I feel so unwell physically it makes me feel more down and I want to give up because it feels like you just cant win or take anymore.

  10. whinenot

    whinenot New Member

    I do hope your doctor has ruled out other possible medical reasons. Just diagnosing depression and/or CFIDS from your symptoms is wrong. Check thyroid (not just the simple test), complete CBC blood work to rule out deficiences, if you are female and at least 40 years old, check estogen and testosterone levels, to rule out entering menopause. Check for lyme disease. There is also testing for Mono
    There are many other tests too to do first.
    Many antidepressants can also cause or make fatigue worse.
    And, yes, it can take six or more weeks before you can tell any difference.
    The effects of food allergies and even intolerances can be more than just bloating and rashes/hives. Even can cause joint pain, and fatigue.
    Also check for celiac sprue (gluton intolerance), which can have a host of symptoms, or none at all.

    Demand (as I had to do) that your doctor perform these tests before just saying you're depressed. And be sure he/she shows you the test results and goes over them with you. And if the doctor won't do it, go to another doctor.

    I so wish you the best in feeling better!

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