Image via WikipediaIn 2009, I met the toughest challenge in my life: jobless paired with terrible health condition. While I poorly "conquered" the first one during the first half of the year, the later one remains problematic.
CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) is really a monster. It doesn't kill you like some cancers, but it makes you to be only half of yourself, or even less than half. You may suffer symptoms of heart diseases, or of diabetes, or of many other diseases but as matter of fact, you have none of those diseases. The causes for CFS are still unknown, or too complicated to be detected. For sufferers, this means there is no cure for you. Or, as many doctors claimed, "you are fine".
The worst part of CFS is that it is the most misunderstood thus the most commonly misdiagnosed and mistreated illness ever. Usually it starts with normal tiredness, gradually gets severe until it's too late. During the course, patients inevitably and frequently feel inadequate, which is exactly how people with depression would feel. Thus CFS are often diagnosed as depression and given anti-depressants. However there is no study shows the effectiveness of these treatments. On the contrary, there were plenty cases showed the opposite (A young lady Sophia Mirza was one of the victims who DIED under mental treatments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mZMpvtD3rg). To clear this confusion, people (esp. doctors ) should know that it is chronic physical illness cause depression, not the other way around. However I don't mean that depression doesn't cause ANY physical problems at all, it only means that it is not most CFS sufferers' cases.
As a longterm sufferer, I personally diagnose my CFS as "energy overdrawn". By Chinese medicine, our energy is like a bank: we make withdraw everyday also we make deposit everyday. When we make withdraw but not make deposit, we bring ourselves troubles.
How do we make deposit for our energy? Answer is: Foods, sleep and exercises. These 3 things are the most important "deposit" we make for our energy bank. They together make a concept called: "positive life style". If we keep these things on going everyday, we should have no problems at all.
So my personal conclusion on the cause of CFS is " bad lifestyle", which mean failed on these 3 things. For CFS patients (not real depression sufferers), making effort on changing your physical life style would do much better job on recovering than focusing on what's wrong with your mind (like doctors said).
As a person who never cared about my physical being, this is the biggest lesson I learn in very hard way during my struggling in 2009. I had to shift my whole interest from "spirit" to "physical matters", such as cooking, sleep, exercises, etc. (the first one --- cooking --- is very hard for me to do because my stomach doesn't like American food so I have to work very hard to please such a patriotic organ!)
Of course, there is one thing I did not mention on my good life style menu:good spirit. I used to think this one is the most important thing and it is above all physical issues, but after physically problematic for so long, I had to doubt my former belief. All I can tell now, is that we must take care of every aspect of ourselves: body and mind. Being balanced is the key.
May I have a blessed 2010! And you too!