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How Tired Is Too Tired?

Depression, Anxiety, and Fatigue continued...

If you are depressed or have regular symptoms of anxiety, talk to your doctor and get a physical exam. If there is no physical cause for the depression or anxiety, your doctor may prescribe medication. Or your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist for a psychological evaluation.

Although the specific causes of depression and/or anxiety are unclear, these are highly treatable medical problems. Medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two can help relieve symptoms.

Fibromyalgia and Fatigue

Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, deep muscle pain, painful tender points, sleep problems, anxiety, depression

Fibromyalgia is one of the more common causes of chronic fatigue and musculoskeletal pain, especially in women. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are considered separate but related disorders. They share a common symptom -- severe fatigue that greatly interferes with people's lives.

With fibromyalgia, you may feel that no matter how long you sleep, it's never restful. And you may feel as if you are always fatigued during daytime hours. Your sleep may be interrupted by frequent waking. Yet, you may not remember any sleep disruptions the next day. Some people with fibromyalgia live in a constant 'fibro fog' -- a hazy, mental feeling that makes it difficult to concentrate.

Constant daytime fatigue with fibromyalgia often results in diminished exercise. That causes a decline in physical fitness. It can also cause mood-related problems. The best way to offset these effects is to try to exercise more. Exercise has a tremendous beneficial effect on sleep, mood, and fatigue.

If you do try swimming (or any moderate exercise) to ease fatigue, start slowly. As you become accustomed to the added physical activity, you can increase your time in the pool or gym. Set up a regular time for exercise, but watch overdoing it to avoid added fatigue.

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