Fatigue: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Depression And Fatigue Linked & Treatments

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

What is Fatigue?

Fatigue is the extreme feeling of tiredness as a result of physical or mental exhaustion or sickness.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Fatigue?

Depression And Fatigue

Symptoms of fatigue can easily be mistaken by the overwhelming feelings of being overworked. Check out if you are experiencing symptoms listed below:

1. You Feel Exhausted: Your thoughts revolve around how soon you can get to bed. You might feel persistent urge to sleep at work. Others may feel like they are worn out, or want time to rest though without an urge to nap.

2. You Body is Heavy: Do you usually reach out for that cup of coffee and yet there is no change? You might find it difficult to walk or work at comfort. In reference to Dr. Williams, some people find physical exhaustion as an increase* in the weight than their legs or hands can bear.

3. Thoughts of Depression: According to Cwynar, depression and fatigue can share a lot of similarities. It’s difficult to wake up in the morning. Interest in life is lost. Even if you try your best, there are notable changes in your performance at work. Williams says that if untreated, fatigue can lead to depression.

4. Social Isolation: If you find yourself skipping those social events from lack of energy to leave your house or to participate, you probably have fatigue. Some who dare attend such social events may have to break amidst due to lack of strength to move on.

5. Loss of Concentration: You will probably rest on the couch while the kitchen is in a mess yet you are on duty. Or you better watch that TV than do your homework.

Causes of Fatigue

The first step to recovery from fatigue is to know its cause. You can get fatigue from lifestyle changes, medications or psychological effects. Possible causes in lifestyle changes include alcohol overindulgence, excessive workouts, idleness or lack of enough sleep. Medications used in the treatments of diseases such as coughs and colds can trigger fatigue. Some sicknesses have persistent fatigue as a major symptom. These include obesity, liver cirrhosis, anemia, heart disease and cancer. Psychological effects that induce fatigue include anxiety, stress, grief and major depression.

Mental and Physical Fatigue

A new study on fatigue shows that there is a direct relationship between what happens in your brain and how the rest of your body performs. If you are given a mentally-exhausting task, prior to a difficult exercise, you will get worn out in a while according to the research. However, there was no effect by mentally induced fatigue on muscle performance or heartbeat. The research concluded that mental fatigue weakens physical performance.

How are Depression and Fatigue Linked?

According to research, depressed people are four or more times likely to experience fatigue, and those with fatigue are three times likely to get depressed. The cyclic interrelation between depression and fatigue makes it difficult to determine which occurred first. A recent study suggests that fatigue and depression act separately as risk factors for each other.

How Blood Pressure Meds Need Not Cause Depression, Fatigue?

According to a recent research, fatigue is an underlying warning sign of an impending risk of heart attack. Some medicines used in the treatment of high blood pressure have fatigue as a side effect. However, the severity of this fatigue is only potent when the patient starts taking the medication. Patients suffering from high blood pressure are at risk of getting their organs damaged. If your organs are damaged, you will quickly become fatigued or depressed. Patients who use medicines in the treatment of high blood pressure lower chances of experiencing depression or fatigue.

Treatments for Fatigue Associated with Depression

Due to a number of similarities in their expression, there is a strong link between depression and fatigue. A number of treatment options for depression can as well reduce* fatigue symptoms.

  • Physical Activity: During an exercise, your body secretes endorphins which improve* your mood and remove* muscular tension resulting from strain. During a walk or a run in a field, your body gets exposed to sunlight and fresh air which are essential in your wellbeing. The overall benefits for the treatment of fatigue lessen the symptoms of depression.
  • Staying Hydrated: If you suffer from depression, your appetite will change too. It can increase* or decrease*. Dehydration as a result of lesser fluids in your meals can lead to severed fatigue. You should consume about 8 glasses of water or other liquids to stay hydrated and avert fatigue.
  • Morning Matters: A healthy breakfast will provide you with the energy to jumpstart your day. Consider multivitamin supplements in your breakfast especially if you are susceptible to fatigue. A stimulant like caffeine from a cup of coffee or tea will increase* your alertness and concentration at work. Don’t overdo it to avoid addiction.
  • Sleeping: Lack of enough sleep or oversleeping in depressed persons can only lead to proliferation of fatigue. You might feel unfocussed around midday or doze in the afternoons. Ensure you are in control of your sleep by scheduling a bed time with approximately 8 hours of good sleep every night.
  • Cognitive Therapy: Negative thoughts are common cases in people with clinical depression. Get control of what is in your mind by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. This way you will build your self-image and get confident about what goes around your mind. Once you are done with negative and recurrent intrusive thoughts, you will have won over fatigue.

Diagnosing

Since there is no direct test that can diagnose fatigue, your physician will have to evaluate your symptoms and this may take a while. Conditions such as mental illnesses, insomnia and other medical sicknesses have to be put in mind. Signs for diagnosis of fatigue must be present for at least six months and include sore throat, memory loss, muscle pains, swelled lymph nodes, severe headache, insomnia or persistent feelings of tiredness after a workout.

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Author

Expert Author : Joan Raynor (Consumer Health Digest)

Joan Raynor is a health researcher and expert writer specializing in mental health issues where she provides hope and support to persons with treatment-resistant depression and other chronic mood disorders.