Functional and Dissociative Neurological Symptoms : a patient's guide

Hemi

Fatigue

Tiredness is a very common symptom in patients with functional neurological symptoms.

Often despite many more obvious symptoms, people say that it is the tiredness and fatigue that really holds them back day to day.

Tiredness in this situation can also be thought of as another symptom related to a problem with nervous system functioning.

When tiredness like this occurs
• with no other neurological symptoms
• for more than 6 months
• not due to a detectable underlying medical or neurological condition
then it is called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / M.E. (CFS/ME)

CFS/ME has been recognised as a genuine illness by the Chief Medical Officers in England/Wales and Scotland (link)

This website is not designed to discuss chronic fatigue syndrome / M.E. in detail

Fatigue may occur as part of anxiety or depression, although its important to say that you don’t need to be anxious or depressed to have persistent and severe fatigue

However, many of the principles of treating CFS/ME which have been proven to be effective in clinical trials are likely to be effective in patients with functional neurological symptoms

There are some useful resources for patients with this diagnosis. If you want to try to understand more about this or learn practical ways to manage your fatigue then I can recommend the following book available online:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) (The Facts) by Frankie Campling, Michael Sharpe. Oxford University Press

there is more information at NHS Direct

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Chronic-fatigue-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Services for patients with CFS/ME are patchy. However, they may be better than services for people with functional neurological symptoms. You may wish to find out from your doctor whether there is a treatment service locally for CFS/ME as this may be a route to treating your other symptoms.