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Five Major Causes of Fatigue?

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Hello my good friends:

Time for an informal survey. Too stupid to do a real one on the other section:(.I think we all suffer from fatigue and would be interested to know what some of our major triggers are. Hope this is not repeating other threads but I'm curious how similar and also how different our triggers for fatigue are. I am going to list my 5 major causes for fatigue, there are of course many but these are the biggest.

Work- Ok, obvious one here, but using my brain8 hours a day and getting to and fro just wears me out. An obvious issue, but I wonder if I didn't work how much better would I be. Maybe I'd be better, maybe I wouldn't. I will find out in 15 years when I can retire.

Heat- Another obvious one but heat just sucks the life out of me. We had 30 days of 90 degrees or more this summer and I had to stay inside. I wonder if I could handle a vacation in a warm climate. But my office is hot all the time! So inside is an issue too. Inside too hot and I get a headache and fatigue sets in. I could drink an ocean of water and it doesn't help.

Grocery store- A common theme here. Why does it kill us? I go once every two weeks and it is just so tiring. Usually ok when I'm there but by the time I get home and lift the heavy groceries out of car and put them away I'm just exhausted and have to sit down. Wife helps but there are certain things that I like to get myself.

Nightmares- I dont have any problems with sleep. I come home and collapse. But once every 2 weeks I have terrible nightmares. And they just suck any energy I had. I wake up exhausted. There have been a few days that I have had to call in sick because of nightmare because I felt like a 1 or 2 and just could not function.

Unexpected life events- I know we can all relate to this. Anything out of the ordinary that screws up our day seems tough to recover from. Floods, theft, car,, dr appts, house issues. It seems we have no margin for error. My wife got sick In November and I still havent recovered. Was 75% then and 50-60% now. Nobody seems to believe me.

Would be interested to see the similarities or differences in our triggers. All I know is there is a small margin for error each day and spoons can used in fell swoop. Thoughts?


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Hiya David,

good question!

For me, getting angry/upset takes all my spoons away faster than you can say subarachnoid haemorrhage!

Insomnia, which is perhaps an obvious one, but just the thought of getting into bed makes me lose energy because I know what a battle I'm about to have on my hands. Of course, thinking this way makes the insomnia worse!

Noise. This can suck away all my spoons in an instant. It doesn't even have to be of a high volume, just a particular pitch.

As I have learned in the last 3 weeks - work! I knew it would be tiring, but I am shocked at how it really gets in the way of everything.

Cinema. I have to take ear plugs with me depending on the type of move, but I think the whole movement/colour/noise thing is too much. Thankfully, my partner has a cinema screen and projector in the flat so these days we tend to wait until the bluray comes out to rent and watch it at home. At least that way there is nobody talking all the way through the movie or eating really loudly and you can go to the loo without missing anything. It's a much better experience and far cheaper too!

And, for all the same reasons as cinema - supermarkets! I do the food shopping every week because I refuse to let it beat me. In fact I've done it today but thankfully Andy finished work at the same time as me so we did it together. I just can't think of things to put in the trolley. Once the shopping list is fulfilled, that's my lot! At least when we are both there, it's not my sole responsibility to make sure there's enough food to last the week.

Dawn x

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I cried last week right after the grocery store check-out! Right there, before I even got to my car. I cry when I get fatigued exactly like a baby would.

Heavy thinking like hard mind puzzles cause my legs to just go wet noodle. Weird.

Other life changing event also really affect me.

AMs and right before bed, I am dizzy and my legs feel so weird.

Insomnia can make the fatigue so much slower to abate in the AMs

Other people's terrible emotional states! I FEEL their emotion even if they're trying NOT to express it. The other week a woman was grieving for her lost mother and it hit me like a ton of bricks...it was exactly like my mother died...not just the bad thought of my mother dying or the intellectual, 'I'm sorry for your loss' thing, but the actual feeling that my mother died. She is still alive, thank goodness.

My answer is to not work. To not put myself in stressful situations. To take it easy if I've had one of these stressors.

To do yoga for exercise because it isn't demanding or stressful. To meditate nightly.


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Making decisions. I guess the elevated stress causes me to become fatigued.

Work. This can go along with the above, but also the physical aspect wears me down more than it used to.

Heat. I have never felt so tired at work as I have this past two weeks. I am loving the job but the 90 degree weather is wiping me out.

Noise. Funny I can listen to music sometimes and other times I want to pull my hair out. Restaurant noise also wears me down.

Unexpected events, Yes they too do me in LOL.

I actually enjoy the grocery store, but this is funny, I enjoy shopping alone. If I go with my wife or son I get worn out fast.

Interrupted sleep patterns. Some days I go to bed around 7 and can sleep till the alarm wakes me. And still be tired. Other times I will wake up at silly o'clock and be exhausted all day. I havent had nightmares in recent years, but I have certainly had very very strange dreams. I don't recall them often, but I did dream last week that I was chinese!!!! No idea what that is about. Although I did eat chinese food last week too LOL. Maybe I need to eat brain food.

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Work; thinking hard, problem solving, the flying by the seat of your pants when plans change, the noise there, phones ringing, people all talking over the dogs barking, not being able to hold a thought ( sounds like heaven huh?).

Heat, sunshine in my face or eyes, I cannot stand being hot or even warm. I do not ever think I spent so little time outside as I did this summer. I too, do not know if I can ever tolerate a vacation in the tropics.

Grocery store or shopping, or anywhere where there is commotion. More the grocery store, thinking , planning, looking at all the choices etc. The disruption in my thoughts with people and doing major thinking- kids screaming and running in store just ices it for me. Sadly I use to like the weekly shopping chore.

Exercise- because it makes me warm and it makes my head hurt when I put my head down.

Sorry number 6 will be driving. I can do a 2 1/2 hours stretch and that is it - that is a good day. Last time I drove that far I had to sleep in the back seat for hours to recoup.

It use to be reading, writing, doing the check book, concentrating but I do that at home in quite and I can walk away from it. My eyes do not stay on the lines.

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I can honestly say that when I was working - that was it, just work. It left nothing to do anything else in life. I can deal better with fatigue now that I am not working but the triggers haven't changed & the effect is just as bad.

ANY kind of noise - passing traffic, dogs barking, people talking too loud and car left with the engine running outside my house cause a headache & then the fatigue kicks in. Supermarkets & bars/restaurants are incredibly tiring because I struggle to filter out back ground noise.

Any thing that requires my concentration, even having a conversation, trying to fill in forms or driving leave me sleeping for a couple of hours afterwards. Being in a busy place, like a shopping centre will wipe me out for a day or two.

Doing anything physical like carrying shopping, or a small amount of work in my garden leave my head banging, my body shaking and the need to sleep for a couple of hours.

Stress when something changes in my plans for the day or there is a problem with my child etc will floor me.

Think I remembered all my triggers to fatigue???

Michelle x

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a really useful discussion - very interesting, and so many common themes. For my it is:

- Supermarket shopping / department store shopping - that enclosed feeling, the multitude of things going on, the choices that have to be made, and physically doing it for about an hour (cos I take so long to make decisions)

- Driving - I have done 1.5 hours behind the wheel, but that it the most I've done. It is worse on motorways as I have to concentrate more, but back roads are bad too.

- Social occasions - too many people / too many conversations are sooooooo tiring. I love to catch up with friends, but find that I'm better doing it with couples or individuals rather than in the large group that I used to. I find this really wierd, but at least I know how to manage it most of the time.

- Having to do something - I went on holiday for a week and had weeks to prepare for it. The whole process of thinking of what to take, checking that everything is done, and doing it to a timetable is really hard for me. I guess it is just the idea of having to do something that is not what I want to do at any given time is the tiring things.

- Dealing with my emotions. I've always found emotional outbursts tiring, but they are a little too frequent these days (!) and do take some extra time to get over them. My poor husband..... :)

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