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I'm sure we all know what fatigue is and have experienced it to an extent. But chronic fatigue is on a whole other level. Chronic fatigue, for me, is part of my POTS and of course my chronic fatigue syndrome. It also is part of depression which many people don't realize. Fatigue, especially when chronic, is more than just feeling tired. It's being utterly exhausted physically and mentally (sometimes spiritually as well). It can leave your body and mind so weak that you can't function. People sometimes question how I may not be able to work, even if I'm working from home, due to fatigue and flare ups... because my body and mind simply cannot function. Again, it can be embarrassing to explain because people often mistake fatigue for laziness or just general tiredness. Jobs need you to work, not sleep. Some people say to push through it. But there are times when it is bad enough that I simply can't. My body just will not let me even if I try. My fatigue also worsens considerably when I'm having a flare up of other symptoms, my depression is worse, or my body is fighting off other illness. When you have chronic fatigue, even if you sleep for hours, you often wake without feeling any better than you did before you slept. For me, I've learned that there are times when I will lay down to rest and simply cannot wake up until my body allows me to do so; it doesn't matter how many alarms I set or if someone tries to wake me. Along with being potentially embarrassing, it also leads to missing out on a lot because I'm too tired to do things. I might plan to go for a hike or out with friends, but when it's time to do those things, all I want to do is sleep or all I am actually able to do is sleep. People do not realize that chronic fatigue can be incredibly debilitating and may lead those who experience it to feel isolated.

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