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Susandeoliveira

Psychological Effect Of Extreme Fatigue.

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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 11 (23 years ago now) and before this I suffered from extreme fatigue. Eg- I remember at one stage not even being able to lift my arm to brush my hair. As celiac disease remained undiagnosed for over a year, and as I was a child, I was often obliged to join activities with the rest of the family. Eg- I remember having to wash my Dad's car, and riding a bike 10 km around a zoo on a 35 deg celcius day- which felt like absoute torture at the time. During my teenage years I must admit I went off my diet at various stages, and again suffered severe fatigue during compulsory activities- studying at school, playing sport and working part time (at McDonald). I have a strong memory of constantly dragging myself around at the age of 14-15.

I don't know if I'm overreacting, but it's just occured to me that these experiences may have caused some long term psychological damage. Eg- even today, I often get scared about getting too tired to complete an activity, and will often chose not to be social, although naturally, I'm quite a social person and enjoy other people's company.

Tomorrow I'm flying down to Melbourne to stay with my cousin and his 2 young children- and I'm feeling the familiar dread that I will get exhausted, even though I'm reasonably healthy at the moment. This fear is out of touch with reality, and I sometimes feel that it is the fear itself that exhausts me.

So my question- can long-term fatigue (related to celiac disease) cause a kind of post-traumatic psychogical damage, and has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks!!

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I've been on this forum for a while and read lots and my answer would be yes.

I also have had some experience with friends/colleagues who have military and dealing with severe disability work related PTS and again I would say yes. Mild in comparison but still the same "response/protection" mechanisms.

Although illness/work related PTS etc may not seem the same as bullets aimed at you type PTSD the effect is the same. Anxiety,stress, blood pressure, avoidance, lowered social skills etc all appear the same. It is, more often, only the degree that differs. But that is all dependent on your actual experience and response. I have seen the worst of PTSD and you really don't want to.

All of the PTSD people I have known socially or through work have some "control" issues- situation control or dependency to control. So I wonder if your fear / response is because you won't have control over your food intake? It happens to all of us under our circumstances. Have you talked to your cousin about your condition? If you haven't then you must. Perhaps there are other family members that need to know the genetic connection. Research thoroughly about gluten-free in the Melbourne area you are visiting. Suggest restaurants to your cous etc.

BTW welcome to the forum. Where in Australia do you live. I'm near Canberra

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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease when I was 11 (23 years ago now) and before this I suffered from extreme fatigue. Eg- I remember at one stage not even being able to lift my arm to brush my hair. As celiac disease remained undiagnosed for over a year, and as I was a child, I was often obliged to join activities with the rest of the family. Eg- I remember having to wash my Dad's car, and riding a bike 10 km around a zoo on a 35 deg celcius day- which felt like absoute torture at the time. During my teenage years I must admit I went off my diet at various stages, and again suffered severe fatigue during compulsory activities- studying at school, playing sport and working part time (at McDonald). I have a strong memory of constantly dragging myself around at the age of 14-15.

I don't know if I'm overreacting, but it's just occured to me that these experiences may have caused some long term psychological damage. Eg- even today, I often get scared about getting too tired to complete an activity, and will often chose not to be social, although naturally, I'm quite a social person and enjoy other people's company.

Tomorrow I'm flying down to Melbourne to stay with my cousin and his 2 young children- and I'm feeling the familiar dread that I will get exhausted, even though I'm reasonably healthy at the moment. This fear is out of touch with reality, and I sometimes feel that it is the fear itself that exhausts me.

So my question- can long-term fatigue (related to celiac disease) cause a kind of post-traumatic psychogical damage, and has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks!!

Hi Susan,

Yes, this strikes a chord with me! I have had a lot of fatigue for years and only recently found out that without gluten the tiredness is gone. I used to get very worried when there was a day out planned with people about how I was going to cope with it and I think that has become very ingrained. In my case it would be too strong to call it post-traumatic psychological damage; more a case of conditioning: knowing that a tiring schedule was likely to produce stress and conflict with other people's plans.

I find Byron Katie's books helpful with this sort of thing. :)

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I agree. I especially see this in my friend Graeme, who is still struggling since he also has other difficulties too. Its always difficult to know in his case if the psychological is outweighing the physical or not. The body/mind connection is so very intertwined in all of us.

Thing is though you are better. Which is wonderful!

But the difficult part is to convince your psyche that you are better. And of course yes make sure where you are going will be safe for you, just like we all have to do here on this forum. I know for me I can get a bit OCD at times -- but then it seems I need to be--concerning staying gluten free or I suffer the consequences. How much of it is real and how much psychological? This remains a gnawing question.

To stay social, I am starting to devise ways to make it easier without having to "pay" for the consequences with yet another migraine and the big D. I am constantly washing my hands for instance and have started to put my hands together in prayer like fashion and bow sometimes when I meet new person. I now am developing the habit of not putting my hands to my face as much as possible. Sheesh! To have to be that conscious, yet there it is. I also take my own water bottle everywhere so I won't be drinking from a glass etc. that someone with gluteny hands has handed to me etc.

There are real social aspects of this disease that do limit us, however we can get creative and find ways around them.

In addition, I may be prejudiced, however I think hypnotherapy and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and the like could really help you with the ptsd aspects of this issue. It has been helping me.

Bea

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I think that anything that makes such an emotional impact can have long-lasting psychological implications.

I'm not a psychologist, but I would assume that those experiences happening as a child would have an even greater chance of causing later concern.

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