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Fatigue is a state of feeling extremely tired, exhausted, and weak. It differs from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which is its own condition. Fatigue can be experienced physically, mentally, or as a combination of both. When someone is fatigued, they may not be able to function at their best. Working with a therapist helps many individuals discover and treat the cause of their fatigue.


While everybody feels tired from time to time, persistent and constant fatigue can become problematic. Extreme fatigue can be dangerous, because a decreased level of alertness could impair an individual’s ability to drive a car or operate heavy machinery. In some cases, fatigue can be extreme but short lived; this is most often the case when the cause of fatigue is immediate, such as when fatigue is due to a lack of sleep the night before. When fatigue lasts for months with no apparent cause, it becomes chronic fatigue.

Individuals who experience chronic fatigue may have difficulty engaging in strenuous physical tasks or have muscle weakness and less physical strength than they are accustomed to. Chronic fatigue can also make it difficult for people to complete simple daily tasks or concentrate. As a result, they may find it harder to get through the day or that their productivity at work or in school decreases. Preparing meals, maintaining personal hygiene, and healthy social engagement may start to feel like too much work.

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