Chronic fatigue syndrome can make it extremely difficult to work whether the patient’s job is in an office, at a warehouse, or outside. It can be challenging to stay awake let alone do quality work that will satisfy an employer because concentrating becomes increasingly laborious. People who find that they have difficulties staying awake for extended periods of time might not be able to complete their daily duties, making it difficult to hold a job. But there’s a potential solution for people with chronic fatigue syndrome when they apply for SSDI benefits to help pay for daily living expenses.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome goes by several different names, including myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and systemic exertional intolerance disease (SEID). People with this syndrome experience extreme fatigue, but there isn’t a known cause.
Some experts believe that some people are born with a predisposition to the syndrome, and other factors trigger the response. There is likely a combination of factors involved. For instance, the symptoms often start after the person has a viral infection, causing some researchers to think that some viruses are more likely to trigger the syndrome.
There’s also some research to suggest that emotional or physical trauma can trigger chronic fatigue syndrome because symptoms often manifest shortly after a specific traumatic event. It’s also possible that a weak immune system is partially responsible for triggering chronic fatigue syndrome, but there is no conclusive evidence to this theory.
Finally, hormonal imbalances might also be to blame for making a person more susceptible. One of the reasons that researchers think that this is a possibility is because some people with the syndrome have abnormal levels of hormones in the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands.
Since experts don’t know what causes chronic fatigue syndrome, there isn’t a test that can tell them when a person has the syndrome. Instead, doctors use a series of tests to rule out other possible causes that have similar symptoms.
Most people who are affected by chronic fatigue syndrome are young adults to middle age adults, but it’s possible for someone of any age to get the syndrome. There’s also a greater number of women who are reporting symptoms to a doctor, but it’s inconclusive as to whether or not that’s due to women being more susceptible or women just reporting more often.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
While the most notable symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is being extremely tired, the fatigue is more nuanced, and there are several other symptoms that are common of people with this syndrome. First of all, the fatigue has to last at least six months in order for it to be classified as chronic fatigue syndrome. Secondly, the symptoms that a person experiences can change from one day to the next. Thirdly, the fatigue doesn’t go away when the person rests.
Another symptom of this syndrome is a sore throat that is either accompanied or not accompanied by swollen glands. Some people will also experience headaches and joint pain that can’t be explained in another way. Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin are common, and some people might also experience other types of illness symptoms. For instance, some people are likely to have flu-like symptoms, such as dizziness. Sleep problems, such as sleepiness and sleep that doesn’t leave a person feeling rested, are common. And some people might even experience heart palpitations.
Anxiety, apprehension, and and general feeling of malaise are other common psychological symptoms that most people with chronic fatigue syndrome experience from time to time or frequently. Finally, many people with chronic fatigue syndrome will have difficulties concentrating, will experience forgetfulness, or will have a general sense of confusion.
Treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Since the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome aren’t known, there also isn’t a clear-cut treatment for it. So instead of trying to cure the syndrome, treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms so that the person has fewer problems going to work and doing everyday things at home.
Since some people get depression from their inability to function well, antidepressants are one form of medication that can be helpful. These types of medications can also help people feel relief from pain and experience better sleep. Medications that treat fibromyalgia will help alleviate some of the pain that chronic fatigue syndrome causes.
Some form of counseling is helpful for some people. For instance, some types of counseling might focus on how a person can learn to cope better with the symptoms of the disorder. Self-care techniques partially consist of care programs that are designed to help the person relieve their symptoms on their own.
Some clinicians might also work with a patient to find ways of coping with stress so that symptoms are less severe. Another form of treatment is to use relaxation techniques to help calm the mind and body.
Additionally, some people find comfort in connecting with other people who are undergoing the same problems as they are. Support groups can be a great source of comfort, and other members in the group can even act as resources to people who have just recently been diagnosed.
Disability Benefits for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome can make it difficult to impossible to function well on a regular basis. People with this condition should look into finding SSDI benefits that can help them pay their bills.
First of all, one of the most important things that someone thinking about applying for benefits should consider is the quality of notes that the doctor takes. People who are thinking about applying should put some time and effort into make sure that their doctor understands the importance of clear and accurate notes.
There are several criteria that a person must meet in order to be considered for receiving benefits for chronic fatigue syndrome. Some of the features of the condition that someone reviewing a person’s case for SSDI will look for include swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, chronic muscle pain, tender points, positive Epstein-barr virus test, abnormal MRI, abnormal sleep studies, and abnormal exercise stress test.
There isn’t a specific number of symptoms that a person must have to qualify for benefits because many of the tests that can be given are actually not good indicators of how a person actually feels. For instance, someone could take an exercise stress test and have abnormal readings but be able to do their job without discomfort.
Instead, a person evaluating an application for SSDI benefits for chronic fatigue syndrome will also take into account the way that their symptoms impact their ability to do their job. For instance, someone with chronic fatigue syndrome will also need to track the way that they feel doing their jobs.
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal a denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Appeal an existing denial of Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations due to Chronic Fatigue, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.