Fatigue Syndrome


Fatigue Syndrome means you have several different physical and mental disorders that result from long-term stress or other severe stress. With support and treatment you recover, even though you may be stress-sensitive for a longer time, for example. For some, the recovery takes a long time.

Symptoms of fatigue syndrome

The symptoms of fatigue syndrome are almost always both physical and mental. Most often you have also had one or more stress-related problems  for a long time before you get sick.

Which or which disorders are most evident in fatigue syndrome varies from person to person. It is common to have several of the following problems:  

Fatigue and sleep problems

  • You have no energy and experience great fatigue that cannot be rested.
  • You feel exhausted.
  • You have difficulty falling asleep in the evening or wake up many times during the night.

Emotional symptoms of fatigue syndrome

  • You are easily irritated, worried and down.
  • You have anxiety .

Mindful symptoms of fatigue syndrome

  • You forget things and have trouble concentrating.
  • You have trouble planning and executing tasks.

Physical symptoms of fatigue disorder

  • You have physical problems such as palpitations , dizziness and pain.
  • You are very sensitive to sound.
  • You can get various types of stomach and intestinal discomfort.

You can get sick very suddenly

The illness itself often goes slow and the problems develop over time. But sometimes the symptoms come very quickly and clearly. For example, you may suddenly find it difficult to orient yourself or do common things such as unlocking a door, reading a text or following a conversation. You may also suddenly feel confused, have strong anxiety and dizziness.

Common with stress sensitivity and guilt

You are often very sensitive to all kinds of stress. It is also common to feel guilt and shame. You may also feel unsuccessful and depressed if you are unable to cope with your work or everyday life as you usually do.  


People who have fatigue syndrome may also have depression. But not everyone with fatigue syndrome gets depressed.

When and where should I seek care?

Contact a health care provider if you think you have or are currently experiencing fatigue syndrome. You can contact most receptions by logging in .

You can also contact your occupational health care provider if you work. If you are studying, you can contact student health or student health.

It is good to seek help early if you have problems that you believe are due to stress. Then you can often avoid being seriously ill. The sooner you receive support, the faster it can get good again. 

What is Fatigue Syndrome?

Most of the body is able to handle stress if it only gets enough time for recovery.

A consequence of prolonged and severe stress

If the balance between stress and recovery for an extended period of time does not work, the body can begin to damage. Often this is noticed by the body trying to signal in various ways that the stress level is too high. For example, you may feel very tired, have difficulty sleeping, palpitations or stomach and intestinal discomfort. Over time, you become increasingly tired and eventually you can become physically and mentally exhausted.

Different phases of the disease

The disease can be divided into three stages.

  • first Diet
  • The acute phase
  • Recovery phase

In the pre-stage, there is the possibility to prevent the problems from getting worse

The problems you get from the stress before you get fatigue syndrome are a precursor to the disease. By already trying to make changes that reduce stress, you can prevent yourself from getting worse.

Sometimes you may need help from someone else. You can get advice and support at, for example, the health center or within the occupational health service.

In the treatment section, you can read more about the other two phases.

Exhausted or burnt out?

Nowadays, the diagnosis of fatigue syndrome is used to describe the consequences that prolonged and severe stress can bring. In the past, other terms such as fatigue depression or burnout were used to describe the condition.

Different types of stress

It is often the stress of working life that causes fatigue syndrome. But it can also be a consequence of something happening outside of working life. Sometimes there are several things at once that cause you to get fatigue syndrome.

High demands in working life

The pace of working life is often high and many experience strong pressure at work. High workloads for an extended period of time without the possibility of recovery can in the long run cause you to become exhausted. If you have little opportunity to influence how the work is to be organized, the stress is often worse. High demands from employers, the environment or from yourself that are difficult to cope with can also create long-term stress.

Bullying and abusive treatment in the workplace, or being severely ill-treated for other reasons, can be very stressful. It can also create severe stress.    

You may not always experience stress or hard work as something negative at first. But to work very intensively for a long time without rest and recovery can make you exhausted, even if you find the work fun and rewarding.

Stresses in privacy

Even stress in your privacy can cause you to become exhausted. Long-term unemployment, death, financial problems, illness or separation are difficult events that are stressful for most people.

A great responsibility for, for example, any close relatives with the great need for care can also take a lot of power. 


During a visit to a doctor or other practitioner, you will tell us about the problems you have and what you think may have caused them.

You can answer questions

Often you will be asked to fill out various questionnaires. In the form, you will be able to answer questions about, for example, your stress, if you feel depressed or have anxiety. The questions can also be about, for example, how you experience your quality of life.

The answers than use the doctor or therapist to assess and chart how you are feeling.

Body examination and blood test

The doctor also performs a physical examination to rule out that there are other diseases behind the symptoms.

You also usually get a blood test, for example, to exclude other diseases.

How is the diagnosis made?

To be diagnosed with fatigue syndrome, you must have been under severe stress for at least six months. The stress has caused you to have several symptoms that have been going on for at least two weeks. 

Treatment for fatigue syndrome

The treatment of fatigue syndrome is adapted to your problems and how you experience your situation. Based on your symptoms and what the examinations have shown, the doctor or the therapist decides how the treatment should proceed.  

You usually get treatment at a health care center or through occupational health care. If you study, you can also get help from student health. If more specialized help is needed, you can get it at open psychiatric clinics or special stress clinics.

Several parts of the treatment

It is common for treatment and rehabilitation to include several of the following:

  • Information and education about how stress affects the body.
  • Advice and education on lifestyle and methods for reducing daily stress. It can be done individually or in groups.
  • Drug treatment of fatigue syndrome, for example against sleep problems or depression.
  • Psychotherapy for a shorter or longer period.
  • Talk to the curator or occupational therapist.
  • Physical therapy works with the body in different ways.

If you know why you have become exhausted, it is, of course, good if you can change what caused your symptoms. But often several different types of changes and treatments are needed for you to be restored.

The emergency phase – then care is needed

When you have fatigue syndrome, it is important that you get great support and understanding of how you are feeling. You may also need very practical care. Many may need help around the clock. Even very small requirements, like paying a bill or washing dishes, can feel overwhelming. The duration of the phase varies.

Sometimes a sick leave is necessary for a shorter or longer period.

Drug treatment

You may need treatment with medication for the symptoms that accompany fatigue syndrome. For example, you may need medication for insomnia, anxiety or depression. How long you need treatment with drugs depends on the severity of your problems.

Recovery – both mentally and physically

When the acute phase is over, you need to try to get your body back in balance, both physically and mentally.

One way is through physical exercise of various kinds, such as physical therapy, breathing training or relaxation exercises. Heat, massage and various body treatments can also relieve and help.

Call support and therapy

Many can be helped by talking to a psychotherapist or curator. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy, KBT, has been shown to be useful for, among other things, anxiety, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. In therapy, you can get help in understanding the relationship between how you have lived and why you have become ill. Therapy can be given both in groups and individually.

You can also gain insight into why it can be difficult to leave or change a stressful situation. You will often also learn how stress can be handled in a good way.

You may need different types of help

You may need different types of help and support efforts to recover. What suits you best depends, among other things, on why you are stressed and how you are as a person.

Usually, it is not enough to change your way of reacting. Also, the life situation that you are going to return to usually needs to change.

You may need practical help from, for example, a sociotherapist, occupational therapist, curator or human resources manager to create a good work situation or life situation.

To start working again

If you need to start working again or start working out, it is important that the workload is adjusted according to how much you can handle. You may need to change your duties for a shorter period or long term.

Each workplace must also have an established policy on how to take sick leave to rehabilitate and return to working life. If the employer is connected to occupational health care, the staff there is an important resource in the work for a good work environment.

How is life affected by fatigue syndrome?

Most people who get fatigue syndrome eventually get well, but it can take a long time. The amount of time it takes for you to recover varies. This depends, among other things, on how poorly you have measured.

While you are sick you may feel very ill and feel great hopelessness. But the vast majority of people who receive treatment become good again. They come back to work and have a working day that works. 

Living with stress without getting sick again

It is difficult to say what life will be like after you have had fatigue syndrome. The reactions are very individual. Many people feel that they can withstand much less stress than before they became ill. You simply become more stress-sensitive.

The best way to avoid getting sick again is to learn to recognize your own warning signals. Then you can change what is needed in time and prevent the stress from becoming harmful.

Many who have had fatigue syndrome become good at interpreting their own reactions. With the help of new knowledge about yourself and about stress, you can live more in balance and find ways to take care of yourself.

How can I reduce the risk of fatigue syndrome?

It is important to take the signs of stress that you feel serious. The sooner you notice stress-related problems with yourself, the faster you can make changes that can prevent the problems from getting worse.

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the work is not harmful to the employees.

Find your way of recovery

During stressful periods, you need to make sure you take the time to take it easy and create opportunities for rest. It is needed for you to gain new energy and energy and be able to recover.

What makes you unwind is very individual. Try to find your own way to relax and feel peaceful and quiet. Not only does it have to be that you rest and are in peace, but can also mean that you exercise or socialize with family and friends.

Prioritizing recreational interests and hobbies can also provide relaxation.

It is also important to try to sleep properly. Sleep is needed to allow the body and brain to rest and process impressions.

The employer is responsible for your work situation

It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that you who are employed do not suffer any physical or psychological distress from your work. The work environment should be designed in a way that prevents stress and stress-related illnesses in the employees.

It is the manager who is responsible for the work environment and who should signal to the management when the work environment is unsustainable. You yourself have a responsibility to tell your manager if you are feeling ill because of your work situation.

If you do not feel that you are receiving feedback from your manager, you can consult with the safety representative who will be present at each workplace.

Try to create a working day that works

They are good at sometimes reviewing their life situation at large and wondering if there is something that you can change to reduce the stress that can be prolonged.

Try to find a balance between work and leisure. Reflect on what you think is important in life and what needs you have. If you feel that it will be too much, refuse the information. Make time for what makes you feel good and you get recovery.

Also, look at how your home life works. Do you have the opportunity for relaxation and recovery? Is the information distributed in a good way if you are several adults living together?

Here you can get practical advice for reducing stress.

Being close to someone with fatigue syndrome

If you have someone in your area who has or is about to have fatigue syndrome, it is important to realize that it can be a serious condition. It can take a long time for the person to recover as usual and the disease often affects life a lot. Often, the person also becomes more stress-sensitive.

Help with what you can

If you can, you can try to relieve the person by, for example, taking care of children, shopping or doing other matters.

It is also good to try to remember that the person with fatigue syndrome is doing as well as they can. Even small demands, such as going out with the garbage or washing dishes, can feel overwhelming at certain stages of the disease. Therefore, it is good to be responsive and let the sick person determine the pace. At the same time, as a close relative, you can encourage and support.

Don’t forget yourself

Since the person who is ill may need long-term support, it is important that you as a close relative try to find a good balance and take care of yourself. By learning more about stress and the consequences of stress, you can also more easily understand the sick person. 

Influence and participate in your care

As a patient, you have under the Patient Act chance to affect your health.

You can seek care at any healthcare center you want throughout the country.

You should understand the information

In order for you to be able to participate in your care and make decisions, it is important that you understand the information you receive from the healthcare staff. The information should be adapted to you and your situation.

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