I disagree strongly with professionals who say, “There is nothing really wrong with people who complain of being tires. They develop symptoms because life isn’t going to suit them or from other psychological causes.
” In my opinion, such critics are not listening to their patients or reading the medical literature. If they did they would realize that viral infections, food allergies and chemical sensitivities are common causes of people feeling persistently tired.
And if they would open their minds and their hearts they would realize that repeated antibiotics, high sugar diets and steroids result in the overgrowth of Candida Albicans and the role it plays in making people tired and feel “sick all over.”
Psychological factors are important in people with every health problems, whether it is heart disease, arthritis or the chronic fatigue syndrome. Such factors have been documented to weaken the immune system. For example, studies I have read in medical journals show that T-lymphocytes were significantly reduced following the death of a spouse or a child.
On a more favorable note, immune system can be strengthened and recovery from many illnesses accelerated by laughter and other psychological nutrients.
When i visited one friend of mine in his office at UCLA, he told me of his work with groups of patients with arthritis, cancer and other chronic, disabling and painful illnesses. He said ” I always tell them jokes. After the third joke I have seen them laughing so hard they have to hold their sides.” Then when my session is completed, I ask, “How many of you are still hurting as much as you were when you walked into this room?” No hands were raised.
What does that mean? Psychological stress can play a part in making you more susceptible to illnesses of many types and psychological support can help you get well. In talking with my patients about such support, I like to use the term “psychological vitamins.” Here are some of them:
– You need caring, empathic people to encourage you, work with you and help you. Included, of course , would be your spouse or companion who lives with you, or a relative or best friend. It could be also include a professional who understands your illness and works to help you. Support groups consisting of people who are experiencing similar problems can also help.
– You need to be noticed, praised and encouraged. You need smiles, touching, holding, patting and petting. Physical contact stimulates the release of endorphins, a chemical which lessens anxiety and pain.
To summarize. Although psychological factors are rarely the cause of chronic fatigue, they can play a part in weakening your immune system and contributing to your health problems. Conversely, love, laughter, praise, touching and other psychological nutrients can help you regain your health and get your life back on track.