This is a very important discussion. I think it is a good thing to distinguish between these various labels, Fatigue, Tiredness, Excessive Sleeping, and Depression. I find that I have all of these, in various combinations. Sometimes more than one are acting up at the same time. I can't always completely distinguish one from another.
As for me I clearly have that inexorable, disturbing, uncomfortable thing your neuro calls fatigue. I may be very alert and very motivated to do things, but just the smallest effort sends me back into my chair. Sometimes I can't overpower it at all. sorry my shift key is going. With the fatigue that I first identified with the chronic vertigo and then the additional fatigue that I identified with the first symptoms of MS, I am miserable. All effort just seems to be too much. When I do try to push through it anyway, I get to the point where I just collapse with my head roaring and my arms and legs weak, often crying from the frustration of not being able to accomplish the smallest thing.
On top of the baseline fatigue, I get extra tired after a day out -say with the long drive to see my neuro. that requires extra rest and sleep. that feels like it is in addition to the fatigue that has slowed my life to a halt. This is clearly in response to increased physical activity.
The periods of excessive sleeping (12 to 16 hours a day) come in periods of several weeks. those I cannot help. It does not feel like depression. I don't feel like I am trying to escape, nor feel a lack of motivation. I mean to get up and do things and then wake up 4 or 5 hours later, having not been aware of falling back to sleep. Or I sit down to rest for a moment and lean back, just to wake up a few hours later - still fatigued, but not so tired.
I also have periods of depression which encompass some of the traits of the others, but I can tell that then I also have an aspect of apathy, loss of desire to do the things I enjoy Iike post here, or talk to friends. I also find that I am more angry at small things and more irritable and more likely to think about things that make me cry. The depression gives me an "overlay" of sadness, anger, futility, irritability, and desire to escape. during those periods I also sleep much more, but I can see that I deliberately retreat to try to sleep so that the time will pass.
I would say my overwhelming problem that is almost ever-present is Fatigue.
Thank you for bringing this up. I would like to hear from other people about what they feel they have and how it affects them.
You're right, this is indeed interesting.
I'm not depressed and I don't sleep excessively (most of the time). So that leaves tiredness vs. fatigue. I'm not sure I can really tell the difference. There are days where I wake up after a good night's sleep and lots of plans for the day, but all I can do is sort of groan, knowing I'm down for the count. I do the basic things because there's no one else to do them, but that's about it. On those days I take a 3 or 4 hour nap, and then go to bed at 9 or 9:30, totally wiped out, and nothing whatever accomplished. That night I sleep like the dead. The next day I may be fine and resume all my activities with just the normal amount of tiredness.
Some days I feel relatively energetic, other days I'm tired and sort of limp along, and then there are those wipe-out days. The 'tired' days sometimes are explainable by lack of decent sleep the night before, since that can be a big problem. But most of this stuff just seems to be random. I can't figure it out and I've more or less given up trying.
Fatigue is what kills me--I feel bad most of the time. It's not always pain--it's a yuckiness that's hard to describe. There's no amount of sleep that gets rid of it--in fact, too much sleep increases this bone-rotting ichy feeling. However, getting on with things doesn't help either.
I wonder how the Provigil works--being designed for narcolepsy. For some reason, it helps (doesn't eliminate) the fatigue. Without this drug, I cannot function.
This discussion resonates with me.... it is so good to read your experiences. For me, I have spent all of this year waking most mornings with the thought - "please let this be the day I get motivated and feel good to get things done." Then I end up unable to do much at all. I get through my work day and a few extras but by the time dinner is done I just want to sit. And forget about the weekend when I really want to do nothing. I'm not sleepy tired - as yo uknow from my online activity here at all hours .... I'm just worn out.
It is so good to have a better understanding of this fatigue factor. Thanks everyone for sharing.