For many years, people who claimed to be fatigued constantly were simply grouped into patients with “chronic fatigue.” Some believed that it was an emotional or psychological problem. Fortunately, over time, the truth about chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, has been revealed.
There is no known cure for ME/CFS, though the symptoms can sometimes be managed. People with this condition may suffer from extreme fatigue for days on end after almost any kind of physical or mental activity. Getting a diagnosis takes time, requiring multiple tests to rule out other conditions and identify the markers of this condition.
This serious, long-term illness affects many of the systems of the body. Sometimes, those with ME/CFS will have few or no symptoms. Other times, they may be confined to bed.
One problem with this condition is that researchers have not discovered the cause. That means that there is no specific test to identify the condition and no specific treatment protocol. Possible causes may include immune system changes, stress, changes in the way the body produces energy and genetic components.
Can you get Social Security Disability benefits if you suffer from ME/CFS?
You can seek disability benefits. If you have ME/CFS, you will want to gather as much information about your medical condition as possible. You should keep good notes and use an assessment tool to track your health over time. You may need medical letters and tests to show that you have severe symptoms of the disease and to show that it is expected to last long enough for benefits to be awarded. There is no simple way to diagnose the condition, but a diagnosis may be needed for the purpose of your application for benefits.