Researchers looked at two groups of teenagers 6 months after they'd come down with mononucleosis (the "kissing disease," caused by the Epstein-Barr virus.)† The kids with ME/CFS were just as active as those who'd fully recovered, in spite of the severe symptoms and fatigue caused by their activity level.
It's not surprising that the sick teens were pushing themselves to stay in step with their peers, but it's frightening.† People who get caught in that "push-crash-push" cycle generally have a lower quality of life than people who learn to pace themselves, and while this isn't proven, I suspect they're less likely to make real improvements in their health and well being.
Pacing isn't the easiest thing in the world, but it's an important key to managing ME/CFS.† A lot of people avoid it because of the pressure they feel to be productive, but the irony is that proper pacing techniques can make us consistently more productive.
Our society expects teenagers to do everything -- get good grades, be involved in sports and other school activities, have a social life, and possibly work a part-time job.† It's hard to get kids to adapt their lives to anything unwelcome.† Mental health counseling such as cognitive behavioral therapy could help teens make the necessary changes.
There's some good news about juvenile ME/CFS, though -- in another study in the same journal, about half of the kids they followed had recovered within 2 years.
Do you/did you have juvenile ME/CFS?† Was it triggered by mono?† Do you/did you try to keep pace with your friends and classmates?† What is/was it like?† Leave your comments below!
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