Choosing the Right Descriptive Words for ME/CFS

If you’re applying for a job, trying to make a good first impression on someone new or putting together an online dating profile, it can be helpful to have a list of describing words to draw from. However, deciding which adjectives to use and how to use them can be difficult. It is important to think about your audience and what you want your describing words to convey.

It is also crucial to be able to describe yourself in a way that accurately captures your strengths. When choosing the right words, it is a good idea to ask for feedback from people close to you, such as family members, teachers and potential recommendation letter writers. This can help you to get a more objective view of your own strengths and may reveal aspects of yourself that you hadn’t considered.

ME/CFS is a complex chronic illness with symptoms in multiple body systems. The most prominent symptom is post-exertional malaise (PEM). This means that the symptoms worsen after any kind of exertion, including physical exercise, cognitive stress or emotional upset, sensory overload (such as light and sound), or sleep deprivation. The onset of PEM can be triggered by many different factors, and it is thought to be caused by the reactivation of dormant viruses in the body.

Infections such as EBV and HHV can lie dormant in healthy people for years, and they reactivate in stressful conditions and with certain illnesses, such as ME/CFS. In fact, many ME/CFS patients report that an acute infection with a virus like mononucleosis or influenza led to their ME/CFS. However, the reactivation of these dormant HHVs is likely only one part of the picture, and it’s possible that many other viruses contribute to ME/CFS in some way.

People with ME/CFS often have a number of additional diseases (known as comorbidities) such as fibromyalgia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS, increased heart rate on standing), gastroparesis and irritable bowel syndrome, or secondary depression. These comorbidities can complicate diagnosis and treatment, and they can worsen the symptoms of ME/CFS.

ME/CFS affects all races and socioeconomic backgrounds, and is a worldwide epidemic. The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association is dedicated to helping those with ME/CFS and their families. Our goal is to provide education and advocacy, especially for those with severe ME. In addition, we support research to develop safe and effective treatments, and are committed to building a global network of ME/CFS advocates.