Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms & ADD

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Sbnc910 3 days, 4 hours ago.

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  • #137436


    Has anybody else struggled with chronic fatigue syndrome type symptoms? I’ve been struggling with them for about 15 years now and was incapacitated to the point where I couldn’t work about 8 years ago. My therapist (I also struggle with anxiety and depression) made the comment a few weeks ago that she wouldn’t be surprised if I had ADD. This sent me researching and it turns out that ADD is not what I thought it was and I actually have a lot of the symptoms. A google search a couple of nights ago turned up the fact that some people with CFS symptoms actually have undiagnosed ADD/ADHD. I’ve set up an appointment to follow up with my doctor, but I’m wondering if anybody here has had CFS symptoms and been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD?

    Any thoughts you might have would be greatly appreciated!

  • #137441


    I suffered chronic fatigue syndrome for many year I as well couldn’t work for so many years,I broke my spine in 2009 which put me in a huge lull for along time,I was tired all the time I didnt have a job for 10 years,I felt lost,I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was four,I’ve been on Stims on and of my whole life for me it was the right stim that would pull me out of the darkeness,im on 50mgs of VyvNse at the moment and have been for a few months npw,its been the icing on the cake (knock on wood) you mentioned you might have ADD if so I’d get checked our which I believe you already have,stims might help with the CFS,they also might help take your mind off of the issue,hope things work out for you,any questions I’m here to listen.

  • #137474

    Penny Williams

    There are so many things that can affect our physical energy, although chronic fatigue always seems the most obvious. Many with ADHD say they feel exhausted all the time. It’s tough working harder to achieve some things.

    Stress (related to ADHD or not) can also make you feel like you have zero energy. And it can deplete your adrenal system which will reduce your physical energy.

    ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  • #137669


    I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (more properly known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, sometimes also called Systemic Exercise Intolerance Disease) before meeting my husband who has Inattentive ADD. There is a constellation of symptoms required for ME/CFS diagnosis you can find at It is basically an immune dysfunction with brain inflammation, although that is still under research. Yes, fatigue is one of the main symptoms, but as Penny pointed out there are many things that make us feel tired. Many with ME are so depleted they become bed-bound for periods of time, as I was before I met my husband.

    For my ADD husband, I’ve observed that when he is motivated and excited about something, he seems to have plenty of energy. But when he overdoes it or when feels “lost”/not focusing, he can easily take a nap at almost any time of the day or night. He falls asleep easily if his brain isn’t stimulated. And he tends to sleep long hours overnight, too. ME/CFS has disordered sleep/insomnia as a primary symptom. So there are definitely some differences.

    • #141756


      Hi penny, this is my experience. Everything I dis in my career involved a great deal of effort in order to mitigate my adhd symptoms. This increased stress eventually led to HPA axis disfunction. I think many undiagnosed adhd people are under a lot of stress trying to dunc ion like everyone else in the workplace etc. thanks

  • #137670


    I will also say that ME/CFS does mess with your brain. Brain fog is another common symptom. So I can see how forgetfulness or inability to focus could affect both people with ME/CFS and ADD. But I think the causes are different.

  • #170853


    I came to the conclusion that I most likely have ADHD, and my mother too. She has always been a bit of a whirlwind, highly emotional and very creative, very obsessed with her work (teacher), messy and disorganized and living life on adrenaline. She got diagnosed with ME and fibromyalgia about 10 years ago and was pretty ill with it at first. She has calmed down a lot in some ways, and has managed to spend more time on herself (before it was all about others). Her ME and FM symptoms are now reduced a lot, but can still over do it and feel ill sometimes.

    I think she should seek ADHD diagnosis, and I have decided I want to as well.

  • #172167



    It makes sense because ADD/ADHD is beyond exhausting. Something to consider right away is your diet. The brain is 60% fat so increasing your fat intake significantly is important. I eat 60% fat (including saturated fat/great cholesterol) 25% protein and 10-15% carbs. Back when I was still battling daily ADHD severe symptoms of chronic anxiety/depression/impulsivity and constant feelings of exhaustion, I always reached for carbs for energy. Now that I have changed my diet I feel even more grounded, my brain & body are happier and my energy level is even-keel instead of a constant roller coaster.

    Something to consider


    • This reply was modified 6 days, 4 hours ago by  mitzimainer.
  • #172481


    I have suffered with ADHD and exhaustion for years and never thought about fat intake having any correlation!! However, after reading your reply post, I recall (years ago) I tried a high fat, low carb diet and felt much better! Never attributed it to the diet…. but makes sense!
    Thank you for the insight!

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