Fatigue - when is too much too much?!: I'm not sure... - Headway


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Fatigue - when is too much too much?!


I'm not sure who else is like me, but I keep on going and going. Just a little bit more on the walk as the dogs need it, just pop to the shops again with the kids as the boys need it, just one more tidy round l need it... then I flop and struggle to keep my eyes open. But it's intermittent how much I can do and how long I feel 'K'od' for - anyone relate with any advise? Xxx

19 Replies

All I can say is ditto! Although for me it is not a physical fatigue it is linked to the amount of cognitive effort involved in doing things and if too much (which is not a lot at all in comparison to what I used to manage) I easily go into 'overload' and a state of cognitive fatigue that stops me being able to function at all. I get to a point where I can't keep my eyes open and will nap for a short while however, that doesn't refresh me as will still be in a state of cognitive fatigue. Trouble is life usually throws its demands all at once so it is difficult to manage things to avoid reaching that state. For me it is often exacerbated by stressing and worrying about how I'm going to manage things so I don't even have to be physically active to get like it. I also have a 10 yr old who has his own problems and just parenting him is enough to wipe me out when we've got no further than breakfast! Fatigue is very common with bi.

as with StrawberryCream for myself it's cognitive rather than physical though since my balance is damaged walking a lot partially if it's dark on public transport will cause a massive brain drain.

I work am married etc so life can end up causing overload.

Thank you both xx yeah I guess it's all the physical demands but that's kind of what I'm meaning - I guess I can keep going and going physically but my mind doesn't allow, it just stops functioning. My husband struggles to understand it when I say I've no time, I mean mind space - I've plenty of time to do my bits but I spend all the time allowing my mind to recover from all the thought processes of the dogs, the nursery runs (both boys at nursery, yes at different times!) etc etc. It's good to know I'm not the only one - just wish I could manage it a bit better as I don't want to have to give up my business...!

swedishblue in reply to 19KMcG87

I don't know how you can balance the demands of two small boys and the cleaning with rest. It's very difficult. Have you got any support from the family or friends? This link is useful; brainandspine.org.uk/sites/...

Also I've just finished a short course on management fatigue with a Chronic Fatigue Centre based in Fareham. You might have something similar in your area. Go visit your gp and explain, and if there is such a centre (they're supposed to be nation wide), get referred.

It is a vicious cycle trying to manage fatigue and it takes a lot of discipline to stick to a Management Program. I've made some very small progress but I did find Mindful Meditation useful, just to make me switch off. Dog walking, which I do quite a bit of (other friends) helps with my energy, but again, not to overdo it. It's frustrating I know, as walking for me is fabulous - love a good hike in the countryside, but overdone and there's always a price to pay later. Anyhow, I hope you find the link useful once you scroll down to the last couple of pages.

Me again...btw, the info on the link applies to all types of brain injury!

19KMcG87 in reply to swedishblue

Thanks xx

For me doesn't happen often but in July we moved house and I was sorting boxes getting stuff in place. Really not that much but for first time I could feel myself struggle. My balance is first sign I'm getting tired and I could tell I was wobbling more and had to steady myself more.

Yes Keeley that is one of my indicators that I'm heading into cognitive overload and fatigue as like you I still have balance problems and it gets worse! I also struggle more with word finding and others tell me that they know because my speech changes and slows and becomes more disjointed.


I can relate to the fatigue and am still learning to manage it with time, trial and error. I used to call it 'hitting the wall', when i start to feel my energy levels running low, I'd have to stop whatever I was doing. I used to drink a lot of coffee (not that it seem to have a huge impact) and with time I have reduced my intake to one a day.

I found that with time, I'm better at listening to my body and being more selective and mindful with how I allocate my energy. For me, it's like being resourceful with what I've got in my fuel tank.

I ask myself with who, where, what, why and how I allocate my energy and this seems to help.

19kmc yep.............its recommended that if you do an activity in the morning, that it for the afternoon, evening and following morning to avoid fatigue or stay away from marathons,as they used to be called, because they keep you going with peanut power!!! ha ha ha

Good question I find it is based around your cognitive processing. When you think about it we use our brains for everything on a daily basis so it is not always a case of it being down to physical exhaustion but a lot of the time it's mental exhaustion. Maybe taking time out close your eyes and relax both mentally and physically on a couch or bed will help a bit with this tiredness.


Great thing about walking the dogs is that they stop regularly to sniff etc and their is always someone who will come and talk to you and the dog

Yes. This Fatigue is awful! I am Appealing against the decision PIP made, when they cut my award by £100! The STRESS I am feeling has added immensely to my Fatigue!!!

Hope you manage to get to grips with it!


19KMcG87 in reply to Nutkin33

I am utterly clueless with DLA and PIP...I really should investigate what's going to happen... that's a shame to hear though, the government is so stupidly backwards sometimes - benefits galore just refusing to work and cutting back on those who need it :-( we really need more understanding and compassion but how can they ever understand something that is so unpredictable and different in every case?!?! Xx

swedishblue in reply to 19KMcG87

Chronic fatigue/ME is a disability under the NICE guidelines. When I attended six sessions of fatigue management with an OT Neuro specialist (at the cf centre) she gave me a letter outlining these guidelines to give to work. However, I didn't hand it in as I didn't want to lose a job I had recently started. However, the unpredictability of this condition - from boom to bust - is out of my control. I never know from one day to the next just how it'll knock me. I take my condition so seriously as I do want to heal and recover. I'm on ESA too but do part-time permitted work. I just feel ill the whole time! I've just taken some advice from the cf centre to apply for PIP so I'm looking in to it. As it's nigh impossible to get through on the helpline, I will apply online after taking advice from CAB, and reading through this website; benefitsandwork.co.uk/

Perhaps you could contact CAB and see if there's a disability advisor x

Nutkin33 in reply to 19KMcG87

Please look into PIP payments, but make sure you have help when completing the forms! Xx

For me the best thing has been to rest as soon as possible when you're feel like its too much as pushing through it only creates a bigger recovery problem. The more I try to push through it the longer the recovery from it takes. You may also want to get in contact with Headway 0808 800 2244 or headway.org.uk/ They have excellent help and resources.

Hi 19KM, can definately relate to this.... since 2006, have been trying to manage my fatigue, daily. I have noticed that stress, sensory overload- sound and visual, crowds, alpha personalities, busyness and clutter is the perfect recipe for fatigue. These things I avoid. Alas, sometimes it's unavoidable. Nature and silence replenishes me and so does the much needed ' neuro nap' anytime I feel my brain starting to shut down. How do I know.... my thinking becomes very, very slow and I become grumpy.

As you have mentioned, it is intermittent. Some days are better than others. I do know that if I feel a bit under the weather i.e. a cold is coming on, the mental fatigue resurfaces big time.

Over the years, I have learned to say 'no' to unreasonable requests and learned to pace myself. Living well with a bi is a challenge because it is invisible.

Hi Clara,

Thank you for your response - I have managed to get a bath into my day (when it allows!) and this has helped lots! My mind is constantly on over drive and thinking what I need to (could do) next! My husband thankfully understands to the extent that when I say I need a few days away he doesn't object! I gave a 2 and a 4 year old, plus two pups and I run a business.... Truely no peace for the wicked.... this is since 2000, so I'm afraid to confirm it won't go away but you'll learn to constantly adjust accordingly. Take care xx

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