Does Stress Cause Chronic Fatigue?

Does extreme or prolonged stress cause Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME?

Some common causes of Stress

Recently I asked a group of nine people two questions. “What causes your stress” and “How does stress affect you personally”

The results were both interesting and funny!

There were 68 different answers, here are a few…

  • Arguments, disputes
  • ›Arrogance
  • ›Bills – financial difficulties
  • ›Boss, workload, colleagues, enjoyment of job, work- environment
  • ›Car problems
  • ›Childhood trauma, pain and memories caused by abusive, angry situations
  • ›Corporate bull-s**t
  • ›Depression
  • ›Disrespect
  • ›Facebook
  • ›Family arguments
  • ›Feeling inadequate
  • ›Feeling out of control
  • ›Filing for a divorce
  • ›Getting married
  • ›Gossip
  • ›Growing-up
  • ›Health issues (negative)
  • ›Heartache
  • ›Holding on to past trauma
  • ›Liars
  • ›Making decisions
  • ›Men (!)
  • ›Women (!)
  • ›Money
  • ›Mother, Father, Son, Daughter, Partner, Spouse
  • Relationships

Stress and muscular pain

In your body, stress initially presents as a physical contraction (tension) which shortens the muscle. In the short term, we feel a little tired, although nothing that a soak in the bath and good night’s sleep won’t cure. However, the longer that stress continues, the deeper, more expansive the effect of the physical tension on your body.

The physical impact of stress will swiftly escalate if stress develops from acute healthy pace, high intensity, short lived, positively competitive to chronic; long term, exhausting, uncomfortable situations.

Physical and emotional tension go hand in hand… you may be suffering with frequent or reoccurring headaches, stiff shoulders, neck and lower back pain.

What stress does to the rest of your body…


Organs of the body
Natural ‘Default’ Setting
What happens when under short term ‘acute’ Stress
What happens when under long term Stress
Improved memory & concentration  faster reflexes
Headaches, migraines, tremor, confusion, anxiety & depression.
Mood & Emotions 
Happy & content
Focussed and serious
Fearful,  no sense of humour, strained & tense.
Normal pulse & BP
Faster pulse, higher BP
High BP & chest pain
Quiet breathing
More oxygen transported to bloodstream
Asthma, over-breathing, feeling of suffocation & breathlessness
Clear, normal
Blanched, cool, sweaty
Dryness, rashes, psoriasis, eczema
Normal function
Faster, more powerful contractions
Muscle tension and strain
Normal activity
Reduced blood supply, slow digestion
Indigestion, heartburn, ulcers, bloating, wind, diarrhoea, IBS.
Functions without conscious thought
Frequent urination
Frequent urination & conscious discomfort
Sexual Organs
Impotence in men, disturbed periods in women
Impotence, period disturbances, loss of libido, anorgasmia




































How it works…From Stress to Fatigue.

We all know how stress makes us feel, but how do you know when long term/ extreme stress is having an effect on your physical health and well-being?

In 1936, psychologist and ‘Grandfather of stress’ Hans Seyle described the body’s response to stress stating that there are three stages:

1. The alarm reaction – preparation for fight or flight.

2. The resistance stage – the body strives to create balance within vital functions. Symptoms include anxiety, depression, eczema, colds/flu, high blood pressure, etc.

3. Exhaustion – CFS ME BURNOUT

Seyle also suggests that long-term stress (long-term elevation of the stress ‘cortical’ hormones) impacts on the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections and putting a strain on the internal organs.


Want to deal with your stress? CLICK HERE to begin your healing journey with Dawn. This session can be in person, by telephone or via Zoom.

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