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Chronic Fatigue or Persistent Tiredness
Recover your True Self Martyn Carruthers

Online Life Coaching & Counseling for Chronic Fatigue

Do you use drugs as a substitute for change?
Self-medication with alcohol or nicotine, or with anti-depressants
or stimulants are easier than solving relationship issues.
Drugs are cheaper for patients (in the short term) and
much more profitable for health professionals.

What is Fatigue?

Fatigue refers to a sensation of tiredness, weariness, exhaustion, weakness, or low energy. Fatigue is a symptom of many diseases, disorders and conditions. It can result from infection, inflammation, trauma, malignancy, diseases or dehydration.

Are you often fatigued? Is it short-term, such as after a hard day or a sleepless night, or is it chronic and persistent? Fatigue is a symptom of many conditions, and some of them are potentially serious. A medical evaluation is needed to ensure an accurate diagnosis of the fatigue.

We strongly recommend that people with symptoms of persistent fatigue consult their physicians to check for treatable illnesses, such as sleep disorders, depression, alcohol/substance abuse, diabetes, hypothyroidism, mononucleosis (mono), lupus, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis and malignancies. Also, some medications have side effects that mimic symptoms of chronic fatigue.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) refers to long-term persistent or frequent fatigue. The definition of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires that two criteria be fulfilled (Wikipedia, 2010):

  1. A new onset (not lifelong) of unexplained, persistent fatigue unrelated to exertion and not substantially relieved by rest, that causes a significant reduction in previous activity levels.
  2. Four or more of the following symptoms that last six months or longer:

    * Unrefreshing sleep
    * Muscle pain (myalgia)
    * Pain in multiple joints (arthralgia)
    * Impaired memory or concentration
    * Tender lymph nodes (cervical or axillary)
    * Headaches of a new kind or greater severity
    * Post-exertion malaise, with "extreme, prolonged exhaustion and sickness"

How is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) treated?

Currently (2001), the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome remains unknown. Chronic fatigue is medically diagnosed by excluding known illnesses with similar symptoms. This method of diagnosis cannot confirm that a person has CFS and not some other fatigue-causing disorder, such as depression, anxiety or lupus.

At this time (2002) there is no acknowledged cure for CFS, and its symptoms vary. Over time some people become worse, some experience partial improvement and others recover completely. When we noticed that some symptoms of lasting tiredness vanish during our relationship coaching, of course we wondered why.

We find that symptoms that are no longer needed, symptoms that cease to serve a function, may disappear, providing that irreplaceable body tissues have not deteriorated or been damaged. We also suggest that a subjective need for symptoms may be based on distorted memories, beliefs and illusions.

From a systemic perspective, the symptoms associated with chronic or persistent fatigue may make sense if a person is living a life that lacks sense, or if the symptoms provide benefits (e.g. getting attention or maintaining disability payments).

Possible Solutions for Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue

We help people explore the benefits of persistent or chronic fatigue. Does fatigue help you avoid a hated job? Does fatigue hold a family together? Does fatigue seem to balance the high energy of a very active partner? Explore the advantages of fatigue.

I suffered chronic fatigue syndrome for twelve years and was told that it was incurable. I heard about Martyn's work from a good friend, and flew to meet Martyn for private coaching.

Within a month or so, many of my CFS symptoms seemed to evaporate, and I planned to return to my career as an international trainer. But after three months I was on the edge of divorce. My regained high energy was not so wonderful for my older, retired husband. After a crisis, my husband and I found ways in which I could be energetic and he could be retired and we could stay married. Italy

We help people discover if relationship problems or identity loss require chronic fatigue. Do any family members suffer from chronic fatigue? Is there survival guilt following the death of a family member or close friend? Does chronic fatigue enable an important relationship (like a marriage) to continue?

Chronic Fatigue & Identity Loss

We coach people to explore what they truly want and create plans to fulfill those goals. We help people explore which relationships need attention, using a strategy that reflects how many healthy people deal with life challenges.

Many people have lost access to parts of themselves ... fragments of self that may have been dissociated during some crisis or relationship disappointment ... but never re-associated. They often  emerge as inner conflict (e.g. part of me wants that but part of me doesn't).

Simple identity loss can lead to unexpected or illogical behaviors, while complex identity loss can have existential effects. For us, Identification refers to the long-term expression of another personality (think of medieval ideas of spirit possession), Lost Identity refers to chronic dissociated behavior (think of classic ideas of nervous breakdown), and Identity Conflict refers to long-term bipolar mood swings (think of classic ideas of split personality).

  • Identification - I am identified with somebody or something
  • Identity Conflict - My personality changes between two "sides"
  • Lost Identity - I have little sense of self, and few or no emotions
  • Relationship Bonds - I must stay in this relationship at all costs

We have solutions for these issues.

Chronic Fatigue & Relationship Bonds

Relationship bonds (sometimes called limiting identity beliefs or even personality disorders) refer to stable limiting beliefs or fixed ideas. Unpleasant relationship bonds appear to compensate for injustice or abuse.

Such bonds seem to allow children to survive relationship trauma. Children who perceive that a family member is stupid or dangerous, may create or accept limiting beliefs about themselves that allows those important relationships to continue.

Do you cling to limiting beliefs? Willpower, cognitive understanding and logical arguments are unlikely to change bonded emotions and beliefs, although they may help you change some behaviors for a short time.

Please consult a physician about any medical conditions.

Online Life Coaching, Systemic Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2001-2018
All rights reserved

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
please mention or

For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

Soulwork systemic coaching in Croatia & Serbia

Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email