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Treatment Plans for CFS and FM

CFS and FM touch many parts of life: work, relationships, moods, hopes and dreams. Treating them successfully means much more than managing symptoms. A treatment plan has to address all their effects.

The challenge you face is complicated by that fact that besides having comprehensive effects on many parts of your life, CFS and FM interact with them. (See diagram.) 

For example, CFS and FM reduce your activity level (arrow pointing out from CFS/FM to Activity), but your activity level affects your symptoms. If you do more than your body can tolerate, you will experience higher symptoms. But if you adapt to your limits, you can control your symptoms.
There are similar two-way effects between symptoms and other factors as well. Illness increases stress and stress makes symptoms worse, but by controlling stress, you can moderate symptoms. 

Long-term illness often leads to depression and people who are depressed have a lower threshold for pain. Treating depression can affect both mood and symptoms.
In short, how you respond to CFS/FM has a big effect on symptoms and quality of life, often a larger effect than medical treatments.
You'll find our recommendations for medical treatment here, but our focus is on showing you how you can triumph over CFS/FM by adapting to it.
As Dr. Lapp says, medical treatments can help alleviate the symptoms of CFS/FM, but the key to recovery in CFS/FM is acceptance of the illness and adaptation to it by means of lifestyle changes.

Adaptation is an ongoing process that requires discipline and patience.