It seems like a shocking headline, but I doubt it surprises anyone who has lived with CFS for any substantial length of time. The name of this blog is not hyperbole.

I follow a number of online forums on Facebook and Reddit, and very regularly, I see posts from people who are really struggling to cope. Treatment resistant depression and anxiety are extremely common symptoms with this illness. It’s a difficult topic to talk about it, but for people with painful chronic illnesses like CFS, it’s often a ever-present thought in our minds. These communities are really great at supporting one another, and if you’re not part of one, I recommend finding a support group on Facebook or otherwise. In-person support groups are even better, but harder to find. Plus the very nature of our illness makes online resources much more accessible than those IRL.

If you’re considering suicide, please seek help. Call 1-800-273-8255 , or visit: Suicide Prevention LifelineConsider making an appointment with a psychiatrist. I’d NEVER suggest that CFS is caused by mental illness, but depression and anxiety are clearly symptoms. Mental health medication can make it much easier to cope with life. I also recommend restorative yoga and meditation. I personally find that playing music with other people greatly improves my quality of life.

I’d also like to offer a bit of hope in the form of current research. There are a number of teams including Open Medicine Foundation, the Stanford CFS Clinic, and Fluge and Mella,who, with others are committed to researching diagnostic and treatment options. While a magic bullet isn’t imminent, it may not be long before there’s an effective treatment. The data comes from the records of 2147 people over 7 years. The data, studied by a group at King’s College London, showed that out of the 17 people who died, 5 were from suicide (8 from cancer, 4 from “other).