Personality of People with ME/CFS

People who are ill with ME/CFS tend to be workaholics and overachievers. They think their self-worth is determined by how much they do and what they achieve. That mentality means you neglect your needs such as food, water, sleep and time to relax and leads to burn out and chronic fatigue. This is what happened with me.

ME/CFS sufferers are often keen to get back to work as soon as possible and are not keen to take the time needed to rest and heal. All their lives they have worked hard to prove to themselves that they are good enough. They were brainwashed at school that they are only as good as their grades. They often had workaholic parent or parents who criticised them a lot so they worked hard to get their approval by being overachievers. This behaviour continued into adulthood. They are perfectionists who never feel good enough, despite achieving more that most people.

I know that I am a workaholic who finds it hard to relax. I have to make time in my busy schedule for relaxation including meditation, yoga and walking in nature on a daily basis in order to stay healthy.

Ways to relax include:

  • Sleeping
  • Taking a nap
  • Meditation
  • Reading a book
  • Walking outside in nature
  • Sitting and watching the sky
  • Mindfulness
  • Epsom salt bath
  • Massage
  • Listening to relaxation music
  • Patting a pet
  • Aromatherapy
  • Sitting in the sunshine
  • Focusing on the breath

I only started to heal when I accepted I could no longer work and do as much as I used to do. When I let go of validating myself by societies high standards and just be myself. It is enough to just be.

The information in this post is my opinion and stems from my experiences with ME/CFS. I know many other people with ME/CFS who also had this tendency to push themselves too hard before they got ill.

4 thoughts on “Personality of People with ME/CFS

  1. I find writing hard to do so have been up late trying to write this with severe ME CFS this is not easy.
    this website im sure is good for advice such as ways to relax

    .i would say that it is in fact better to be a perfectionist
    For example my brother my younger brother is several times more independent and grown up than I am, he has organising his life around his limitations with ME CFS , for example he goes to bed at the right time, organises his days to achieve more , now has a driving license ,friends he stays in contact with if that’s perfectionism then please I would like some of it.

    As someone who isn’t a perfectionist has never wanted perfection everything is chaotic with bits of paper lieing around and disorganisation and I find it almost impossible to cope with my ME CFS. I don’t think perfectionism is the problem here.

    ME CFS that’s the problem just like my dads cancer it stops him from going to work.
    it’s a struggle to cope with illness and you have to be organised or else you fall apart but to then accuse someone of being too perfectionist through doing well ,being neat tidy well adjusted like my brother that can be a little insulting.

    i don’t wish to offend

    1. Hi Simon, thank you for your comment. I was a bit concerned that this post may offend some people. I think I wrote it more for myself as have been working too hard at the moment and not taking time out to relax.

      I agree that being organised it very helpful in life. However I have noticed a pattern with people I know who got ME/CFS who pushed themselves too hard before they got ill. I agree that you can’t stereotype everyone into one personality type.

      There are pros and cons to being a perfectionist. It is good to be organised but it is not healthy to obsess over every little detail so that you can’t relax and enjoy your life. I can see you would like to have some of those perfectionistic tendencies like your brother. Everyone is different, some people are messy, that doesn’t mean that they are not a good as someone who is tidy. My Dad is messy but it is just the way he is. He moves on from one thing to the next quickly, forgetting to tidying away the mess he just made. His life works well.

      The ME/CFS came from you. You created that illness from your behaviours and lifestyle. It is not something outside of you that has attacked you. A lot of people don’t understand that we create our reality with our thoughts. It is ok if don’t agree with me. This is my opinion and it is true for me. I wish you the best for your health.

  2. Haha! This is definitely true for me! I’m always having to tell the perfectionist in me, to get back in her box! I let her out when I plan my schedule though, to make sure I’m doing a good job of including lots of rests! xx

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