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Chronic fatigue syndrome is physically, emotionally tolling

There are many medical conditions that remain just as much a mystery to researchers as they do to the general public. While medical researchers may be puzzled by the causes or potential cures for an illness, Michigan residents may often just not know enough of specific conditions, a number of which may be serious enough to warrant Social Security disability benefits.

Of the illnesses that continue to baffle doctors, chronic pain disorders are often some of the most difficult to diagnose and treat, but can be some of the most difficult with which a person can try to cope. As we reported last week on this blog, a woman was denied long-term disability coverage for chronic fatigue syndrome, a painful, debilitating and misunderstood medical condition.

In a completely separate instance, another woman reflected on the immense amount of physical and psychological pain her husband endured due to chronic fatigue syndrome, just before he tragically took his own life. A number of years ago, the man appeared to be suffering from an illness similar to the flu, but quickly found out it was a much more severe, long-term condition.

The man's condition deteriorated quickly, as a constant state of physical exhaustion made him experience relentless pain. In fact, this particular man was among the 25 percent of those with chronic fatigue syndrome who have especially severe symptoms. Toward the end of the man's life, he was unable to walk 100 yards without being unable to move any further and was almost entirely bedridden.

Furthermore, the symptoms of this condition are beyond the physical. As this man's case demonstrates, debilitating bodily conditions are often equally psychologically damaging.

The effects of the condition not only made it impossible for the man to maintain his occupation as a business owner, but providing care became his wife's full-time job. Understandably, this family probably encountered financial difficulties, which likely positioned them to apply for disability benefits.

Chronic, debilitating illnesses are life-changing for those who are diagnosed and those they love. A successful application for SSD benefits can ease the transition into life with a mental and physical medical condition.

Source: The Guardian, "Why I let my husband die," Hannah Booth, June 8, 2012

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