What Is Fatigue and Why Is It Important?

5 minutes

What Is Fatigue and Why Is It Important?

Fatigue is generally defined as being extremely tired and weak, either mentally, physically, or both. Mental fatigue is characterized as having difficulty concentrating or making decisions, having feelings of unhappiness and pessimism, lack of energy, and trouble with problem-solving or planning. 

Physical fatigue is described as having a problem physically doing the things that you had previously been able to do. But it is more than just being tired and exhausted. It can be recognized as a lack of physical energy and motivation to complete tasks. Fatigue can be experienced by anyone, but it usually affects adults. 


Fatigue is only a symptom, not a disorder. It can arise from many causes that are linked with lifestyle, workplace, medical conditions, and emotional issues. Those four categories may include many different situations.

1. Lifestyle-Related Causes

Sleep problems are about a person’s lifestyle. Too much sleep or a lack of sleep are both causes of being tired and having difficulty in focusing. The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but it is commonly considered to be nearly 8 hours. Sleeping more than 10 hours may especially cause lethargy. In addition, environmental disturbances can affect the quality of sleep. Outside noises, the snoring of another person in the bedroom, or a poor-quality bed can all influence our sleep and may cause fatigue.

Other lifestyle factors may come into play as well. Using alcohol or drugs affects the nervous system in a negative way. This disrupts the function of melatonin, a hormone that is excreted while sleeping. 

Physical activity improves positive thinking, reduces stress, and provides energy. Lack of physical activity or too much physical activity can affect mental wellbeing.. 

An unbalanced diet may cause one to become overweight or underweight. Balanced nutrition provides enough vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies healthy and protect our psychological health.

2. Workplace-related Causes

When our stress level increases due to work, we may encounter psychological problems. Both unemployment and too much work can be sources of stress. 

Secondly, Bullying, and insufficient income, the negative attitudes of colleagues, or dissatisfaction of position may all cause a negative emotional mood and an unhealthy mental state.

3. Emotional Conditions

Fatigue is a symptom of some psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. 

Depression may surface as feelings of loneliness or hopelessness, being tired all the time, and constant feelings of unhappiness. People who experience depression generally have chronic fatigue.

Symptoms of anxiety may include rapid heartbeat, general weakness, negative thinking, lack of energy, nausea, and loss of appetite, all of which affect a person’s emotional and physiological well-being. 

Finally, eating disorders may show themselves as unhappiness about body image, depression, being tired and weak due to a lack of sufficient minerals and vitamins.

There are other situations that may affect our mental health as well, like grief, divorce, and alcohol/drug abuse. They can create feelings of tiredness, weakness, and loneliness, and a lack of motivation. Therefore, the situations may cause depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or one of many other mental disorders.

4. Medical Conditions

There are many diseases that list chronic fatigue as one of the symptoms. Heart and lung conditions, chronic pain, cancer, systemic lupus, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, traumatic brain injury, and diseases due to endocrine and metabolic reasons all have symptoms of being tired and weak. In addition, their medications can have side effects, one of the most important being chronic fatigue.

Process of Diagnose

Chronic fatigue is an indication of many disorders. Therefore, diagnosing why a person has this symptom may take a long time. It is important to find the underlying reason behind the fatigue and whether it is mental or physical. This requires knowing the patient’s medical history, a detailed examination and physical tests by a doctor.

Treatment Process

The treatment process is the same as the diagnosis process. The main thing is finding the underlying reasons for the fatigue. Accordingly, the doctor will decide how a person who is suffering from this symptom will be treated. Medications, vitamins, supplements, and exercise are generally used in treating a disease in which one of the indicators is fatigue.

Why Are The Symptoms of Fatigue Important?

Physical fatigue can be treated by medications, vitamins, or supplements. However, physical health problems may affect your social life due to additional needed resting time, visits to clinics or hospital stays, or additional worry because of health issues. Furthermore, those problems may cause you to have mental fatigue. 

Mental fatigue can affect the quality of our decision-making and information processing in the brain. In addition, it affects the quality of your social, business, and family life. Mental tiredness and weakness reduce your productivity, motivation, and planning skills and increase the focusing time. For example, you may not get ready for an important meeting because of a lack of productivity. You may not spend enough time planning your daughter’s first birthday party because of a lack of concentration. You may not want to go out with your friends because of the negative mood you were left in after your disappointing business meeting.

As you can see, all of the processes are linked together. Therefore, fatigue is a symptom that you should look into right away.

Back to blog