Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Coping with a disability/chronic fatigue

hi sam i am experiencing really bad tiredness and am being investigated for chronic fatigue. i have read that there is no cure but you have to learn how to cope with it. i am finding it really hard to cope with being so tired all the time and am worried that this is going to affect my life and things i want to achieve. do you know how can i cope with this invisible disability?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Although not everything has a cure there are often treatments available that reduce symptoms or help people cope better with them, and there should always be support available to ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunities to achieve as others.

Childline isn’t medically trained but is here to offer support. The NHS website is the best place to seek advice on specific conditions. There are also support groups that raise awareness which you could consult or even be involved with. Sometimes they’re a very helpful place to learn how others cope. Everyone’s different, so different things help different people.

Having any type of disability can have its challenges, but when these aren’t clear to others it can make it hard to get the understanding you sometimes need. All disabilities are valid and are a protected characteristic, which means there are laws in place to protect you from things like discrimination. Schools and workplaces, when told of a condition, must support you and put reasonable adjustments in place for your needs. Some people prefer everyone to be aware and wear a sunflower lanyard which is the national symbol for invisible disabilities.

We advise you to first gather the facts. You likely have questions - maybe some from this letter - which you could keep a note of and take with you to your next appointment. You could then think of ways things could be made easier for you. This could currently be school, for example. Talking to them and having a supporting letter from your doctor can mean things are put in place for you so it’s easier for you to keep up.

Along with this, your doctor could help you to get in touch with support groups or charities that know a lot about chronic fatigue, and you could consult them and try ideas to find out what works for you.

You’re always welcome to talk to a Childline counsellor or other young people on the message boards too.

Hope this helps.

Take care,


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