The real reasons behind the CFS label, and also Lyme infections and co-infections, often create personality changes. Along with fatigue and brain fog and some other things, these personality changes can be among the most challenging symptoms. They certainly have been for me.
In my case they include:
Reduced executive functions. Poor memory. Difficulty making and following through on plans. Difficulty taking care of essentials in life.
Hypersensitivity to sound, chemicals, and my environment in general. Avoiding noisy places.
Having to say no to or cancelling invitations due to fatigue and feeling terrible. (And people sometimes interpreting it differently and getting upset.)
Withdrawing from family and friends due to fatigue and brain fog. (Again, with people sometimes interpreting it differently and perhaps themselves withdrawing.)
Emotional rawness, turmoil and instability. Anxiety. Dread. Irritability. Bursts of anger. All of these are uncharacteristic for me as they have played out after the serious CFS returned and also after I got Lyme.
Vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and hangups amplified and coming to the surface. These surface since there isn’t much energy to cope with them as I did before the CFS.
And the fatigue, brain fog, and what’s listed above, often leads to missing opportunities, losing much of what’s important to me, and finding myself in life situations I couldn’t have imagined finding myself in.