Do you feel that the fizz has just vanished from you? There is no ‘get up and go’ anymore? Does a persistent feeling of exhaustion and/or sleepiness haunt you? Do you wake up feeling as if you have not slept at all? You are probably suffering from the TATT syndrome-Tired All The Time.
What is the TATT Syndrome?
When do you know you are suffering from TATT?
- TATT is not about the feeling of tiredness. It is about a host of other symptoms. Ask yourself if you have been:
- Experiencing a lack of energy.
- Feeling sleepy throughout the day.
- Experiencing a loss of motivation.
- Suffering from poor concentration.
- Having difficulty making decisions.
- Experiencing difficulty in carrying out daily tasks.
- Feeling depressed without any reason.
When Anjali Mathew, a call centre executive was diagnosed with TATT (Tired All the Time) syndrome by her physician, she was skeptical. “Is it not natural to suffer exhaustion, given the career stress coupled with pressures at home?” she asked. The reply she received from her physician was a simple one. “Yes, with the busy lives people lead these days, it is natural to sometimes experience tiredness. This should disappear after a good night sleep and some rest. But for some this tiredness becomes a chronic problem that severely affects the quality of life and then it is a cause of worry. This is what TATT denotes.”
Dr. Amithava Chaudhury, a general physician says, “Everyone goes through periods of feeling worn out, lacking in energy and generally run down at some point in life. The feeling may be caused by overwork or general stress. If it becomes a chronic condition, and the victim wakes up every morning feeling drained out and tired, unable to concentrate or to take an interest in events, it is sometimes diagnosed as TATT syndrome. More patients consult a doctor complaining of these symptoms than for anything else, and the contributory factors can be varied, from an underlying physical illness to depression.
Some years back doctors came up with the syndrome called the Constant Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) to explain a long term set of symptoms that mainly involves being overwhelmingly fatigued. The tiredness is so bad that you don’t feel like getting out of bed. This may continue for years. The milder version of CFS is called TATT.
The pressure of contemporary life is putting more strain on families, especially on couples that work. With the decline of the extended family support system and the reduced availability and affordability of domestic help, youngsters are struggling hard to keep their heads above the grimy water of daily chores. Recent researches have found that one out of every ten people suffers from TATT and the percentage of women affected by this syndrome are more than men because they have to do multi tasking which leaves them feeling tired all the time.
Hectic schedules and high stress levels are robbing professionals of their daily sleep quota. In call centres in the city, the whole biological clock goes for a toss. “Pressure to meet deadlines, increase in workload and the determination to stay ahead in the race, are all driving us to work for longer hours without getting much rest. There is hardly any time that I actually get to sleep. Coming back home in the morning after long hours of work, I have to get my daughter ready for school and then finish off with the cooking. By the time I finish my work at home, it is time for me to leave for office,” says Shradha Kamdar, a call centre executive.
The rat race is sapping people. “I think much more is expected from some people than used to be,” says Dr. Chaturvedi. “There is an epidemic of people who are financially on a treadmill. I see people who have not had a holiday in three years. I see people who do not want to take time off even when they are having high temperature. They are afraid of losing their jobs,” he further adds.
Lifestyle causes like unusual or disturbed sleep patterns can add to the woes of a person suffering from TATT. Insufficient sleep is one of the major causes of exhaustion. In fact, some doctors have deduced that the prime reason most of us are exhausted is that we are simply not sleeping enough. “I spend most of the days in the month sailing. You cannot sleep much when you are sailing. This leaves me exhausted and I feel like a zombie when I come back after a long sailing,” says Kim Mathew, naval officer. While some people can get by on just a few hours of sleep, it is best to catch at least eight hours of sleep a night. Sleep quality takes precedence over quantity. You may lie in bed for eight hours, but if you fail to grab the required amount of relaxing slumber you haven’t slept well.
Physical causes like obesity could add to a person’s exhaustion. Many kinds of illnesses can leave you feeling very tired, especially anemia, an under-active thyroid and heart failure. Sleep problems such as insomnia and sleep apnea (abnormal breathing while asleep) can stop a person from getting a good night sleep. Emotional causes like anxiety and stress add to exhaustion. Feeling you have no control over a situation may lead to frustration, irritability and tiredness. “There is too much stress at my work place. There is so much work that I hardly get time to eat. There is actually no timing for me. This leaves me exhausted throughout the day,” says Arundhuti Basu, a computer professional from the city.
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