“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” (Vince Lombardi)
WHAT IS FATIGUE?
Fatigue is a common health
complaint. It is, however, one of the hardest terms to define, and a symptom
of many different conditions.
While fatigue means lacking
energy or strength and is a very common symptom, the term in English
may be used as a synonym for harassing. In this latter sense, fatigue
the progressive, localized, and permanent psychological damage that occurs
when victims are subjected to cyclic or fluctuating strains at nominal
The physical aspect of fatigue
associated with physical deterioration, muscle loss, and lack of energy
is called lethargy — which has many pathological causes as well.
In an individual case, fatigue
due to stress can be catastrophic to an individual, a severe prolonged
exposure to it can be very debilitating and distressing. Fatigue often
leads to apathy which is often caused by frustration and a sense of powerlessness
that causes people to withdraw from life.
Apathy and neutrality oppresses
the victims, and silence encourages their tormentors. We are all
guilty of complicity in the suffering of others when we are indifferent
to their pain.
In a society this collective
stress can lead to symptoms of deep malaise. In the Egyptian society our
malaise is related to a general disaffection brought about by abject poverty
and inequality. When younger generations, in the prime of their lives,
of reasonable education, health, industry and capacity, find it impossible
to move from their parent homes, to marry and support a family, they feel
overwhelmed. This situation often leads to mental and emotional paralyses.
This is a common reaction to stress where it manifests as "learned helplessness"
and is commonly associated with depression.
ETYMOLOGY OF "FATIGUE"
The first occurrence in the
English language dates from 1669. According to the Oxford
English Dictionary (OED), it is allegedly from the French
"fatigue" weariness, from "fatiguer" to tire, from Latin and
Spanish "fatiga". In the Classical Arabic language from the Gahiliyah
period (before the 7th century A.D.) which pre-dates any western
example, the cognate term for fatigue is "FTKH"which
is unexpectedly the source of this word. (See the attached JPEG below)
TO BE CONTINUED