What can a lack of acceptance cause?

So far, you may have tried lots of different treatments to help recover from ME/CFS. It is likely that you have spent a great deal of your time, energy, and money for treatments that may not have worked. It is understandable that you would aim to go back to your previous level of functioning. You may be able to improve your quality of life to a certain extent with your efforts; however, where it is not possible to make any further improvements (what is called the ‘reality gap’ in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), acceptance will help you. A lack of acceptance at this point, and continuing putting in more effort, would have more costs than benefits. It may lead to you overdoing things and exhausting yourself, and it may also distract you from the things you love in life, the meaningful activities that contribute to your sense of fulfillment. Another cost of continuing to struggle to get rid of fatigue may be that it would lead to you feeling more helpless if it does not work.

We explained the ‘reality gap’ in the video below.


The experience of ME/CFS symptoms is already unpleasant, and dwelling on these feelings can leave you feeling down and/or anxious, which may make your symptoms worse. Therefore, the response to the initial pain of struggling with ME/CFS (primary suffering) would then cause additional suffering (secondary suffering).