Though Whitney Dafoe can no longer speak and cannot write long messages, he wrote a description last December and January of what a "crash" from over-exertion from chronic fatigue syndrome is like. Here is an excerpt.
"I get a rush of some kind, not sure what chemical it is. The best way I can describe it is the feeling of 'embarrassed/ashamed surprise/panic.' Like if you stood up to a presentation in class (at school) and realized you had no pants on. That rush in your chest followed quickly by a flushed feeling in face and head.
"It's not the feeling of simple surprise, like if someone jumped out at you. It's not like that. It's the 'Oh, no' panic/surprise feeling of an embarrassed surprise. And I don't think it's because I'm feeling that way at all. It seems to be a similar chemical release.
"It is then followed by heat. The heat comes right after the chest rush and starts in my head, in the back of my head, and depending on how bad the crash is, moves down through (my) body from head toward feet.
"A mild crash only gets heat in head. Full crash my whole body gets really hot. The heat lasts longer the worse the crash. Really hot for 20 seconds, then warm for up to an hour, I think.
"Sometimes I've had a little more energy after a crash. Not really wired, just feel the crash pathway is blocked momentarily.
"A crash is also followed by some mental state that makes it hard to cope with the idea of crashing and getting worse. It kind of feels like I go into a desperation mode and am impatient. And the knowledge that I'm going to get worse now because of (the) crash is already upsetting but even more bad to deal with in this state. I often feel extremely desperate.
"Also, every time I crash, I get more sensitive to crashing once I come down from the momentary energy/reprieve after crash.
"I mentioned feeling desperate, but that may just be a reaction to the fact I know I was now going to get worse, and today would be another day in which I didn't get any better despite my profound effort to avoid crashing and sacrifice all day.
"Because I couldn't communicate what made me crash to my caretakers, they constantly made me crash so no matter how perfect I was avoiding crashes on my own.
"So after a crash, after the initial heat flush, I experienced something I call getting 'white washed.'
"My whole train of thought and emotional state got wiped 'clean,' no matter what I was thinking and feeling before the crash. Afterwards I couldn't feel anything or think at all. It left me (in) this 'empty' haze that was awful -- unable to think or feel anything. Totally numb mentally. Lasted hours sometimes, slowly faded as thought and feeling slowly return. Really awful."