A Depressed Lupie

I used to think that depression was all in one’s mind and that it was a condition completely made up. But having experienced it first hand over the past few months, I have found that depression is very REAL. However, one can’t help but think if my depression has any relation to my disease? Prior to being diagnosed, depression was just a word. Post diagnosis, depression is now real life.DEPRESSION

Can lupus cause depression?

I most definitely do, without a doubt in my mind, believe that lupus can cause depression. And according to the rigorous research I have conducted, I have facts to backup my preconceived thoughts. I have not only included the symptoms to look for if one feels like depression is what they are experiencing, but I have included the causes of depression and what can be done about it as well.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  • Crying (often without reason)
  • Lowered self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness
  • Diminished memory and recall
  • Indecisiveness
  • General slowing and clouding of mental functions
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Shared by the Official Lupus Girl @Lupus_Gurl via Twitter
Shared by the Official Lupus Girl     @Lupus_Gurl via Twitter

Common causes:

  • Emotional drain from the stress of coping with the complications of physical illness
  • Economic, social, and workplace concerns
  • Various medica­tions used to treat lupus (especially corticosteroids)
  • When certain organs or organ systems are affected
  • A lupus flare

Clinical depression may be brought on by lupus. The various medications used to treat lupus, and any other factor and force in a person’s life, non-related to lupus, could cause depression as well. For reasons that are not entirely understood, people with chronic disease often experience this type of depression. However, most individuals battling lupus find that, in time, their overall attitude, sense of well-being, and symptoms of clinical depression can greatly improve.

What you can do?

  • Seek Psychotherapy
  1. Learn to understand your feelings, your illness, your relationships, and how to cope more effectively with stress
  • Take Antidepressant Medications
  1. Anti-anxiety medicines are available to reduce worry and fearful feelings
  • Find ways to reduce pain
  1. Chronic pain can be a factor in the development of clinical depression
  2. Find non-medical ways to conquer the pain (yoga, pilates, acupuncture)
  • Get more exercise
  1. Incorporate some sort of physical activity every day
  • Improve your sleep habits
  1. Not getting enough sleep can cause health problems (including symptoms of clinical depression)
  • Build a support system
  1. Stay in touch with family members, former work buddies, or long-time friends
  • Change your self-talk
  1. Replace negative, self-defeating inner language with truthful, productive thoughts POSITIVITY
  • Discover the values of volunteerism
  1. Helping others can have a positive impact on your sense of well-being
  • Strive to accept the new “you”
  1. Focus on what you have and what you can do
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