Lupus and Depression
Life with lupus can be challenging, and winter plus COVID-stress do not help.
I feel like living on a roller coaster: disease flares and remissions, and the uncertainty of what each day will bring. It’s normal to experience feelings of frustration, anger, or sadness – you are not alone. It’s also normal to grieve for the loss of identity you had before lupus.
However, there is a difference between temporary negative feelings and negative feelings that become overwhelming and long-lasting, which may signal a serious but treatable illness called clinical depression.
Between 15 and 60% of people with a chronic illness will experience clinical depression. It may be a result of how lupus physically affects your body.
Some of the medicines to treat lupus—especially corticosteroids such as prednisone (and at higher doses of 20 mg or more)—play a role in causing clinical depression.
Clinical depression also produces anxiety, aggravating physical symptoms (headache, stomach pain, etc.).
Most common psychological and physical symptoms of clinical depression:
Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness;
Crying (often without reason);
Insomnia or restless sleep, or sleeping too much;
Changes in appetite leading to weight loss or weight gain;
Feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, or irritability;
Feelings of guilt or regret;
Lowered self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness;
Inability to concentrate or difficulty thinking;
Diminished memory and recall;
Lack of interest in things formerly enjoyed;
Lack of energy;
General slowing and clouding of mental functions;
Diminished sexual interest and/or performance;
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
If you experience depression symptoms, you will probably need to:
Take antidepressant medications.
Find ways to reduce pain.
Get more exercise.
Improve your sleep habits.
Build a support system.
Change your self-talk.
Discover the values of volunteerism; Strive to accept the new “you.”
Talk to your doctor to seek medical recommendations, and read more at https://www.lupus.org/resources/lupus-and-depression-know-the-signs-and-how-to-get-help1 Like