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6. Get Support for Yourself

Even though you’re not the one with lupus, you may also need support and encouragement. “You’ll probably experience a whole range of feelings, from fear and anxiety to frustration and anger. These reactions are all completely natural, but it’s important to find support so you have an outlet for them,” says Grusd.

Depending on your role, a support group for caretakers or for the families of those with lupus may be helpful. Some lupus support groups may also allow family members to sit in. “It can be helpful to talk about your feelings in a group situation with others who are going through the same thing,” says Borys. “It helps to know you’re not alone, and that others are experiencing the same feelings as you.”

7. Take a Break From Lupus

“If you’re a caretaker for the person with lupus, it’s critical that you take breaks and have a way to get away from the caretaker role,” says Borys. You may feel guilty if you need time away from the person with lupus, but it’s important to continue to take care of yourself, for both of you.

“You need to find ways to refuel so you can have the energy to be there for your loved one,” says Grusd. Find ways to nurture yourself, whether it’s going to a movie, taking a walk, visiting friends, or just taking a bath.

A Body Divided:

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