Living with lupus can have a profound effect on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. You may have recently been diagnosed with lupus, or you may have been living with it for years. Either way, you are likely to have experienced mental and physical problems such as difficulty concentrating or sleeping. You are also likely to have felt emotions such as grief, fear, anxiety, and depression.
These feelings are common. Understanding where they come from can help you develop techniques for coping with them.
Where the Feelings Come From
The feelings associated with lupus can have multiple causes, including:
Work and activity limitations. Pain, fatigue, and other symptoms can make it difficult to do things you once enjoyed. The disease or its treatment may make it necessary to cut back at work or even leave your job completely. This can affect the pleasure you get from your job, your sense of purpose, and your income.
Social isolation. When you feel bad or use all of your energy just to get through the day, social activities may be among the first things to go. Concerns about changes in your appearance may also cause you to withdraw.
Uncertainty about the future. Having a chronic, unpredictable disease can cause uncertainty and anxiety. You may wonder how the disease will progress, whether you will be able to stay independent, or how you will manage physically and financially.
Difficulty with family relationships. Having a chronic illness like lupus may make it difficult to take care of your home or family the way you would like to or feel you should. Because the disease may come and go and often shows no outward signs, your family may not understand why you can’t do the things you used to do. They may even question whether your disease is all in your head.