While most people think of lupus as a painful physical condition, the disease can also have a strong impact on mental health. If you have lupus, whether you’ve received a recent diagnosis or have been living with lupus for years, it can take a toll on your mental wellbeing. It’s important that you acknowledge and understand your feelings to heal emotionally and to seek help when necessary.
The Mental Effects of Lupus
Lupus can be a major stressor in your daily life, turning what were once easy activities into a challenge. It’s common that people living with lupus struggle with concerns such as:
- Shaken Confidence: Lupus is a condition that often shows itself in highly visible ways, including skin rashes and weight gain from treatment options. This can negatively affect your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.
- Mental Exhaustion: The pain and fatigue that lupus patients face throughout the day not only causes physical discomfort but can also be emotionally draining.
- Boredom: Due to the effects of lupus or its treatment, you may find that you are unable to enjoy the activities that you once loved. For some, this can even include aspects of their job. Having to cut back on work or hobbies can take away from your sense of purpose.
- Social Isolation: Being restricted from certain activities can also mean that you have fewer chances to interact with friends and family. Additionally, many people with lupus don’t have the energy to put into going out on a regular basis.
Emotional problems can also manifest themselves as physical symptoms, such as difficulty eating or sleeping. If left unchecked, these issues can spiral out of control and make coping with the effects of lupus on a day to day basis even more difficult.
Commonly Associated Mental Afflictions
All of the psychological stress from coping with lupus and its associated symptoms can lead to pervasive mental health problems. Common issues include:
- Mood swings
- Personality Changes
- Cognitive Dysfunction
These conditions can stem either from lupus itself or treatments for the disease. No matter the cause, however, it’s important that mental health issues are addressed as early as possible in lupus patients and that you find ways to balance mind and body. Getting out into nature can be a good way to help you focus on the positives and allowing you to appreciate the world around you rather than getting caught up in your diagnosis.
If you find yourself suffering from anxiety, depression, or something similar, one of the best things that you can do for your wellbeing is to seek support. You can either turn to friends and family or hire professional help. It also helps to make an effort to take care of yourself by exercising, eating right, and practicing other healthy habits.
Lupus is a debilitating condition that can leave you feeling both physically and mentally drained. The first step to easing emotional suffering is to understand your feelings and what you can do to work your way towards a happier, healthier lifestyle.
Written by, Jess Walter, Freelance Writer