Anxiety and sadness are natural reactions to a diagnosis of a chronic disease with an uncertain outcome. Learning more about the disease will bring you a measure of control over the situation, help you develop a more positive attitude and alleviate the helplessness that leads to emotional distress.
Moreover, depression is common in the course of lupus. Doctors are often not sure whether the disease, the drugs used to treat the disease or the lifestyle changes brought on by the disease cause this depression. Depression does not refer to the mood swings or occasional feelings of sadness most people experience from time to time. Clinical depression is a much more serious, and complex, condition. Among the symptoms are deep feelings of gloominess and hopelessness, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in sex, loss of appetite, overeating, forgetfulness and fatigue. You should see your doctor if any of these symptoms last for several weeks and affect your normal routine.
Remember that disease affects not only the person who gets diagnosed, but also the family and friends who care about the person. Sometimes, family members are angry about the burden of ill health. Moreover, they may fear changes in lifestyle or in the relationship. As everyone adjusts to the new situation, however, those initial fears should subside. A positive attitude is crucial — not only to the person newly diagnosed with lupus, but to his or her family and friends, as well.