Healthy Living

Lupus and Depression: It's Not Just Sadness

A further understanding of lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease characterized by the immune system creating antibodies that target and attack the body’s own structures. Nearly every and all bodily structures are liable to be a target, giving the disease its systemic and unpredictable nature. For these reasons, no two cases of lupus are completely alike, as it has many, many ways in which a person can be affected. Fortunately, those who suffer from the disease rarely have to deal with symptoms on a daily basis. Instead, lupus patients suffer from what they call ‘flares’, which are periods in which the symptoms are exacerbated and can cause significant discomfort. On the other hand, when cared for properly (and with a bit of luck), patients spend most of their time in ‘remission’ phases, during which the symptoms are not present or greatly reduced in intensity.

Said lupus symptoms can include from extreme joint pain and discomfort, fever, and chest pains, to physical signs such as hair loss, swollen lymph nodes, and a characteristic ‘butterfly rash’ strewn across the patient’s face. As was mentioned above, these symptoms can vary greatly depending on the organs that the patient’s disease decides to target. However, the ones mentioned here seem to be the most common and present in a great number of cases. Luckily, most lupus cases tend to be on the mild side, and seldom feature fatal consequences, unless not properly cared for. In these cases, patients expire due to the disease targeting the person’s heart, increasing their risk of suffering from cardiovascular incidents.