Healthy Living

Overcoming the Emotional Obstacles with Lupus

Overcoming the Emotional Obstacles with Lupus

When dealing with a chronic illness like lupus, one’s mental health might suffer an adverse aftermath over the course of time. Chances are a person has been enduring many years of experiencing the roller coaster ride of good and bad days of pain and/or fatigue. After all, it's not surprising that one would run through a gamut of emotions from the point of diagnosis to his or her current state. All of these feelings vary depending on how one deals with insomnia, inflammation, and limitations and of course, how severe these symptoms are. More than likely some of the emotions include:

However, there is hope when it comes to getting a handle on these emotions. When one clearly understands where these emotions originate, then learning to cope with them can get a little easier. Considering the symptoms, treatments, and other aspects of living with lupus, some of these emotions can originate from:

  • The visible appearance that accompanies the disease and treatment
  • Limitations on daily activity due to physical symptoms
  • Isolation from peers
  • Anxiety over the future
  • Strain on relationships

Being aware of these aspects and how they impact a person’s state of mind is the first step toward implementing a plan for coping with the range of thoughts and feelings.

Visible Appearance

Sometimes physical changes that affect a person’s appearance can affect his or her outlook, especially, if these changes are symptoms of a chronic condition. Such is the case with lupus if a person develops the skin irritation that accompanies this illness in some situations. This irritation can take the form of:

  • A “butterfly-shaped” rash on cheeks and nose
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • A purple, scaly rash on different parts of the body including the arms and neck
  • Red spots

Fingernails also undergo some changes such as:

  • Nails that crack or fall off
  • Reddish or blue spots on the base of the nail
  • “Puffiness” or swelling around the cuticle

When one is not accustomed to these changes, they take a toll on the emotions.

Another possible change in appearance is weight gain as a result of the medications that are often used to treat lupus. Corticosteroids tend to cause weight gain due to fluid retention. Other side effects may include headaches and muscle weakness, which might pose a challenge to physical activity.

The Physical Limitations

As mentioned, some forms of treatment possess qualities that can limit movement or energy level. At the same time, the condition itself poses the greatest challenge since pain and fatigue are a major part of living with lupus.

And hardly anything can be more frustrating than having to “sit out” most of the day. Symptoms and even some forms of treatments can render a person unable to complete daily tasks. Furthermore, a person might have to cut back on his or her work schedule or even quit working altogether. This situation does not make it easy to maintain the feeling of a sense of purpose. Combined with additional worry about a source of income, these circumstances should not be overlooked but rather addressed right away.