If you are experiencing any of these problems, it’s important to discuss them with your doctor. Your doctor can help you find solutions. These may include a change in medication to control your lupus. Or, the doctor may add medications to treat problems like anxiety and depression.
Your doctor may also refer you to a mental health professional, who will be able to help you identify additional ways to cope with lupus.
How You Can Help Yourself
There are many things you can do yourself to help you live and cope better with lupus. These things include:
Educating yourself -- and others. Learn as much as you can about the disease and its treatment. Share information with friends and family members so they will better understand the disease and how it affects you. Their support is important to success in managing the illness.
Practicing healthy lifestyle habits. Exercise regularly; eat a healthy, balanced diet; get enough rest;and avoid alcoholic beverages, particularly if you are depressed. Alcohol is a natural depressant. It can markedly increase the severity of depression and its symptoms.
Learning stress-management techniques. Living with a chronic disease is stressful. A mental health professional can teach you techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and meditation, that you can use regularly to cope with the stress of lupus. Other stress relievers you can try include listening to soothing music, taking a warm bath or a walk, or doing some gentle exercises.
Doing activities you enjoy. Lupus may limit some activities. So it’s important to find things you enjoy doing and take time to do them. These activities can be as simple as reading a good book or doing thoughtful things for others.
Seeking support. When you are feeling down, talk with a trusted friend, clergy member, or counselor. Consider joining a support group. To find a group for lupus patients near you, speak with your doctor or counselor or check with the Arthritis Foundation or Lupus Foundation of America.
Appreciating yourself. Although you have lupus, you likely have many other things, such as pretty eyes, a friendly smile, musical talent, or a flare for Cajun cooking. Don’t make lupus the focus of your life. Focus on your talents, abilities, and strengths.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Archived: March 20, 2014
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