Effects Of Lupus & Lupus Medications On Mood
Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body's immune system becomes confused and attacks the body's own tissues. It is a chronic disease, meaning that it is long term and it comes and goes. It is also incurable, although it can be managed.
Lupus can have a drastic effect on sufferers" mental state. This is because of the disease itself and the medications commonly prescribed to treat the disease.
If you think your lupus or lupus medications are having an adverse affect on your mental health, talk to your health practitioner as soon as possible.
Lupus, "The Great Imitator"
- Lupus is an unpredictable disease. Its symptoms are diverse and erratic.
- Often, lupus symptoms mimic those of other diseases, or are similar to common aches and pains that are simply age-related.
- Lupus is a confusing disease and is difficult to diagnose.
- All of these issues can lead to a patient becoming frustrated and distrustful of their health practitioners.
- This also can cause sufferers to develop anxiety and begin to chalk up every little ache to a new lupus symptom.
Lupus and Mental Health
Lupus is an autoimmune disease, and it attacks many part of the body, most notably, skin, organs, and joints.
- Lupus often results in unsightly skin rashes on the face. This can lead to embarrassment, social withdrawal, and low self esteem for sufferers, especially children and teens.
- Joint pain is a major part of lupus. The joints become inflamed from the immune system's attacks, resulting in pain. This pain can be anything from a dull ache to sharp, stabbing pains. Often, joint pain prevents people from being active or going out and being social. This can lead to feelings of isolation.
- Lupus also causes fatigue. Many people with lupus just feel tired and depressed much of the time.
- Lupus can cause mental confusion. Many people describe this as being in a "lupus fog."
- Lupus can also cause changes in personality. A person with lupus may become angry or irritable, or the strange feeling of just not feeling like yourself. This can cause problems with loved ones, as communication becomes difficult. It also can cause anxiety for the lupus sufferer.
- Depression is a major concern related to lupus. Constant feelings of sadness, sleep disturbances, and physical problems may all be symptoms of depression.
Lupus and Stress
Although lupus itself isn't caused by stress, lupus flares can be set off by stress. It is important to eliminate unnecessary sources of stress from your life if stress makes your lupus flare up.
- Steroids are one of the most common medications used to treat lupus. Unfortunately, these can have negative side effects, including steroid psychosis. This usually consists of small emotional disturbances, but occasionally can be more severe.
- Most other medications, like ibuprofen, Tylenol, aspirin, and Antimalarials, do not have negative mental side effects.