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Sad or Depressed? Do You Know the Difference?
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Christine Miserandino posted:
Don't get me wrong, I know that getting a lupus diagnosis, having lupus, and dealing with chronic disease is not easy. It can be very sad to learn that you have a new medical condition and must make a major change in your lifestyle.

If you find yourself feeling sad for weeks at a time, or if you have an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, you might be suffering from depression. Try to notice if there are major changes in your eating habits and sleeping patterns. You know yourself best. If you are crying more often, if you are missing events you usually attend, or if you are isolating yourself from social activities, family, and friends, you may be displaying signs of depression.

I am not a doctor. These changes are just some of the signs of depression. In addition to the few changes I just listed, there are many more signs to indicate that you might have depression. I feel I can write about this topic because as someone living with lupus, I have personally dealt with depression at numerous times during my life.

Many people deal with depression at different times during their life, and depression can be the result of a variety of reasons and circumstances. People living with lupus are more likely to deal with depression because of the disease itself, or as a side effect of the medications they take.

If you are feeling depressed, it's very important to be open and honest with your lupus doctor. Tell your doctor how you feel. He may be able to help by changing your medication regimen or recommending talk therapy. You can participate in any of the many support groups around the country and online for people living with lupus. You are not alone. Working with your doctor, building a good support system, and being aware of your lifestyle can help you in the fight against depression.

Depression tends to be one of those "hush-hush" topics that many people don't openly discuss, but not talking about depression only makes it worse.

How do you deal with depression? If you are comfortable telling others, please share your story or tips for coping. Let others who visit this community know that they are not alone.
- Christine Miserandino
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