View Full Version : Stress

04-12-2009, 09:01 AM
Good morning-

I'm curious to see how many fellow Lupus sufferers see a huge exacerbation of their symptoms due to stress. I have been under a great deal of stress the last few months... work, the furnace going in my house, some plumbing issues... now MORE plumbing issues. I have been feeling worse than usual and am assuming that stress is the culprit.

For those of you who have these issues, what is your best advice on how to manage stress. I have been going to the gym, and it helps somewhat, but am curious what works for all of you. Of course, I'm sure that winning the lottery would work for me, but I seem to have better odds of having an autoimmune disease (I have both Crohn's Disease and Lupus). :newbie:

be well-

04-12-2009, 09:48 AM
happy easter
I also have major stress in my life, have had for a long time. Somehow you have to find something that helps you relax and take your mind off your problems for a bit. I like to read, play with my dog, computer games, and exercise.
I just have to live with the things taht happen in my life that I can't control, and learn to accept that.
Hope your day goes great for you.

Angel Oliver
04-12-2009, 10:44 AM
Oh yes, a lotto win for me too would be such a help, private healthcare, holidays, buy a house.....but back to reality:yes:.

Yes stress makes me so much worse and i feel so sick. Recently it got so bad i stayed at a friends for a few days, just got away. Didnt need no money, but it has helped. TO be outside in fresh air is good.Little walks.Changing routine.Sitting in the garden, listening to the birds.For me, all this helps. Hope you find something to help you through.


04-12-2009, 11:52 AM
Winter is very stressful to me and I get depressed. But when spring and summer gets here. It gets better.:yes: I get out and see the neighbors. My husband sets me up a pool.:thumbs-up: The kind you get at walmart with filtering. I exercise and it and it helps my joint. It also helps with stress.:laughing: All year I do relaxation and breathing exercises. That help so much.:laugh:

Angel Oliver
04-12-2009, 02:11 PM
Hey for the Winter blues, i suggest buying a lite box. Its a very very bright light with different relaxing noises on.You sit near it, or right in front with your eyes closed.I swear it feels like summer is hear, especially when you hit the 'ocean' button. It does make a massive difference to your emotions, i know i got one. I'll take a photo of it and put it on my profile for you to see.Its only a small plastic thing.....but boy.....good stuff and doesnt cost that much.xx


Angel Oliver
04-12-2009, 02:22 PM
Its on my profile now, just took a photo! x

04-12-2009, 06:00 PM
Angel, I've thought of getting one of those, but wondered if they were safe for lupus patients with photosensitivity. It hasn't bothered you then? I have finally accepted the fact that I get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as this winter was terrible for me in terms of feeling depressed and awful, both emotionally and physically. Once spring made an appearance, I was much better!

As far as the original question, yep, stress gets to me too. When I was first diagnosed 2.5 years ago, I was told that stress can bring on a flare, and so I was diligent about not letting stress get to me. I kept telling myself "no stress, no stress, no stress," and I would FORCE myself not to dwell on what I can't change. So when people were acting like total idiots at work, I reminded myself that a year from now I won't even remember what they did. I spend an hour every morning meditating, praying, and journaling, and that's been a huge help in releasing stress. I exercise when I can, and that always helps. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well enough all winter to do much of anything, but I started walking a bit two days ago. Yesterday I walked for 30 minutes (short rest after 15 mins), and I was so excited!!! That happy feeling stayed with me all day. My doctor finally relented and will let me go to water aerobics and the hot tub and the health club I belong to, so that's a great stress reliever as well. The other thing that helps me relieve stress is feeling connected to other people. Whether it's here, facebook, or other groups online, or the unconditional love I receive from my friends and minister at church, it all makes a world of difference to me. I also recently discovered my local Lupus Alliance group, and they have some great groups and activities for support.

What messes me up with stress is my physical condition. While I can let go of work stress and other concerns to a point, when I go into a flare, I start that negative thinking, feeling like I'll never get past it, and it just keeps getting worse. I'm working on it, and right now I'm out of the flare (finally!!! It's been since December!!) ) and I hope I stay like this for a long time!

Angel Oliver
04-12-2009, 06:13 PM
Well so far so good, i dont seem to be affected.It has special bulbs in....not like fluorescent.It looks like the sun is out when its on you dont look into it like i first did.....saw black squares for hours . Now i shut my eyes and think of holidays and warm beaches. I wont lie, if your depressed your depressed, its not a cure....but....i have severe anxiety n depression and sometimes it does actually make you believe 'life is good'. Just have a look on the internet...let me look on the box for any info. Oh life is good i just found an easter egg i forgot about :)

LED technology to simulate natural sunlight. No information.The makers are called Zennox, but im sure if you google lite pad or lite box for s.a.d, you know the seasonal disorder, it'll tell you more. I only use it for 5 minutes recently as my attention is constantly on the dog eating the cats :)
You can check about the type of bulbs then.Id hate if you got one and it affected your skin, so please check first, cause i dont have the malar rash, so check first.I never thought of that to be honest. I think all should be fine, but just in case.

I have felt a small difference.Whether its the actual visualisation and relaxation i am not sure. But it does help to trick the mind its sunny n hot on a dark n cold day...:) sucker :)

04-12-2009, 06:27 PM
Thanks for all of that information Angel!! I'll ask my doctor, or actually I'm going over to the Lupus Alliance on Tuesday, so I'll see if they know anything about it or have suggestions. At least I know I have until next fall to get one if I can. I've heard they do make a difference, and after this winter, I'm open to trying almost anything!

(Did you have to mention chocolate?! I'm trying to forget about the chocolate brownies sitting on my kitchen counter at this minute...!) :wacko: :laugh:

04-12-2009, 06:34 PM
I vote we make chocolate the "cure all" for whatever ails us.

Angel Oliver
04-12-2009, 06:48 PM
I agree Phyllis:valentine2:.This one is for anxiety....this one for depression.This chocolate i throw is for an ailing body which feels 90 instead of 39 and this one for Phyllis,Lori,me,cheryl......:)

04-13-2009, 07:29 AM
Phyllis and Angel, I LOVE it!!!! :)

04-13-2009, 09:48 AM
I vote we make chocolate the "cure all" for whatever ails us.

Chocolate, and Scotch! Anyway, my hobbies keep me from worrying about things, and making myself more stress. I put on the gloves and work over my punching bag from time to time. Sometimes I imagine the bag is my former rheumotologist, that always helps. I try to keep stressful people, and events out of my life by any means possible. Sometimes that's easier said than done. Overall, I just try to do positive, fun things, and do what I can to not fall into a hole of stress and depression. They seem to feed off each other.


Angel Oliver
04-13-2009, 11:43 AM
Oh yes, a punch bag.You know what, when i went to the gym, when i was able to climb the 6 flights of stairs, i used to do kick boxing.Then i boxed and have my own gloves too.Pink n red.They used to laugh at me.....until i punched.Yeh...whose the girl now id say :)
Good thinking Rob....that was a good stress buster!


04-13-2009, 01:52 PM

Surprisingly, working over the punching bag doesn't really aggravate my joints. I thought it would, but it doesn't. And I feel really good after. Gets all sorts of frustrations out. I can just see you with pink n red gloves!

Angel Oliver
04-13-2009, 03:15 PM
Oh wow im glad you can still do that.I found it so helpful and i had little muscley arms:yes:. Now the gloves feel so heavy im a weakling now, but i may get the gloves out and try when i feel stronger. Never could do the foot moves right though i danced like a chicken...so funny, but who cares when all the stress was leaving my soul.
You keep at it. I used to pretend their was a face of someone i dislike....gave me super powers when i did that :) So Rob....give Lupus n MS the beating of their lives!!!!


04-13-2009, 04:08 PM
Hey all...chiming in on the "stress" thing.

I have to say, my initial diagnosis of lupus last July came after a winter of stress and respiratory infections/viruses. The stress got me run down, causing me to catch everything and not get rid of it. Not getting rid of anything caused stress. My mother, bless her narcissistic soul, never thought I was "really sick" so she had me running crazy, causing me stress which in turn got me run down, which in turn got me sick...
You see the pattern.

After finally getting diagnosed and basically telling everyone to kiss my royal patootie, I needed to focus on me getting well and staying well. I managed to get in the best health I had been in over two years. My rheumie got me on the meds I needed, I started a mild exercise routine, got on a good routine of vitamins and nutrition, and all was right in the lupus world.


Poor, dear, sweet narcissistic mother managed to throw an unexpected curve my way approx. a month ago. This curve put me in the same situation I was in a year ago, loaded down with unexpected stress. What happened?

Yup. A flare. A full blown "twit". Not as bad as last year, but just as frustrating as this one had symptoms that the last one didn't have (stomach issues, muscle spasms, more chronic headaches).

Does stress play a part? You bet your butt. It does with me anyways. I had managed to keep everything on an even keel for almost a year with a positive attitude and a laid back way of thinking. Then bam!...just like "old times". As much as I'd say winning the lottery would help a lot, I have to say the extra money would probably only make my mother more demanding than she is right now! ("Gimme gimme gimme!!") Although it would be hard for her to be demanding on me if I was in a spa on a cruise ship all day. Pina Colada in one hand, Plaquenil in the other!! :-

04-28-2009, 01:24 PM
Thanks for all of the posts. I have been doing my best to realize that there are things beyond my control and that I can't keep stressing over it. I have also started exercising at my work's fitness center (the manager there knows that I have Lupus and has tailored a routine for me). It really has helped with the fatigue and stress. Of course, it's nice to know that others know what I am going through. I'm glad that I found this place.

04-30-2009, 03:21 PM
Hi Goodboie!!!! Good for you! YOu took up exercise! It HELPS SO MUCH and it is RECOMENDED for people with LUPUS! Shoot, for EVERYBODY!!! Yeah, you have to find that "happy medium" for those things that are out of your control. I had to learn that too. Its important to let the "little things"go too, another thing i had to work on (still am) LOL. Take naps too, it really helps when i am stressed. How nice to have a boss working with you! WOO HOO to that! Try to stretch as often as you can too because that significantly helps too. :yup:

05-03-2009, 08:50 AM
i'm a grad student so stress is very much a part of my life. i manage it by getting regular massages and working out.