I have posted a couple of other times before I was diagnosed, but I am not on here much. Anyways, I am a 20 year old full time student. I don't work because I have a hard enough time getting to my classes every day, and I feel like working would be too much. I don't have a lot of friends because I am pretty shy, but at the beginning of this year I joined a club sports team because I have always loved sports and mostly I just wanted some social interaction. I have made some great friends, but as it is getting colder my joints are keeping me from playing, and therefore I don't see my team as much and things have gotten distant. Anyways, I am having a lot of up and down depression. I feel like a lot of it is because of my feeling of laziness, even though I know a lot of it is from my constant headaches and fatigue. I feel so unproductive, and I really want to work and make money so bad, but if I do that, I know I would fall behind in classes. Right now I am doing OK academically, not great like I usually do. I feel stupid because I know missing classes is hurting my grades, but so many days I have such a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. I feel like I am at war with myself, because when I am feeling good I tell myself that my low days are just because of the Lupus, but when I am feeling horrible and can't get off the couch or do nothing at all during the day, I always end up getting depressed and start thinking that it is all in my head and I am just lazy and whiny. I really don't want to go on any medication for my depression, and that is why I haven't told my doctor. I am pretty sure it is all because of my symptoms and my lack of socialization (and not an actual medical problem), but I can't really see a way to snap out of it all. Does anyone have any suggestions for me or similar stories? Thanks!
I'm an old guy, so grain of salt with the advise, OK?... lol - anyway, activity helps keep the blood flowing as they say. By the same token, it's tough to do that when you hurt all over. Do what you can in that regard. I have to do simple stretches, the ocassional walk, and the recumbant bike. If I do too much, I pay for it with exhaustion and then get sick, and (insert viscious cycle here)... So you have to be careful with it. Don't battle yourself. Battle the lupus. That might include a change of medications that you're on now, and/or low-dose anti-depressant. A lot of us use them. As steve.b says (paraphrased) "I use them not because I'm depressed, but because it helps." I don't get "classical" depression, but the low-dose can help your body "relax" or "slow down". Whatever it does, I sleep just a bit better at night. While that doesn't always help, it does more often than not. But you do have to talk to the doc about it. Do you have someone you could practice talking with about it? You wouldn't have to say "I'm depressed", but could use "doc, I've been experiencing more and more frustration with the pain cycle, and I'm wondering which way to do with this. What would you recommend I do?" - you can always get a 2nd opinion from another doc...
Hey I just wanted to let you know you aren't alone. I am in the same boat as you. 20, full time student, trying to just get through my classes without going nuts. Feel free to send me a message on here, I get on once a week usually :)
I know I'm late to the game here, but I wanted to add my two cents. Your story resonates with me so much. I find actually that anxiety, depression, and that pitiful inner critic get a lot worse when I'm sick - and it's not just because I can't deal with the pain & fatigue - it is a physically caused emotional response (like a mood swing caused by actual hormones flowing through your body, but that lasts a long time). You have to ease up on yourself a little bit, and encourage your inner coach to beat out your inner critic. AND, most importantly, you have to pick something to do each day that you CAN do and that will make you feel like a productive member of society. And keep your expectations realistic. You don't have to save the world in a week.
Low days ARE just because of lupus. When you get into a low day, you have to remind yourself that your bad feelings, sadness, anger, and negative self talk are not your own, they belong to the lupus. Just because the lupus make you feel a certain way doesn't mean it's true.
Best of luck getting through school. I did it (twice! Again for my master's) and life after graduation gets better.