Hi. I'm Carol, 19/f, and I haven't been diagnosed yet, but undergoing tests, etc, and have many obvious symptoms.

I'm really scared about getting all the results back. Even though I already know that whatever I have is probably going to stick with me the rest of my life, I dread being diagnosed and having lupus written in stone as my lifelong illness. I'm just trying to get my life going, I live by myself, and I'm trying to get ready to start the university, but I feel like if I get the news that I have lupus, everything will just fall apart. I mean, on top of my bad days, which are hard enough to deal with, knowing these bad days will follow me around for the rest of my life terrifies me. And I know the stress caused by worry, money, school, work, AND the symptoms can't be good for my body and is probably aggravating the sickness. I'm trying to show my loved ones that I am strong, that I am keeping my head up and staying positive... but inside I feel like everything I imagined life was going to be just isn't going to be an option for me any more (med school, children, traveling the world) and I constantly think about all of the horrible days ahead. Of course, I know I'm still going to be able to lead a somewhat normal life, and that I shouldn't let my sickness limit me, but I feel like I am going through a phase where my depression causes flareups and my flareups cause depression, with no happiness in between, and it's all a horrible cycle that never ends. I would just really appreciate any advice about dealing with when you were first diagnosed, or if you were ever terrified about what was to come.

Oh and one more thing, in lupus (in your experiences) do symptoms start mild when you are younger and get worse as you age? or do they stay mostly the same your whole life but go into remission sometimes?

Thanks everyone And it's nice meeting all of you.