Good grief, yes -- I don't have a firm diagnosis of Lupus yet, but I have been fighting whatever it is that I have (up til now they have said it is a bad case of fibromyalgia plus a whole lot of arthritis) for almost 8 years now, and when I look back at the year or so leading up to when I first got sick, I think depression was really the first major symptom I had. A couple of years later when all my health problems were in full bloom I mentioned being depressed to my favorite doctor. He told me (God love the man!) that given what I was dealing with in terms of physical problems and what they had done to my life, he would be more worried if I WASN'T depressed. Everything you said, SaySusie, sounded exactly on the nose as if I had written it myself. So I think it is safe to assume that there is a lot of it going around!
It always seems to me that it is sort of a "chicken or the egg" sort of thing...Is the depression one of the symptoms of the lupus, or are we depressed because of what the disease costs us in our daily life?? Like so many things, I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle -- it's a little of both. I also think dealing with chronic pain wears you down physically and emotionally more than the doctors want to admit.
I wish I could say I had a magic formula to banish depression but if there is one I have yet to find it. Do take your antidepressant meds -- I got over-confident a couple of years ago and decided they weren't working so why take 'em? -- got slammed with the worst depression ever -- I'll never do that again! There can be some value in talking to a therapist if you can find one you like - it's a place to vent, and sometimes they can give you a fresh perspective on things and/or some tools to cope with the depression and any other problems you may be dealing with. Some of them specialize with chronic illness and can help with pain management - mine wants to try hypnotherapy to help me with mine. I'll let everyone know when I try it if it helps.
The most important thing is to don't let the depression spiral out of control to the point where you are thinking about hurting yourself...if you get that close to the end of your rope, do SOMETHING concrete to get a handle on things - tell your family or a friend, call a crisis hotline, go to the emergency room if it comes to it, but tie a knot in your rope and hang on somehow.
Probably more than anything, I think talking to someone who understands is the most helpful thing. So keep posting on this forum - it sure seems to be a wonderful warm understanding group of folks- and if you ever want a friendly place to vent one-on-one, feel free to email me!
Hugs and good wishes to all-
"Seize the day! Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart!"