I'm sorry I missed your post the first time, because I can totally relate to your situation! I struggle with depression periodically, especially when I am in or just getting out of a major flare. What one of my doctors reminded me of, though, is that prednisone can cause mood swings/depression/anxiety. And when I stopped to think about it, that was true for me. It's when I'm on prednisone, or weaning off it, that the depression hits. It's exactly the same for me - the depression is often worse than the physical problems I have with lupus. Sometimes...!
So what has helped me? One thing is to keep in mind that it's not me, it's the medication, this is not who I am, and I will get through it just like I"ve gotten through every other challenge lupus has put in my way.
My tendency is to isolate when I'm depressed, as some people here have already noticed. I try really hard not to do that, but sometimes I just can't manage it. Sometimes it helps if I force myself to do just one thing to reach out to others when I'm depressed. Maybe that means going to church on Sunday. Or maybe it's sending an e-mail to a friend. The thing is, when I do that, people almost always respond to me, and it helps the depression a little, for me at least. I also give my family and friends a heads-up, saying I'm having a reaction to my medication, which is causing depression, so to please understand if I'm not myself right now. They're pretty used to it by now.
Another thing I have found helpful is to try to plan small things I can look forward to, always reminding myself that the depression is from the prednisone, not who I am, and I am stronger than lupus is!! Some days it might be just taking a bubble bath, or listening to my ipod. Some days it might be going to a lupus support group later in the week, or going to the pet store to buy a new toy for my dog. She lights up adorably whenever she gets a new toy, and watching her makes me feel a bit lighter too. And truthfully, sometimes I just resort to chocolate!
Lupus, you have no chance!
Love and hugs,
(mom to my little Chihuahua, Brandi)
Diagnosed with SLE, Sjogren's, Reynaud's, Celiac, and arthritis November 2006.