Being diagnosed with lupus can drastically change your life. You'll notice physical changes in your body, such as not being as energetic as you used to be. You might also become more socially withdrawn. These changes can weigh heavy on your mind, and you might even believe you'll never have a normal life again.
However, it's possible to live a normal life even if you're diagnosed with lupus. Communication is a vital component when it comes to dealing with the symptoms that lupus brings. Lupus can attack anytime, so it's important to establish a support system that can help you when you're most vulnerable.
The Importance of Creating a Support System
A support system is an important component to a patient who is afflicted with a lifelong disease. Having someone you can regularly lean on for emotional support can keep your spirits up.
Humans are social animals, so it's natural for us to reach out and talk to someone whenever we have a problem. This is even more important if you're diagnosed with lupus.
Identify key people in your life who can be a constant source of support. It could be your family members, co-workers or close friends you've known for a long time. Do not forget the medical team as well.
The doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel you've been meeting regularly can also serve as a support group. They're more knowledgeable about your disease than others due to their expertise, so connect with them as well.1
Once you have selected the right people, inform them that you've chosen them to be your support group. They are very helpful in the event of an emergency, since they can accompany you to the hospital and communicate with any medical personnel for any special requests.
Connect With Lupus Support Groups
If you find it hard to relate to your friends and relatives about your disease, you can also join your local support groups and meet with them regularly. In a support group, you can make friends with those who are going through the same journey as you.
You may find that communicating with them hard at first, but rest assured that they will be there to help, and most importantly, listen. The key here is to avoid isolation, as it can drag you down. Connecting with a support group can provide a sense of reaffirmation that you're not alone in your struggle. Learning from their stories is a way to create a deeper bond with them. 2
You can actually learn a lot from people who have had lupus longer than you. Due to their experience, they can provide pointers on what to watch out for, and other techniques that can help you cope with lupus easier.3 In time, you can provide help to newly-joined members and they can look up to you, creating a positive atmosphere of support, hope and friendship.
In the end, it's entirely possible to enjoy life even if you have lupus. All it takes is a concentrated effort on your part (proper nutrition and exercise) to better manage the symptoms, and the help of a sturdy support group.