Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Hmmm…That’s an age-old question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg (or in this instance, which came first, lupus or depression?)? That is a tough question and there’s no real ‘pat’ answer. First, did you know that lupus, the disease, can cause depression? Second, circumstances arising from having lupus (the losses, the not being able to do things you used to) can cause a reactive depression. In many instances in which your illness may not be lupus,  this does apply. This is often seen ini ANY chronic illness.

First, the depression:. How does lupus cause depression.? The disease itself may affect the central nervous systems of patients. There is often nerve damage caused by this or less often a condition called CNS lupus.  But, in affecting the neurons themselves, lupus can cause a change in the chemical makeup of the brain. This results in the development of a clinical depression; something that is measurable. Specific laboratory tests can monitor hormonal and chemical shifts.

The second type of depression, and just as much depression, is the
not-so-measurable, but just as real, depression that results as a reaction to all of the limitations and losses that lupus places. These losses might be be the athletic person who had to give up running, the loss of ability to hold down a job, the financial losses that come with having to spend a ton of money on lupus medications. There’s also the young woman who can’t conceive because lupus has caused a premature ovarian failure. Imagine that whammy! All of your friends having children, talking of school buses and PTA contributes to sadness which turns to darkness over a dream to have a family dashed. A potential for income loss definitely exists. Then there are the losses of friendships because people don’t understand that you’re still sick, “BUT, YOU DON’T LOOK SICK!” This is by far an exhaustive list but meant to give readers an idea of reactive depression. 

So, what do you do, do you fight the losses tooth and nail, kicking and screaming your whole life about the unfairness of it all? Do you shout about the fact that you’ve ben wronged? (That sounds like the temper tantrum of a two-year old.) Or do you roll over, play ‘dead’ and pretend they never happened? No. I”m here to to tell you, NO, NO and by the way, did I say ‘NO’ to pretending those losses never happened”?

So, denying that the losses ever happened doesn’t work. What does? In lieu of the ‘poor-pitiful-me’ role that we’ve all possibly slipped into and quite understandably, don’t you admire people who make the most of the challenges handed to them? I can think of countless examples and I’m sure you can, too. The lupie who ran and finished his first marathon at age  60, the person with ANY chronic illness who defies the odd-makers and is able to graduate with honors in a very demanding school. There’s also the person with chronic fatigue syndrome who is able to get out of bed every day. Those are everyday occurrences for many, but for many they are huge goals. IN OTHER WORDS, MAINTAINING A POSITIVE-YET REALISTIC -ATTITUDE WORKS. Being able to attain a goal is a a wonder. The goal that I at TRY TO aim for: realism, in a realistic world, is it possible for me to achievable?

Until next time, LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!                                                                                                                                                                         

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2 thoughts on “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

  1. Sounds like what my Dr. told me when I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, which came first the pain or the depression, simple fact is that they feed each other and you can influence how you feel by how you deal with it. You are absolutely right my friend. My support group is my God, my faith, my church, and my family. The ability to call on the prayer line from my church gives me the knowledge that I am not alone in this, being part of the prayer line myself, allows me to understand that there are many worse than I am. It breaks the chains and stops the cycle. I am not alone and that is one of the dangers of that cycle. People need to be aware that they do not have to be alone, in my church and in many, you do not have to be a member to request prayer, and if you take time to visit, we will even annoint you and lay hands on you in prayer if you desire. Faith may not be the answer for everyone, but having support and not being alone is the best thing for all!

    • Loopy, as you know, faith is not my fortitude, but I find strength in so many other things. I’ve been watching and listening to a musical based on Victor Hugos’s book, “Les Miserables.” Besides incredible music and talent, the more I listen to the story, the more I see the faith, the religion, the spirituality inherent in the human condition and yesterday I found myself commenting to myself when I was listening to it in the car, “this has to be the most mystical AND religious musical that I’ve ever heard…” So much is subliminal, but the human condition doesn’t change. There are many productions of this work, but the one I love is the 25th Anniversary Concert. Except for one, all wonderful voices and seemingly self-less individuals.

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