Lupus, Depression, and Self-Harm, Part 2
Last updated: March 2023
Content note: This article describes experiences with self-harm. If you or a loved one are struggling, consider reading our mental health resources.
This is the continuation of "Lupus, Depression, and Self-Harm, Part 1." I sought help from an amazing therapist for my depression and self-harming after the anti-depressants were not agreeing with me. We talked everything through and I found it was pretty draining after my sessions but in time it really helped me to heal emotionally in all areas of my life.
She helped me to learn distraction techniques if I had the urge to self-harm again which helped.
I would just like to share some tips that have really helped me on my journey if you’re struggling with the emotional side of lupus.
Keep a journal
Write down how you’re feeling. Sometimes getting it down on paper can be a huge help.
Take time to relax
I find meditation really helps.
Seek like-minded people
Join a support group.
Seek help from a therapist or your doctor
It is OK to ask for help.
Be mindful of how you talk to yourself
When we are in a more negative mindset if we learn to catch our thoughts it can be quite alarming how hard we are on ourselves. Statements such as I’m worthless, I don’t deserve or I’m weak will give fuel to the fire so try turning it around by making positive statements or affirmations such as even though I don’t feel great I have so many blessings.
Some examples you could use are: "I am worthy," "I do deserve," or you can make it more detailed such as "I am blessed to have my beautiful children," or "I’m so grateful for my pets; they give me so much joy." You can add to them. You will be surprised at how they can be so beneficial.
It takes daily practice but it’s worth it.
Talk to someone
– a friend or family member, perhaps.
Sometimes it can be hugely beneficial to our mental health when we express our creative side. Activities such as drawing, playing a musical instrument, or crafting can be enjoyable and take your mind to a more positive place.
My counselor encouraged me to find something creative that I would enjoy as my lupus was bad and I couldn’t work so I discovered candle making! I loved it. I used aromatherapy oils which have their own health benefits and this really helped me at a very difficult time in my life. I even had people wanting to buy them from me which boosted my confidence and self-esteem.
Remember, you are not alone
I think it’s so important to reach out to someone if you feel like you are struggling like I was. You are never alone.
How are you most likely to respond when someone offers you unsolicited advice about your lupus?